5 May 2020

WANT MORE CREATIVITY? The quest for new ideas, better creativity and innovation is relentless, and as we come out of this crisis, there’ll be no let-up.

Favouring practicality over simply waiting or wishful thinking, I’ve put together another two-parter. No fluff or holistic hyperbole – just tangible, simple ideas and suggestions, useful in this time of reflection and reinvention to find, create or nurture more creativity.

Whether you’re a brand, agency or freelancer, you have a wealth of opportunity and possibilities… right now. This first episode takes 5 minutes to look at something called transpositioning. Probably one of the easiest ways to get the creative juices flowing and spark ideas.


Hi, I’m Will Glendinning, I’m a Producer, Writer, Designer, and Director.

In these times of isolated uncertainty, there’s plenty we can all be doing and plenty of opportunities that can be embraced. As we come out of this crisis, people are inevitably going to be wanting more creativity, creative working, ideas, and everyone’s favourite word, innovation.

I’m not going to start a debate about what constitutes good and bad creativity, but if you’re a brand, government, agency or even an individual, a freelancer, for example, looking for more or better creativity, how do you actually go about this? How do you become more creative, or find creativity or nurture it?

Well, there are a gazillion ways.

In this two-part video series, though, we’ll look at two of the simplest approaches perhaps best suited to these current times of change.

Two approaches which are both easy to adopt and often overlooked. In this first video of this two-parter, we’ll be looking at something called transpositioning.

Creativity doesn’t just happen, it needs to be nurtured, nourished and needs stimulation. Like a plant, add sunlight, water and nutrients, and you get flowers. Yet many in creative fields stick to their silos with little to no external or different stimulation. There are designers who only design, graphic designers who only do graphic stuff, producers who only produce, managers who only manage, creative directors who only direct, digital people who only do digital stuff. You get the gist.

It’s common in companies, where people are tasked to think outside the box, as long as they stay within their box. It’s common in agencies, where different departments do just that, departmentalise different talents and skill sets. And it’s common within individuals, freelancers, for example, where people stick to doing what they do and what they know.

If you, or people you have working for you or companies or people you engage constantly do the same thing all the time, you’re going to get the same results. Now, that sounds obvious, but it’s often the norm. If you want different results, or to spark ideas or to improve creativity, try transpositioning.

Have people try different jobs, roles, crafts and disciplines. I’m not talking about collaboration here and working with people, I’m talking about actually doing and trying different things, getting your hands dirty. Transposing from one role or skill to another. The act of seeing, or feeling, how other things are done, gaining new perspectives, seeing challenges from different perspectives or just having the freedom to play in a different arena or with different tools can be powerful, on many levels.

If you’re an individual, a freelancer, for example, with a specific talent, an event designer, for example, try your hand at lighting design, try sound design, try graphic design, try developing something digital, try your hand at architecture, or ceramics, or sculpture, or pyrotechnic design or everything and anything else. It will open your mind, it will give you new ideas. And it’s not hard to find people, other freelancers who would want to try what you do. Swap roles on real or imaginary projects. And in the current climate, if you’re struggling to find work or things to do, who knows where this could lead? What do you have to lose?

If you run or work in an agency, move people around. Have the design team working in the senior management, production or account management team to see how they would approach responding to a brief, managing a client or holding together a team of creatives. In turn, have the senior management team, your board, producers or project managers try graphic design, 3D design, digital development, lighting design, drawing or creative direction. If you have a design studio, get people swapping roles. 2D people trying 3D roles and vice versa. Have the marketing or PR team trying their hand at designing, and vice versa. And don’t restrict yourself to your agency either, there’s an entire supply chain of skilled craftspeople, choreographers, technicians, suppliers and creatives you can transpose with, and they in turn would also likely benefit from trying things on your side of the fence too. Mix it up.

If you’re a company or brand, who does events or commissions events or does other creative work, similarly, have your team or people transpose roles, either internally or with your agencies or trusted partners. The aim here is not to become capable of doing these other roles or skills, it’s merely to spark ideas, enlightenment.

Throughout my career, I’ve constantly tried different things in different sectors and in different fields, just as experiments. Now, most of those have clearly failed in so far as they’re not good enough to see the light of day. But none of them failed in so far as they’ve increased my creativity and my curiosity. The enlightenment that comes from trying to design a new pyrotechnic, or code something digital or just trying something way out of my normal field of view is incredible. As an added bonus, it also results in enormous empathy with what others need, do and experience.

Singular skills and singular thinking is pre-COVID thinking. Transpositioning, try it.

As I said, creativity doesn’t just happen, it needs nurturing by everyone involved. Try transpositioning for an hour, a day, a week, whatever works. And just once, frequently or build it into your culture as we emerge from the current crisis with everyone looking for better value, new ideas and creativity.

It needn’t cost anything, and could lead almost anywhere.

In the second of this two-parter video series, we’ll be looking at the differences between curation and creation, or curating versus creativity. And if you’re a brand or agency genuinely interested in developing new ideas or creativity rather than re-purposing and assembling existing products, services and ideas, the realistic approaches to make this happen.

In the meantime, I’d love any thoughts and questions.

Have you tried transpositioning, even if you’ve not called it that, or do you plan to?

And if you think anyone else would find this useful, please, feel free to share it.

Thanks for your time, thanks for watching, and I’ll speak to you again soon.