Robyn Koenig

Creativity doesn’t have to be elaborate or flashy, and it doesn’t have to be reserved for the “creatives” alone. Low-key creativity is the effortless, no-pressure strategy to get your brain working in an imaginative way with others.

Creativity doesn’t start in an email
Get those creative juices flowing with face-to-face interaction! The key to a collaborative environment is getting to know your coworkers on a personal level, away from the computer screen. Try kicking off a meeting with a quick creative exercise and have everyone share their piece with the team. Not only will this bring everyone some laughs, but it will start the meeting with high energy, ready to jump into a productive meeting.

Here’s an exercise our team tried in a recent meeting:
Each participant has a piece of paper with 30 blank circles on it and a pencil. Team members are challenged to fill in as many circles as possible in only three minutes. The aim being quantity, not quality.

Culture of creativity
Give every team member every creative opportunity and constantly promote a positive work environment and culture. Providing a creative and unique work space can improve company morale, and science shows that positive moods tend to promote those “a-ha” moments. So, bring a whiteboard and handful of candy to your next meeting (this always works for us).

Encouraging creativity doesn’t stop with our Bright Lights – we challenge you to complete the 30 circles exercise with your team and tag us on Facebook or Twitter with the photos. We can’t wait to see where their imagination takes them!

Shawn Nesaw

I sat down at my desk in my ergonomically correct desk chair with my laptop perched on top of its stand to begin writing this post. My fingers positioned on the keys, I stared at my computer screen. The words just weren’t coming.

My setting felt too formal for this particular task. So, I picked up my laptop and ran over to our beanbag room, repositioning myself in a comfy Dalmatian-print blob. The ideas started circulating as my mind entered a more relaxed domain. After some time, I landed on “the one” and began feverishly hashing it out.

But instead of hashing, I decided I needed to dribble. I stepped into the hallway and picked up our purple basketball, my idea transitioning from concept to concrete with every shot I took at the net hanging on the wall.

Our offices include various spots where team members can temporarily relocate, including our chill area with leather couches and punctuation mark pillows, our outdoor bar stool picnic table and our purple Adirondack chairs on the porch. Our MacBooks, Wi-Fi and Tervis Tumblers of coffee create the basis of the magic “Bright Light” solution for success, allowing us to create anywhere.

@MariaD_ABI enjoying a beautiful spring day on the ABI front porch.

Flexibility in our physical settings offers creative workspaces, which translate to the work we produce at A. Bright Idea. When we can physically change scenery, we’re much more likely to mentally readjust.

As a full-service agency, we support many different types of clients and varying projects. Sometimes we develop technical content, like descriptions of how a piece of technology works to destroy chemical weapons. Other times, we emulate Stephen King and make up a horror story for a haunted trail hosted by a nonprofit organization.

Based on the vibe or mood of the project, we prepare our minds to generate the appropriate ideas. Adapting our work space to the task at hand supports this preparation and acts as a green flag waving at the front of our brains, as if indicating approval for the ideas at the gate to set off.

We’re fortunate to have access to several buildings in our creative campus at our home base in Bel Air, while a second location sits on the edge of the tranquil Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen, California. Our surroundings set us up for success with inspiration galore!

Now that we’ve shared some of our flexible secrets, let us in on yours! What kinds of spaces do you find inspiration for your work?

Cari Ashkin

If A. Bright Idea had a middle name, ‘collaboration’ would’ve landed in bold, permanent marker on its birth certificate 20 years ago. An ever-evolving industry with continuously expanding offices, collaboration remains at our core, working together to bring the most unique and creative marketing solutions to our clients.

From Bel Air, Maryland to Sonoma, California, no task is completed alone. The hands and creative minds touching each project bring a unique twist to every piece produced, and it’s all because of the relationships we build within our office walls, or lack thereof.

The reality of it is this: some weeks, we spend more time with our coworkers than we do our own families. So, it’s simply inevitable that whether you see it as a blessing or a bad episode of the Brady Bunch, your colleagues become an extension of your family.

And while progressive, we’ve seen studies address whether open workspaces are actually beneficial when it comes to fueling creativity and developing a positive work culture among the team. Many argue open work environments are creatively limiting, as some feel discouraged by the idea of sharing authentic views and opinions because of the anticipated reaction from more experienced team members.

Open offices can act as a feeding ground for pet peeves. You hear every sniffle of your coworker’s cold, every last bite of your colleague’s lunch and sometimes, if you’re really lucky, your awareness of your desk mate’s every move becomes so heightened that you can practically hear them blink. At the end of the day, though, open workspaces allow strong and positive relationships to form between you and the very person who answered the phone at a record-breaking decibel just a few minutes ago.

So, when it comes to running a business or working for one with an open floor plan, it’s important to know the possibilities that can come as an added benefit, as long as you place yourself in the right mindset.

Our team bounced a few ideas off of our nonexistent cubical walls and determined the following pros far outweigh any cons. With an open workspace, you’re awarded the opportunity to:

  • Get to know your manager’s expectations
  • Share ideas with one another
  • Establish stronger bonds, leading to stronger collaboration
  • Understand the strengths of a diverse team
  • Support your colleagues
  • Find quick solutions
  • Become a team

At A. Bright Idea, we truly see one another as members of our family, and we welcome the idea of forming bonds to build trust – bonds which ultimately create the foundation for the creative work we produce. Only good can come from a work environment comprised of individuals on whom you can confidently depend to help your ideas flourish.


Placing the right mix of staff with diverse strengths and personalities helps cultivate this family mentality, and though we understand the concept may not serve the needs of every industry, business or organization, we view our open workspace as a key element in the formula for success.

What are your thoughts on open workspaces? Share with us in the comment section below!