Book Review: Making Ideas Happen
My latest review was highly recommended by a friend, Andy Brazelton recommended Making Ideas Happen, by Scott Belsky. He is the founder and CEO of Behance and this book focus’ on bringing organizational skills into the realm of the creative professional. I believe youth ministers are in this realm of creative professionals and they seem to suffer the same organizational dysfunction that many other creative ideas happen.
Belsky identifies the creative mind as 1% of the process, that is 1% of bringing an idea to market is in the mind of the creator. (Just think of how many ideas have come and gone from your mind without ever acting on them.) The other 99 percent is aimed at the organizational and intellectual processes to make these ideas happen.
While I believe that this method is pretty good, as a career social worker I know that one method doesn’t fit all. However, I think this is one method that many creative people (read youth workers) can take on and utilize. If not in whole, then at least in part.
The Action Method is the theme of this book. It is everything that compels motion in a project. Action steps are those things that someone is ASSIGNED to do. (Without assignment it never gets done). References are tools and resources that are needed to be on hand for particular steps in this method. Backburner Items are those “Good Ideas” that come along that may not fit into this process at a particular moment. These are often distractions that need to be tabled and looked at later. If the creative mind follows the backburner items all day, they just chase rabbit trails to infinity and beyond.
Across projects the action method helps keep multiple balls in the air and works to help teams focus on priorities. From things that need to happen now, to those things that need to be done over the next few weeks, months and so on.
The main crux that most fall into, especially creatively minded people is to have a good idea, only to move on to the next one (and next one) without ever implementing them. Without mental loyalty (99) you can’t get stuff done. Roy Spence (Chairman of GSD&M Ad agency: Southwest, Walmart, Dont mess with Texas are his companies ads) is quoted about his stick to it attitude:
The one thing that will out-trump everything is just to out-work the B@stards. You’ve got to outwork them, out think them and out passion them, but what a thrill.
There are many excellent points in this book, like his discussion on dreamers and doers and the value of each. He also labels some incrementalists (middle road) who seem to dream for a while, then push. They can be intolerant of both, but often come up with the greatest output of solid ideas.
I’d recommend this book highly to anyone to improve their organizational skills.