Idea People

May 18, 2010

“Organization is the guiding force of productivity; if you want to make an idea happen, you need to have a process for doing so.” ~ Scott Belsky, Making Ideas Happen

Part of my final graduation requirement was to complete a senior research project, so I asked several of my friends who work in creative industries to participate in a study designed to identify what helps them be the most creatively productive at work.

It was a small study, but there were several trends that I thought were very interesting. I consider each of the people who participated to be very creative; however, they had each learned how to craft their own processes – their own constraints – so that they could channel their creativity into productivity.

Nearly all of them listed administrative tasks as a major inhibitor at work, but they also stated that the ability to manage their time/location/environment/tasks according to their own preferences helped them be more productive. In other words, being able to control the process – the how – helped them get things done.

When I asked about the specific, unique skills they had developed to help them be more creative and productive at work, nearly all of them listed some form of a task/time/environment management technique. For some of them, it was strategically planning off-site work time with in-office work time. For others, the skill they felt helped them most was time management. None of the approaches they talked about were textbook approaches; instead, the participants had found ways to address common issues in their own unique way.

We all have a creative process – a way that we generate ideas and bring an idea into fruition. But sometimes we place too much emphasis on being and staying inspired rather than on finding ways to make our ideas happen. We need to develop our own unique action processes, too. Management gurus call this the art of execution.

I’m currently reading a book by Scott Belsky (of titled Making Ideas Happen. I’m excited that someone has a resource out there to help creatives become action people that is more than just a new productivity model, and I look forward to sharing more with you as I, too, venture out on this journey to become someone who makes ideas happen.

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