"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." "The adage has been used in countless ways since the early 1900s, and it’s still the best way I know to describe the challenge of critiquing creative work. What it means to me is, we’re using the wrong language, but it’s all we have."
IDEO went in search of a common language to describe and critique creative excellence. After much deliberation they settled on:
They then created a card with questions to provoke thought about each. For example, the Bravery card poses the questions:
- Does the work, and the team, embody risk taking?
- Did the work introduce a new perspective, or inspire an organization to change?
- Will the world remember this decades from now?
So instead of stumbling around for words to describe why a design doesn't quite feel right, you might say "it's not brave enough."
It took me several re-reads to buy into their concept, but now I find myself seeing all kinds of kinds of business applications for this deck of cards from strategic planning, to product development, to workplace design, and beyond.