Making Ideas Happen : Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/15/2010
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover

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How the world's leading innovators push their ideas to fruition, time and time again. Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration. Ideas for new businesses, solutions to the world's problems, and artistic breakthroughs are common, but great execution is rare. According to Scott Belsky, the capacity to make ideas happen can be strengthened by anyone willing to build their organizational habits and harness the forces of community. That's why he founded Behance, a company that helps creative people and teams across industries develop these skills. Belsky has spent six years studying the habits of especially productive creative people and teams-the ones who make their ideas happen time and time again. After interviewing hundreds of successful creatives, he has compiled their most powerful-and often counterintuitive-practices, such as: •Generate ideas in moderation and act without conviction •Reduce all projects to just three primary components •Encourage fighting within your team •Seek competition and share ideas liberally In an increasingly flexible and entrepreneurial environment, creative minds have the opportunity (and responsibility) to solve and change industries-but they can only do that if they overcome the obstacles. While many of us obsess about discovering great new ideas, Belsky shows why it's better to develop the capacity to make ideas happen-a capacity that endures over time.

Author Biography

Scott Belsky is the founder and CEO of Behance, which operates the leading online platform for creative professionals, as well as the 99% Conference, a major annual symposium on execution in creative industries. Previously he helped grow the Pine Street Leadership Development Initiative at Goldman Sachs.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Making Ideas Happenp. 1
Making This Book Happenp. 4
Why Most Ideas Never Happenp. 8
The Forces That Make Ideas Happenp. 14
A Final Note as We Beginp. 18
Organization And Executionp. 21
The Competitive Advantage of Organizationp. 25
Your Approach to Organization and the Destiny of Your Ideasp. 26
The Action Method: Work and Life with a Bias toward Actionp. 30
Reconsider How You Manage Projectsp. 32
Breaking Projects into Primary Elementsp. 34
The Importance of Action Stepsp. 37
Maintaining a Backburnerp. 43
References are Worth Storing, Not Reveringp. 45
Practicing the Action Methodp. 49
Capture and Make Time for Processingp. 51
Prioritization: Managing Your Energy Across Life's Projectsp. 58
Keep an Eye on Your-Energy Linep. 58
Reconciling Urgent vs. Importantp. 61
Darwinian Prioritizationp. 67
Execution: Always Moving the Ball Forwardp. 70
Act Without Convictionp. 72
Kill Ideas Liberallyp. 75
Measure Meetings with Actionp. 78
The Biology and Psychology of Completionp. 81
The Tao of the Follow-upp. 84
Seek Constraintsp. 86
Have a Tempered Tolerance for Changep. 89
Progress Begets Progressp. 91
Visual Organization and Advertising Action to Yourselfp. 93
Mental Loyalty: Maintaining Attention and Resolvep. 98
Rituals for Perspirationp. 99
Reconsider Your Work Spacep. 102
Reduce Your Amount of "Insecurity Work"p. 104
The Forces of Communityp. 107
Harnessing The Forces around Youp. 111
The Dreamers, the Doers, and the Incrementalistsp. 112
Seldom Is Anything Accomplished Alonep. 116
Share Ideas Liberallyp. 120
Capitalize on Feedbackp. 124
Transparency Boosts Communal Forcesp. 128
Communal Forces Are Best Channeled in Circlesp. 131
Seek Competitionp. 135
Commit Yourself in Order to Commit Othersp. 138
Create Systems for Accountabilityp. 139
The Pressure of the Spotlightp. 140
The Power of the Networkp. 142
The Benefits of a Shared Work Spacep. 143
Seeking Stimulation from Serendipityp. 145
Pushing Ideas Out to Your Communityp. 147
Overcome the Stigma of Self-Marketingp. 148
Effective Self-Marketing Builds Respectp. 151
Find Your Own Frequency, Then Tune in to Engage Othersp. 155
Ground Your Ideas Outside Your Communityp. 158
Recognize When You Are No Longer a Solo Showp. 159
Leadership Capabilityp. 163
The Rewards Overhaulp. 167
Short-Circuiting the Rewards Systemp. 168
The Motivational Reward of Playp. 172
The Reward of Recognitionp. 175
The Chemistry of the Creative Teamp. 177
Engage Initiators in Your Creative Pursuitsp. 178
Cultivate Complementary Skill Setsp. 179
Provide Flexibility for Productivityp. 180
Foster an Immune System That Kills Ideasp. 183
Fight Your Way to Breakthroughsp. 184
Don't Become Burdened by Consensusp. 186
Managing The Creative Teamp. 190
Share Ownership of Your Ideasp. 191
Leaders Should Talk Lastp. 193
Judge and Be Judged Amidst Conflictp. 194
Develop others through the Power of Appreciationp. 195
Seek the Hot Spotsp. 199
Self-Leadershipp. 202
Find a Path to Self-Awarenessp. 203
Develop a Tolerance for Ambiguityp. 204
Capture the Benefits of Failurep. 206
Avoid the Trap of Visionary's Narcissismp. 207
Combating Conventional Wisdom with Contrarianismp. 209
Consider Yourself an Entrepreneurp. 211
Be Willing to Be a Deviantp. 213
Keep an Eye on the Backward Clockp. 214
The Love Conundrump. 216
An Opportunity and a Responsibilityp. 219
Acknowledgmentsp. 221
Tips for Practicing the Action Methodp. 225
The Purple Santa Experimentp. 227
Overview of the Behance Networkp. 231
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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