Creative ideation: A head full of ideas

Creative ideation: A head full of ideas

I’ve always felt energised and excited when I’m able to find solutions that others cannot, and am always coming up with new ideas. During my time working for a major gaming company, some opportunities did arise that made me realise that I need to work in a creative environment. There was once a competition to design new cards for our online CCG – most people came up with 1-2 cards, some had 3… I had over 90! One of my cards did make it into the game, albeit unofficially, which is awesome! I’ve also won caption competitions, and have terrible puns for almost every occasion.

During my time as a customer service agent, my creative output was more focused due to the nature of the work. One of the main contributions I made at work was the conceptualisation and design of a translation channel, including the mechanics behind it that would allow it to be used easily and efficiently by all employees. Historically, translation requests (typically of player chat logs or names) were sent via email, which could become lost in a sea of similar emails. There was also no way of knowing whether a given request had been fulfilled or not without unnecessarily sending the solution or a status report to the whole department.

Using group chat software, I created a translation channel to resolve these issues and allow for a quicker turnaround on translation requests. I realised that the custom alert option could notify multilingual employees if they used their second language as a keyword for notifications. For example, a French speaker would add ‘french’ as a keyword in the channel and would then receive an alert if someone asked for a French speaker, and so on. This had the advantage that requests came through quickly, only to people who could resolve the issue, and the solutions were also public so others could improve their working knowledge of foreign terms that were inappropriate for our games. The channel is still in daily use, and has received positive feedback at all levels.

I’m a polyglot myself – I even successfully completed my Mensa admission test in French – so this also helped me to come up with the solution, as I knew how I could be notified more effectively.

As a lifelong ideator, my creativity isn’t limited to a single field, either – I joined a site named Mindsumo, where companies offer prizes for ideas, and received the top prize of $550 for my design of a safer battery. I came up with my design by using my working knowledge of chemistry, as I really enjoyed the subject at school. I’ve been awarded additional cash prizes for placing highly in other creative challenges on the site.

Similarly, at the age of 10-12, I was able to remove a stone that had been wedged into the lock of my mother’s car door – this would usually have required a mechanic, but I reasoned that a diamond-tipped glass engraving tool she owned would abrade the stone effectively – and it did.

Digital project management appeals to me as a way to harness my creative insights and see my ideas come to fruition. It’s also a way to remain close to the gaming industry, where I spent many enjoyable years. I got my first taste of managing a project during the Dragon Challenge, which I discuss in my case study.

I’m always thinking of new ways to do things and ways to improve on existing products, methods and skills – as I always say, if you feel some of my ideas aren’t what you’re looking for, or have feedback, please let me know – I’ll always have more!