The way ideation happens at 90 has changed, fast. Overnight, actually. We’re all in a new environment – coming up with ideas, concepts, solutions while our contact is limited to the little video windows into our home lives. What has always been a “team sport” at the agency – the creative process ­– is fundamentally different when you can’t be near one another. We’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time, intuitively revisiting how teams create together from beginning to end. Here are a few ways we’re addressing remote work and creative development at 90. It’s been an adventure, and it’s still evolving every day.

It all starts with trust

Fundamentally, teams need to spend time with one another to understand how each generates their best work. We pair people up with work styles that complement each other to arrive at the most engaging ideas and bring them to life.

Cultivating effective teams takes both time and proximity to develop – to deepen the creative connection between people. Teams need to be able to trust one another to finish each other’s thoughts and sentences. To not be afraid to throw out a crazy idea, even if it sounds completely stupid at first. To grab onto a thought, express it uniquely, and build on it over time. To support and push each other into new territory. Having that kind of intimate rapport is critical to idea generation, and it is definitely trickier to develop in a remote work environment.

Changing the way things move

If the foundation of team trust is there, the adjustments to remote work are far easier to make. We’ll break down each phase of the creative process and discuss the hurdles we’ve encountered in order to keep things flowing.

Everything starts (and always has) with a brief outlining the goals and audiences, then defining teams and timelines for a given challenge. Doing that initial groundwork hasn’t changed a great deal, but it becomes even more critical that they’re done well to make the rest of the process more organized and less stressful.

Then the ideation process begins, and we go into initial brainstorms, smaller team concepting, incremental work reviews and then finally production. We’ve also seen some effects on general workload management in relation to focus and flow. We’ll break down each phase and discuss the barriers and adjustments we’ve made at 90.

We’d be interested to hear how you’re finding the right headspace to think big even in a smaller, video conference world. Let us know as the series develops what’s working for you.

Fundamentally, teams need to spend time with one another to understand how each generates their best work. We pair people up with work styles that complement each other to arrive at the most engaging ideas and bring them to life.”

About the Author

Dan Schrad

Creative Director

Dan has helped to connect brand thinking with business metrics for major B2B and B2C brands over the last two decades. Which sounds like a long time, but hasn’t felt like it.