Reframing Creative Constraints: Firestarters in NYC

Creative work increasingly requires doing more with less—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

At the second Firestarters event in NYC, we brought together smart thinkers from inside and outside the ad world to share how they framed their creative constraints and turned them into advantages. About 200 strategists and planners came to Google’s office to hear what the panel had to say.

The discussion centered around A Beautiful Constraint, the new book from renowned planners Adam Morgan and Mark Barden. In just 15 minutes, the duo explained the 3 core concepts at the heart of their work:
  • Ask Propelling Questions. To get to the Propelling Question, you must ask yourself: What is the biggest ambition you have, and what are the limitations that keep you from achieving it?
  • Engage in Can-If Thinking. This means framing answers to your Propelling Questions in a specific way. Instead of beginning every sentence with "we can't do that because..." you’re forced to start with: “We can do that if..."
  • Create Abundance. Essentially, look around to see what resources are available and where your strengths lie. What unlimited resources can you put to work?
These three steps are meant to take creatives out of habitual behaviors and lead to bold, unconventional thinking. On Think with Google, read more more about the Firestarters event in NYC and learn how to turn creative constraints into advantages.