Living with this 'Normal' Provides a Positive Creative Environment

Living with this 'Normal' Provides a Positive Creative Environment

I think of myself as a ‘Creative’ - somebody who makes a living from creating new things that have value to my company. There are millions of Creatives out there, you almost certainly know somebody in some field who fits into this category; so it always surprises me when people misunderstand the creative process so badly.

One of the most frequent misapprehensions about the creative process is that it happens best without constraints; a free-form, blue-sky, anything-goes sort of environment that somehow results in the production of something new. In the vast majority of circumstances this just isn’t the case, quite the contrary, creatives need constraints within which the creative process can thrive. I think of it as my framework, the parameters that I can push against but I’m not allowed to work outside of. The stronger and clearer the framework the easier it is for me to understand what my design can, and can’t, include - and in the whole of my long working life I can’t remember a more clearly defined framework of constraints that has been presented by the pandemic.

We live and work in a radically different set of environments to those which were familiar before Covid19. This means that anybody designing anything that is to be used, consumed or experienced in those environments has to recognise the very strict framework with which their design needs to exist. Once the shock of ‘how different this framework looks’ has passed then we creatives can get to work, initially exploring the limits of the framework, then beginning to work within it to create the new content and products that will fit within it. We develop new mantras like “No face-to-face contact” “Work with what the on-line environment will allow you to do” and “On-line time is not real-time” and repeat them constantly as a backdrop to our work. We have conversations that lead to experiments that result in prototypes and then test-group sessions. Finally we hold something up and proudly say “This is new, and here’s what it will do”.

Sometimes these new things will prove to be better that what we had before, that’s certainly been part of the feedback we’ve had about creating on-line versions of some of RSVP Design’s best selling learning tools. Sometimes they are the best we can achieve working within the constraints imposed on us - some exercises we have had to admit just won’t work if we can’t be face-to-face and hands-on. But, looking at this situation positively, this pandemic world has a whole raft of newly recognised interpersonal issues that need to be addressed by learning and development professionals, and many of these professionals are looking to Creatives to develop tools and solutions that they can use as part of their offering.

I think we’re responding well. We’re getting used to our new design framework, and that means we’re accelerating the rate at which we’re introducing new tools and ways for our customers to interact with us:

We've just launched our new International website. See

We’re deploying our on-line tools on a purpose built platform ( ) that works effectively with all of the familiar conferencing platforms like Zoom, Meet and MSTeams……

We’re ramping up the on-line demo’s of our learning tools, making it easy to try-before-you-buy. See 

We’re doing bespoke design for clients around the world, crafting solutions to their specific needs and helping them structure these solutions for internal delivery to their employees and members (get in touch if you want to learn more as we can't publicise these)

Dr. Geoff Cox

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