I love the idea of an inspiration board – a tactic often used by fashion designers, stylists and interior decorators to inspire them and keep them focused on a particular product or project. Very popular when planning weddings at the moment, apparently. Basically you take any visual medium (usually a physical board but it can be virtual) and you use it to pin a collection of visual references of anything you find compelling or inspirational that will help you deliver a goal, complete a project or generate ideas. Whenever you see something that would work on your inspiration board, cut it out and pin it up – pictures from magazines, headlines from newspapers, photographs, tickets, letters, fabrics, patterns, drawings, colours – anything that means something and which has a connection with what you’re trying to achieve. Before long you’ll start to see connections between images that will offer inspiration and stimulate creative thinking. Inspiration boards are great for project teams trying to focus on a challenging goal or for new teams building consensus around a vision. They can act as a focal point for the team, by providing a very visual articulation of the end-product or the spirit the team is trying to portray. I also think they can be really engaging – not just for the team but for the rest of the office. There are no rules to creating an inspiration board so let your creativity run riot. Encourage team members to think laterally. If your project is about new ways of working, look for images or visual indicators that convey a message of freshness or transformation. Pin up images that remind you of previous successful business or personal changes, display prompts to help you focus on the key themes of the project and use visuals that motivate. Make it big, make it colourful and make it inspirational.
If your team has an inspiration board, I’d love to see it and find out how it’s gone. Please let me know.