先“除舊”再“創新”

譯者按:春節馬上就要到了。我們總說“除舊迎新”。在設計創新的過程中,“除舊”就顯得尤為重要。本文闡述了作為工業設計師,我們如何經常性地鏟除“舊”的思維定勢,來騰出空間給未來創新設計。祝各位讀者新春愉快!

我們的生活和設計創新都像是一個花園。他們都需要盡心培育和澆灌。把種子撒在土里不管不問,種子是不會茁壯生長的。健康的植物需要施肥,盡心呵護。鏟除雜草是維護這個花園健康的重點之一。在設計創新中,需要我們有敏感的眼光和持續不斷的清理雜質行動。我們在過往的創意過程中,給自己填進去很多創意想法和靈感,但是這些想法和靈感越積越多,我們很少花時間和精力去清理腦子里的這些殘渣。我們怎么樣才能去掉腦子里過時的東西,想法和俗套呢?

要“清理”思想應該先從自己的夢想開始。我們有沒有看看是否我們的當年“夢想”現在看來還是那么重要?這里舉一個我自己親身的例子。當我還是青年設計師的時候,我的整個夢想就是坐進設計總監的大辦公室。這是我那時候認為的所謂 “成功”。我覺得達到這個高度就是證明我的能力。我從此為我的夢想努力追逐。我記得我還研究了那些“高層”領導的辦公室。他們都有寬大的辦公桌,厚厚的地毯,舒服的椅子和古董畫掛在墻上。所以,我記下來并夢想我的辦公室就像那樣。終于這一天來到了,我達到了我認為的事業目標-坐進了這樣的大辦公室。可是當我坐進辦公室的第一感覺是很奇怪和別扭,開始我以為是需要整理一下辦公室,也許是風水不對。我按照風水調整了辦公室的擺設,但還是感覺別扭。最后明白了,作為設計師(或者設計管理者),這種豪華的總裁辦公室根本不適合我。根本無法在這樣的辦公室里進行創意和設計。后來找到一個機會,我趕快處理掉這堆高檔家具,搬回到我從前的寬松的設計辦公環境。當我在追逐我的“夢想”的道路上, 我從未考慮過我的夢想是不是還很重要。我根本沒有覺察到,我的實際需求和想要的東西其實早已經改變了。我只是盲目地追尋著一個沒有太大意義的夢想。因此,我們需要經常地反思一下我們以前的夢想。是不是有更好的夢想來替換呢?就如花園一樣, 時不時鏟除雜草,讓花園健康成長。

我的朋友,漢尼斯(Hannes Seeberg)是一個思考全面的設計師。他來自愛沙尼亞。他的創意如泉涌一般。他是一個很棒的策劃和創意思考者。 我們經常交換思想來探索一些共同感興趣的思考問題。他告訴我,在他為即將出生的女兒做準備的時候,他領悟到去除舊的東西是一種境界。他稱為“減法創新”(Exnovation),越過增量創新到達了減量創新的狀態。如果我們說創新是增加新東西,那么應該有一個過程叫去除和清理舊東西。這來自于他對拉丁詞語的前綴后綴詞的啟示。他發現“減法”(EX)比“加法”(In) 在創新過程中更有意義。他還建議我們思考一個題目 “減法創新”(Exnovation)和它的意義。漢尼斯闡述“減法創新”(Exnovation)就是去除心靈雜質。就像清理壁櫥一樣。過一段時間,你需要打包或扔掉一些舊東西,給新的思想騰出空間。這就像佛家講的“去除雜念”。我可以看到這是好的但是我自己還不能達到這種境界。我的雜念太多了。有時候我都恨自己。所以,清除雜念和那些先入為主的概念是讓自己前進的關鍵之一。如果我不能卸除身體上包袱,也許我可以先去除心里的。

再分享一個有意思的故事。如果我和達芬奇可以對話,我會問他什么是文藝復興。他也許會給我這樣一個故事。© 設計在線.中國

你在一艘船上,帶著所有的家當。船要沉了。你怎么辦?你必須開始扔掉船上的東西。但是,船還在繼續下沉。還需要扔掉更多的東西。但是,船繼續下沉。這時候,你就開始考慮什么東西對你來說重要,但同時船繼續下沉。最后你扔掉所有東西,只留下對你來說最有價值的。但是,你還是要扔掉這些最有價值的東西,否則船還要沉掉。達芬奇會說:“這就是文藝復興。”所以,想象這船上的東西就是我們既往的舊的想法。時不時的我們需要來一次清理和重新開始。這就是東方哲學里稱的“頓悟”-一種去除舊的想法,開始產生新的想法的瞬間。從這個時候開始,我們達到了一個新的境界。全新的階段開始了。因此,要達到新的思想境界,我們需要去除舊的包袱。

另一個例子是我的朋友和同事,Frank告訴我的。這個特別適合我居住的美國佛羅里達。為了保持游泳池的水質,我們定期的往泳池內添加化學藥劑來平衡水質。但是,他說:“你不斷的往游泳池里倒化學藥水來平衡水質,終究有一天,你要把這些被化學藥水調配了無數次的“臟”水都排掉啊。”

頓問帶來的快感把你達到一個新的境界。所有以前的思維里的包袱都清楚干凈。瞬間,我們享受這種興奮的體驗同時掃除掉以前舊的思維定勢。

細心培育思想的“花園”是一個設計創新的關鍵但是經常被人們忽略。它包括減法創新。去除舊的東西。它還包括反向推理。預測下面要發生的。用你現有的和所知的東西,來預知接下來要做的。沒有事情是孤立的。萬事存在聯系。探索每個解決方案會催生出新的想法和機會。然后我們周而復始的在探索中發現新東西。

希望我們回到或者到達一個新的境界。這個過程在自我重復的過程。當我接到一個設計項目,我會問自己對于這個項目,接下來是什么?想象一下,就像一個賽車手,全速駕駛進入彎道。他總是在預測接下他會面對的狀況是什么。所以的剎車和減檔 (擯除以前的思想)的操作必須在進入彎道以前完成。當達到彎道轉彎的頂點的時候,立即全速推進。當沖出彎道的一剎那,刺激和急速沖出的加速感讓你興奮不已。如果沒做好,那就倒霉啦!同樣設計創新也是一樣。清楚地知道什么在你的前面,并細心照料創新思想是非常重要的。在去除舊東西之后,才有多余的空間給你創新的空間。這就是我說的,“除舊”后再“創新”。

最后,一些建議:© www.jrujao.cn

  1. 時不時的去掉一些舊的思維。向前進行,不斷更新你的目標。
  2. 倒空腦袋里的舊創意。倒掉舊的精神包袱。
  3. 注意接下來要發生的。
  4. 總是 往前看什么在你的面前。
  5. 不斷前進。(笑話)如果最近沒有什么新想法產生,看看你自己還有沒有心跳,也許你已經死掉了。

作者:柯雷斯頓 (Bruce Claxton) 翻譯:葛衛華 (Weihua Ge)


Innovation and Nurturing?Ideas

By Bruce Claxton
Translated by Weihua Ge

Our lives, ideas and creativity are like gardens. They all require nurturing. Things don’t grow when planted and then left to their own. Healthy plants need fertilizer, and care. Removing weeds are critical to the good health of the garden. It takes a watchful eye and constant monitoring to avoid weeds from taking over. There needs to be constant removal of stuff that gets blown in from the air around us. A lot of time is spent on the feeding of ideas and inspiration, less on clearing out mental debris! How do we get rid of outdated thinking and expectations? Did we check recently on whether our dreams are relevant?

Here’s an experience I’d like to share. As a young professional, I was enamored by the achievement of a big corner office. That was success. I knew that those that arrived at that level had proven themselves to be leaders. I went about pursuing that dream. I would study the offices we would meet in with senior leaders. They all have the big wooden desk, deep carpet, nice chairs, and art on the wall. So, I noted that and went about working towards achieving that goal of being in an office like that as a result of achievement. One day I had arrived at that point in my career where I was entitled to the big corner office, with the nice desk, chairs and artwork. At first the office felt strange, I thought it was poorly organized and lacked feng shui that would be appropriate for me. I re arranged the office according to the guidelines of feng shui. It still wasn’t working for me. It was because the entire executive office wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t useful or functional the way I worked! When I got the opportunity, I obsoleted the furniture and went to a flexible office plan with rolling tables, white boards and a more functionally creative space. It became a design playground, much more useful and fun.

Unwittingly, I had pursued a dream and never questioned it along the way to see if it was still relevant.

My needs and desires had changed, and I hadn’t checked in on it. I blindly pursued a worn out dream.

Did anything change along the way to consider replacing earlier dreams with even better ones? How do our gardens grow? Watch them and update your aspirations as you go. Check in on yourself from time to time.

Hannes Seeberg is a very thoughtful designer from Estonia. He oozes creativity! He is an amazing thinker about strategy and innovation. We exchange ideas from time to time and stretch our mutual thinking. As he prepared for the birth of his daughter, he wondered about cleaning out old stuff that was in the way and he made the jump to innovation and exnovation. If innovation was about adding what’s new, then there should be a component of taking away and clearing out old stuff. This came from a brief journey he took into latin prefixes and suffixes. He found the prefix ‘ex’ as compared to ‘in’ when discussing innovation. He suggests we think about the title, Exnovation and what that means.

Exnovation according to him is about clearing out mental debris. It’s like cleaning a closet. Every once in awhile you need to throw away old clutter and baggage in order to allow room for new ideas and opportunities. This is like the beauty of Buddhist monks living a very basic life with minimal clutter. I can see the elegance in that but can’t bring myself to go there. My background is way too wrapped around the physical. Sometimes I hate that. So, clearing the brain and preconceived notions is very necessary in order to move on. If I can’t get there with my physical stuff, maybe I can be more diligent with the mind!

There’s an interesting story that I’d like to share.

Imagine I could have a talk with Leonardo da Vinci. I would ask him what a renaissance is. He would tell the following story;

You’re in a boat with all your life’s possessions. The boats is sinking. What do you do? You begin to throw things overboard. The boat is still sinking. More things go over the side. The boat continues to sink. Now you’re getting to things that really matter to you… and the boat continues to go down. Finally you’re down to the end of ‘stuff’ that is the most valued to you. The boat will sink unless you throw them over as well. They have to go. Everything. Leonardo would say, “Thats a renaissance!” So imagine those are our preconceived ideas in life. From time to time we need to clear out the mental baggage and start over. It’s also a Satori. The moment when all preconceived ideas are washed away and new coding begins. From there on, we create an entirely new reality. It’s fresh and exciting.

So, to get to a brand new place of thought, we need to clear all of our old baggage.

Another way of putting it was from one of my younger colleagues and friends, Frank Tyneski and this fits Florida very well. He said, “You keep putting chemicals in the pool over and over trying to balance the chemistry, and finally at times you just have to drain that sucker!”

Having a Satori is to enjoy the euphoric thrill of having your thinking go to a new place. All previous mental baggage has been cleared. For just a moment, we have an exciting aha experience. It comes with excitement and insight wiping away all previous mental code on a topic.

Nurturing is a key piece of creativity and innovation that is not discussed too often. It includes exnovation. Weed out the old stuff. It includes abductive reasoning; anticipating what’s next. Take what you have just completed and what you know, and have a clear view of what to do next. Nothing stands alone. Everything we do is on a continuum. Every solution breeds another pass at an opportunity. Then we return to a discovery phase all over again.

Hopefully we return or arrive at this place with all new vision. The process repeats itself. When I’m working on a project, I ask what’s next. Race car driving is like that. You look out ahead and down the road past the curve. You anticipate what is beyond what is in front of you. All of your braking ( getting rid of previous thinking ) and down shifting is done before the curve. When you hit the apex of the curve you should be in full throttle! What excitement and a rush to have the feel of all the acceleration working for you as you come out of the turn or changes in your life! You screw this up, you die. It’s the same with innovation. Knowing what’s beyond and nurturing it is very critical. Removing excess before all this happens gives you the room for what’s new. Exnovate then innovate!

Some guidelines.

  1. From time to time get rid of old thinking. Move on. Refresh your goals.
  2. Empty the pool from time to time. Clear out old mental baggage!
  3. Watch out for what’s next.
  4. Look beyond what is right in front of you.
  5. Keep moving. It has been said that if you haven’t had a new idea recently, check your pulse, you might be dead.