Thursday, July 26, 2007

The most unusual meeting

OK - since going on the image streaming training, I have been using the technique a lot: to relax, to get to sleep, to beat writer's block, to get some creative ideas going in a head that is constantly full of far too many images and sounds.

So, this morning, with a pounding headache and a sore knee, I was sat at my desk and the boss phoned. She rattled on for about 20 minutes about a new project that needs my input. The project relates to career management and outplacement (redundancy support). I needed some creative ideas on how to put the masses of information we have into a structured format, to think about the visual presentation and the 'layers' of support we can provide.

So. Sitting at the computer, my head still pounding, I thought 'sod this for a game of soldiers' and went up to the boardroom on my own to try a bit of image streaming and see if I could unlock the creative juices (and defeat the headache).

No one else in the boardroom. I've got a flip chart and pens. I visualise the members of a fictitious team around me - Mabel from the shop floor (complete physical description appears in my head), Keith from marketing, Steve (troublemaker - I can see it in the way he's sitting), the big chap from the union, a couple of 'suits' and Hazel from HR.

What ensued was a complete meeting - virtual - that I 'imagined'. My cast was highly interactive, and came up with ideas that I wrote down on the flipchart (yes, I know it was all coming from my head, but it was useful to look at a problem from their perspectives). Steve, my imagined troublemaker, got up and gave me all the issues, the difficulties, the worries. It was, I have to say, like watching a film or dreaming with my eyes open.

I've not come up with a complete answer for the problems in how to present our information, but I do have some more ideas and creative paths to follow. Unfortunately it did not get rid of the headache.

Conculsion? Don't call the men in white coats just yet - I know what's real and what is not. But as an exercise in building characters (for writing) or in looking at a problem from other perspectives, it was very interesting indeed.
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