August 30, 2010 Tony Morgan

Making Ideas Happen

I recently finished reading Making Ideas Happen, the new book from Scott Belsky, founder and CEO of Behance. Here are the highlights from my reading:

  • “It turns out that ‘having the idea’ is just a small part of the process, perhaps only 1 percent of the journey.”
  • “Most ideas are born and lost in isolation.”
  • “Organization is the guiding force of productivity; if you want to make an idea happen, you need to have a process for doing so.”
  • “Without some structure, you can become an addict of the brain-spinning indulgence of idea generation.”
  • “The process of excessive note taking actually interferes with the bias toward action that is necessary for a productive creative environment.”
  • “You must be willing to kill ideas liberally–for the sake of fully pursuing others.”
  • “Leaving a meeting without anything actionable signifies that the meeting was just an information exchange and should have taken place over e-mail.”
  • “It turns out that constraints–whether they are deadlines, budgets, or highly specific creative briefs–help us manage our energy and execute ideas… our productivity desperately requires restrictions.”
  • “While we all have different insecurities, most of us share a common approach to dealing with them: we seek information to make our anxiety go away.”
  • “Any project that’s run by a single person is basically destined to fail. It’s going to fail because it doesn’t scale. If one of my projects can’t attract a team, I pretty much figure that there’s something wrong with it.” –Chris Anderson, Wired magazine’s editor in chief
  • “You need to work with people who ask the difficult, practical questions that are frustrating but important when pushing ideas forward.”
  • “We fall short of fully empowering others because we don’t want to compromise the quality (or control) of our ideas.”
  • “You are the steward of the chemistry in every project you lead, starting with who and how you hire.”
  • “Cynics cling to their doubts and are often unwilling to move away from their convictions. By contrast, skeptics are willing to embrace something new–they are just wary and critical at first. Thought they are often undervalued, skeptics are an essential component of a healthy team, and leaders should cultivate their respect and influence.”
  • “The leaders of great creative teams value the friction that results when opinions vary among a passionate group of creative minds.”
  • “Teams should not strive for complete consensus at the outset of a project. After all, consensus-driven teams run the risk of settling on what offends no one and satisfies no one.”
  • “Leadership is not about making people do things. Leadership is about instilling a genuine desire in the hearts and minds of others to take ownership of their work on a project.”
  • “As long as the desired outcome is achieved, controlling how it is achieved shouldn’t be that important to you.”
  • “We should be wary that ‘best practices’–the tried and true ways of doing thing–often become conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is often wrong.”
  • “Most entrepreneurs will admit that the value of having a masterful business plan is overrated. What matters most is your ability to keep moving and pushing your ideas forward, yard by yard.”
  • “The uncharted path is the only road to something new.”

I think you’ll be challenged by Scott’s writing. Here’s my Amazon link if you’d like to pick up your own copy of Making Ideas Happen.

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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