Category Archives: creative planning

What creative teams can learn from Apple…

I personally have a great interest in creative planning teams.  Specifically within the church environment, where a team meets and helps plan every aspect of a corporate worship experience. They focus on the entire environment, from the songs to the talk to the videos to the overall mood they want to convey to best communicate the truth of Jesus.  I think it’s interesting how these teams work together and the great things they come up with.

Macrumors had a post today on Apple’s design process that I thought was very interesting (you know I’m an Apple freak) and I thought there might be some applicable principles church creative teams could use.  Here is one of these principles, with my thoughts about how this might apply to the church creative team:

Speaking of Apple’s design approach in coming up with their products, they have “PAIRED DESIGN MEETINGS.”  These are two separate design meetings.  One is for free thinking (“go crazy”) without worries about any technical constraints, while the other meeting addresses implementation and practical considerations.  Both of these meetings continue throughout product development.
Hmm.  As many of you know, I used to be a worship pastor and met weekly with a team like this.  How many of you have been in a creative planning meeting and someone keeps squashing all the ideas?  How many of you have had an idea outside of the box that you were afraid to bring up because you knew it would get squashed before the team had an idea to dream a bit?  I have many times in various environments.
I think the concept of having 2 separate meetings is an excellent idea.  On a weekly basis this could look like this: Monday (or whatever day you start working on that week) have the free thinking meeting.  Nothing is off-limits.  Allow your team to dream.  “I’ve had this idea for a series” or “I have this idea for an interesting visual for the stage” or statements like that could be listed on a whiteboard and discussed by the team.  The goal would not be to finalize anything, but rather to dream a bit and think outside the box.  A “what-if” meeting of sorts. The first half could be ideas regarding anything (new series, set design, video ideas, etc), and the second half could be dreaming about the current series/weekend/upcoming series.  Someone would be responsible for copying and organizing everything that was shared and written on the whiteboard.
The next day (or perhaps later the same day) the practical/technical meeting would involve many of the same people, but the list of ideas would be distributed and some specific decisions regarding the current week/series/etc would be made.
What do you think about this?  What can we learn from Apple’s design process that will help those trying to use creative planning as a tool to tell others about Jesus?  I love the power of teams, and I love Apple, and I love Jesus.  If we could somehow marry all of those things…