Welcome to design in confidence, hosted by me, Stefano Bellucci Sessa
I'm a creative coach, speaker, and facilitator, helping people in businesses, design innovative experiences, together.
"Design in confidence" is a podcast for designers, innovators, creative leaders or just anyone who wants to change.
I will share learning tips or reflections on how mindfulness and design can build, create confidence while managing mental health.
Today's episode is about the difference between creativity design and innovation.
Speaker 0 00:00:35
In confidence. I always felt a little bit confused by these terms, and making this distinction made me realize that for some projects I was in as creative as always, I wasn't design well, and I wasn't innovating as always.
And maybe this applies to you. I'm saying this, because in my experience, I've worked with amazing creatives, amazing designers and amazing innovators.
Even if, sometimes they didn't really match all these criteria.
And there happen even more when they actually didn't have in that job title one of these three words, because they were in "creatives", "designers", or "innovators".
And I realized how much these words actually exclude people from them.
And the reason why I want to clarify what they are is that I don't agree with this – I believe that whoever you are, you are creative, you already design, or you can innovate.
And understanding the differences between these three words can help you be more creative design, better and innovate with impact.
Speaker 0 00:01:45
So let's start with innovation. I know that you are innovative ,because innovation means changing a defined environment. And for "environment", I mean your diet, your life, your house, a process of your organization.
And Iit happened because of COVID – probably you have to change something in your life or in your career because of COVID.
Innovation is the act of changing an environment by adding or removing parts of it.
For example, the behaviors of people, the tools they use, or their relationships or other elements.
And I understand if you don't feel you're innovative. In confidence, I don't feel I've been innovative in my life before, because I tend to compare myself with what society labels as "innovative", which are radical examples of innovation: like Apple, Microsoft, or Google. They are labelled as "innovative" because they radically change a whole environment. Like in what happened to you too. though. For example, because you change house, you change country, or you change your diet, you became vegan, for example. But that type of innovation, requires a lot of creative confidence. So it's okay If you have only have the confidence to gradually innovate. For example, eating differently just one night per week or learning a new skill instead of changing your job.
So to gradually you're radical innovate, you need creative confidence.
So it's good that before I told you that you are already creative, right?
Let's look what that means.
Speaker 0 00:03:25
So why am I saying that you are creative?
In my life, I met a lot of people who told me, "I'm not creative", but they might have sounds like when I say that "I don't have any muscles".
We are on a podcast.
You cannot see me, but trust me:
I'm not made of flesh and bones.
I do have muscles.
Even if my body doesn't look like Arnold Schwarzenegger (I'm never sure how to pronounce that name).
But again, society usually labels people with muscles only that look like Schwarzenegger, or something like that .
That doesn't mean I don't have any muscles. The number of my muscles is the same or Arlo Schwarzenegger: he has bigger muscles. And that gives him the confidence to lift heavy things, while I have the confidence of... lifting less heavy things.
And it's the same, your creativity.
Because in society, we talk about creativity only with radical examples or extreme an examples of creativity. Like, again, AirB&B, Apple and Whatever.
But also the people are creative.
Creativity is not binary, it's a spectrum.
And just like with muscles, we may be really big, average or weak.
And just like the muscles, we can train them so that we can move across the spectrum, so that we can be more confident in challenging how things are done and explore new directions.
For example, being creative starts with asking to yourself "what if?".
For example, "what if I eat something different for dinner?".
And then according to the creative confidence that you have, you're going to explore different opportunities.
- "What if I go out for dinner?"
- "What if I order something different from the menu?
- "What if I learn a new recipe?"
- "What if I changed ingredients?"
- "Or... what if I just opened the fridge, and I look at all the ingredients I have, and I create a new recipe?"
Many times in society, we celebrate only the latter example of creativity, but the reality is that any project, any environment, any situation allows a different type of creativity.
Speaker 0 00:05:34
And that's okay.
In many projects, the team, and I had only the creative confidence to tweak only some parts of the experience.
Other times, to challenge multiple things about that project and bringing a software or a process that we'll use elsewhere in another company, for example.
And other times we had the creative confidence to change completely everything, develop new processes and create softwares from scratch.
And it's okay if you don't have this latter example of creative confidence.
Because the reality is that even if usually that is the one that gets celebrated, many times to innovate successfully, you need the other examples of creativity.
Just like with muscles.
Think about the athletes at the Olympics. They all have different types of body, different type of muscles. And some of them will not be as good if they had the "Arnold Schwarzenegger's body" because that requires a different type of body shape or different type of muscles.
And innovation is the same.
And what enables you to choose how much creative you need to be to successfully innovate is Design.
So it's good that before I told you that you can design, right?
Let's look at in detail.
Speaker 0 00:06:52
Creativity brings us to ask to ourselves "What if?", while design makes us ask to ourselves: "Why?" and "How?". And this helps us make choices. So then, with confidence, we can innovate.
It's important to understand that everything in our life is designed.
From the way we behave, from where we buy, to the tools that we use.
And also this time, the problem is that in many cultures we label as "design" only specific fields: like visual, advertising or fashion. But actually also in finance, resourcing, and many other roles, people make choices, or if why, and how something should change and something should happen.
So they're making design decisions.
And if you feel that you're not designing, in confidence, that happened to me too.
I really simple example is when I plan my weekend – or when I don't plan my weekend, because I get to Friday or Saturday, I didn't have planned anything.
So it feels like I didn't design my weekend because I didn't choose what to do. But actually, a design decision was made.
It was a design decision to not plan my weekend.
Not choosing is a choice. It's a design decision.
In confidence, the biggest moment of my career when I realized this is when I moved from being a junior to be a mid-weight. And that happened a few years after I graduated. When I was a university, there was someone that designed what I had to learn, what my goals were and what my development path was supposed to be.
And then, after a few years, I got into my first job.
I was really happy about it. And I stayed there for a lot of years.
I was learning. I was delivering, but I was in mindfully designing if, why, how and what I was learning and delivering, and how that was impacting on the future of my career.
Speaker 0 00:08:50
And that happens to organizations too. They deliver, and it goes well. But then they don't design what the employees need to learn, how the company needs to grow. So then in future, it does impact their negative way on their performance.
So if everyone designs, well, why are some of the things not designed well?
That, because making decisions o if, why, and what needs to change comes with many risks, and being able to forecast understand the mitigate risks is not easy.
Unless, you will have specific knowledge and experience in managing those risks. And that's why we should be open to collaborating with those roles and people that are experts in those methodologies and tools that give them, and so us, the creative confidence to manage those risks and explore new opportunities.
And remember that I call them "designers", even if you don't use layouts and colour theory, but all the tools and methodologies that help making choices, they help making design decisions, like:
- who should be in the project?
- how much budget they should have?
- when people are supposed to work?
- how to provide good customer support?
And all those decisions that make sure we can innovate successfully, while managing risks.
Speaker 0 00:10:23
So, to sum up:
- "Innovation" is when you change an environment,
- "Creativity" is how confident you are in changing things and exploring new opportunities
- "Design" helps you make choices of if, why, and how things should change. So that you do it with purpose, mindfully, and while mitigating risks.
And it's okay if this process is going to be challenging, because innovation comes with a lot of unknowns, uncertainties and risks.
That's why we need to take care of our mental health, with design and mindfulness.
And that's why I'm making this podcast for you.
Like this one about labels, that I hope helps you understand how much these labels are misused in society and how, maybe, they made you feel excluded.
Which are not, because you are creative, you design, and you can innovate.
That's what I believe – and I hope you believe that too.
I believe that you can design your confidence.
Yes, I do like puns.
Visit designinconfidence.com (this time without the G).
There, you can see how to contact me, and also find links to relevant resources and people I've found inspiring for this, and other talks.
There, you might see that sometimes I do thank some of my former or current employees, but remember that, whatever I say here does not represent them.
And if you found this inspiring, please leave a review and share this podcast.
Tell people why you think this podcast helped your creative confidence. And use it as an opportunity to become someone else's safe space to talk about these topics, and to find support in building their creative confidence.
Because if you've got this far, I'm sure you're a great listener – which I thank you for. And now, it's time for me to shut up – so that you can listen to your thoughts after this episode. And remember to thank yourself for the time you spent to learn and grow.