Remember your last brainstorming meeting? Everyone at HQ gathered in a conference room and your colleagues in London, Sydney, and Tokyo dialed in to participate, right? A lot of notes were scribbled on the conference room whiteboard. Someone wrote them down and promised to send them in an email to everyone, but he missed a couple of design sketches. When that meeting was over, the next group walked into the conference room and erased everything you wrote on the board so they could use it for their meeting. Rinse and repeat. Let’s face it: creative work is inherently quite messy. That’s what makes it creative.
Guess what? You’re not alone. Businesses as a whole have trouble connecting this unstructured phase of work, that is, the free-form creative part, to the structured phase, the analytical, measurable, reproducible parts of the process. What’s more, there’s a transition between these phases of work that’s not really addressed by tools in the marketplace today. There’s a reason Gartner named “smart spaces” — physical or digital environments in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems — a top ten technology trend for 2019.
If you look at most of the tools we use, say Microsoft Office for documents or JIRA for development–or even Slack, for that matter–they’re all built around understanding and measuring a specific part of the work process and then measuring whether that part is successful or not. These tools are great, but a lot of the front-end, unstructured creative process gets lost before we even get to the structured phase. Let me explain what I mean:
The moment that a strategy for business success is born is a very free-form moment: It’s a moment where people are talking, maybe someone’s drawing or sketching on a whiteboard (like in the example above), or maybe two people are just chit-chatting over coffee and something sparks their interest. There’s nothing in those moments, where frankly the most valuable parts of business decisions are made, that enables us to capture the ideas that are generated on a whiteboard or on sticky notes and make sure they make it into the rest of the process. This space between the unstructured phase of work and the structured phase is where the true magic of collaboration happens. .
That’s what makes Bluescape so unique. It’s an open collaboration platform, or as we like to call it, a DVC (digital visual container), that makes sure that all the creative thought, all those innovative ideas, and all the whiteboard sketches and sticky notes make it across the divide into the measurable, structured part of the work process. We help people capture their imagination, their curiosity, their creativity and put all of that into a workspace where they can then develop and implement those ideas to create value for their company. Essentially, Bluescape makes the creative side of business measurable, which has never been done before.
You might be asking yourself, “Why hasn’t this problem been addressed already? It seems so obvious.” Well, what seems so very simple is really quite complicated. People have been trying to solve this problem for decades. That’s why I came to Bluescape. Everything I’ve ever worked on has pointed to an imminent transformation in the way people collaborate, communicate, and create together. Bluescape is building the platform I’d only been dreaming about. We are designing a product that captures those “a-ha” moments and carries them forward into tangible, actionable, meaningful materials inside the container–that never get erased when the next meeting comes in.
Stay tuned for the next article in my series about “structuring the unstructured.”
By Josh Ulm, Vice President of UX Design