Creativity isn’t for sissies. It’s hard work, and for those who live and die by creativity, it’s not about inspiration, it’s about routine. The best writers, filmmakers, and other artists I’ve ever met were literally slaves to routine – a regularly scheduled time to
I’m fortunate to be friends with a lot of highly creative writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers. But a significant number never realize their full potential, and in fact, never actually finish many projects. It baffled me for awhile, but then after years of observing them, I discovered the problem:
If you’re a creative person, at some point you’ll find a boss, investor, studio, or colleague who rejects your ideas. Sometimes it will happen so often you’ll start to question your own ability, and wonder if you’re really creative at all. In these moments (which will definitely come) my advice is:
A large organization needed to hire an web-design agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another web design company he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision. However,
I attend a lot of meetings, and although 90% of them are unnecessary, I realize the remaining few can be incredibly important. Pitching an idea, making a presentation, networking, coaching, leading a team, getting project updates and more, usually need meetings in order to happen. But in far too many cases, most of us would admit to massive meeting failure. You don’t get that important job, your creative idea is turned down, you’re outvoted, or
I was thinking recently about the differences between an “artist” and a “artisan.” An artisan is good at what he or she does. They’re gifted and often brilliant. But an “artist” changes the conversation. They force us to see or do something in a different way, forever altering our view of the world. A few years ago, Kathleen and I were in Milwaukee visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum. (Great museum by the way). They were
When it comes to brainstorming and creative teams, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com says to keep them small. Usually, when I’m involved in creative meetings with clients, most organizations want 20-30 people in meetings and that’s just too large and unproductive a group to work. With a smaller group of key people, you don’t waste a lot of time and man hours on bad ideas. Plus, like a herd of cats, large creative teams are simply too unwieldy to manage well. Small groups move faster and are more nimble. The perfect number?
Most creative teams are going to have at least one member who’s a whiner. Whiner’s focus on the negative, and thrive on complaining – often about the most insignificant things you can imagine. According to the Wall Street Journal, research indicates that productivity can be damaged by working alongside a chronic complainer. Exposure to non-stop negativity can disrupt learning, memory, attention, and judgement. The problem is more widespread than you think, because