Creative Director, Ben Jett
Curiosity is key to getting at the heart of something; always asking why, looking around the corner or just beyond the surface. It’s also a catalyst for discovering the surprises buried in a project’s background – when you come across something totally unexpected and curiosity makes you say, ‘Wow, that’s really cool. I’d better follow that!’
That’s why we start every project with a Strategic Workshop. It’s the primary planning tool we use to structure the initial strategy conversation we’ll have with every client, and curiosity is the cornerstone. At the Strategic Workshop, we invite different perspectives to the table, some affiliated closely with the project or topic and some not. This could be current and past staff members, executive groups, volunteers and community leaders. We do this for two reasons. First, it’s a move to create energy and momentum and say, ‘Hey team: we’re really doing this thing! Let’s think together. Let’s imagine together.’ Second, it’s to explore a story with those who know it best and those people with a unique stake in the project: ‘What does this story mean to you – why does it matter? Who doesn’t know about it, and why not? Let’s convert your passion and knowledge into a destination where all visitors can take part.’
Our end goal is to engage deeply with a story and place so we can then engage as wide and diverse of an audience as possible in the final experience.
At the outset of planning for our new headquarters, the Strategic Workshop resulted in ideas like the “creative floor” where design, writing and translation work spaces are open and flow into each other, creating a space that facilitates the needs of our cross-discipline team and leaves room for spontaneous acts of prototyping and creative collaboration to spark new ideas.
The Strategic Workshop did for us just what it does for our clients – it offered a structured and enjoyable vessel for effective ideas that gave us the foundation and perspectives we needed to create an exciting and engaging environment.
“Make time to understand your organization’s point of view on the world; how you think, what you believe and not only what you want to communicate to people, but how you want to communicate it. Invest in yourself and your team with initial planning sessions, talk with experts for guiding advice, and visit others’ destinations and institutions to see what might work for you.”
Ben Jett, Creative Director at Solid Light, lives in Louisville with his wife Grace and their twin son and daughter. When he’s not sketching concepts and helping clients spark new ideas, you can find him endlessly browsing Netflix, building Lego sets, or making baking soda volcanoes with his kids.