Improve Creativity by Removing Things

close-up of pencil eraser

Your church communications team wants creative and interesting ways to reach customers. These new ideas do not come us by accident. They often happen because of rigorous precautions we put in place. Let us look at some examples and see what lessons we can learn.

Remove Distractions

Pixar is one of the most creative movie companies around. Yet they are quite particular in how they create their movie storyboards. They affix their papers to a wall, with clear thumbtacks, exactly 1 centimeter in from the corners. This uniform design creates a distraction-free environment. They lay out their movies, frame by frame on these papers. This allows them to focus on each shot, and tell the best story possible.

What can you do at your church to remove distractions? Here are just a few ideas I could come up with:

  • Create a meeting space with nothing on the walls but whiteboards
  • Have quiet times in the office, with no phone calls or loud conversations
  • Set up a decoration-free cubicle for co-workers to share

Fewer Decisions

Another company famous for creativity is Apple. They are one of the leaders in technology industry. The man often credited with their success is the late Steve Jobs. One trademark of his life was the small detail of his clothes. He wore the same outfit to work every day. Blue jeans, black mock turtleneck, and sneakers. It was one less thing to think about. Many high-ranking people have similar routines. They reduce the number of daily decisions to maximize the time they can spend on each one.

Where can you remove decisions from your operations? Often you need to create a guide or artifact to help inform your daily design decisions.

  • Well-defined branding guide tell you what font to use on a social media graphic
  • A website style guide help you know what color a blog post heading should be
  • Your voice and tone guide better informs pastors and other content writers

Avoid Fads

In 1961, Vince Lombardi made history with the Green Bay Packers football team. He started spring training by saying “Gentlemen, this is a football.” He began by assuming they knew nothing about the game. They focused on the absolute basics of blocking, tackling, running, and passing. They went on to one of the most dominating franchises of early professional football. They removed the latest fads and found success.

Where are you going to focus your effort? While a new trend may have big returns, basics will help you in the long run.

  • A well-designed, maintained, responsive website still matters
  • Check grammar and spelling on all your writing
  • Take the time to test technology, designs, content, and calls to action

Action Item

Start by discussing with your church leadership why creativity is important. I am sure many of them have wanted to revitalize their spiritual lives. One method is a retreat. They remove the daily grind and focus on their relationship with God. Let them know these ideas for boosting creativity are in the same spirit. Pray over what ideas that make sense for your teams. Try one at a time, and measure the success. In no time, your team will have many new ideas to help your digital ministries!

Photo courtesy of T.A.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.