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Speed Review: Making Ideas Happen

Speed Review: Making Ideas Happen

Speed Review: Making Ideas Happen

Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

by Scott Belsky

Today more than ever, creative minds have the opportunity to solve problems and even change the world — but only if they can overcome the common obstacles that plague the creative psyche, such as disorganization and perfectionism. While many of us focus on generating and searching for great ideas, Scott Belsky shows why it’s better to develop the capacity to make ideas happen — to execute.

Review

How Project Management Grows Your Creativity

Although creative people often have trouble turning their best new ideas into successful products and solutions, there are many smart techniques they can use to bring their most ambitious plans to the real world. Making Ideas Happen is the perfect book for anyone who wants to transform a great idea into a true innovation. In it, productivity expert Scott Belsky applies many of the latest strategies and tactics from project management to the creative process.

As the CEO and founder of a company that helps creative professionals become more productive, Belsky has worked with enough entrepreneurs, designers and other creative people to understand the common dilemmas they face. He also knows how to help them solve their problems and organize their work so it can reach its intended audience on time. In Making Ideas Happen, Belsky offers a vast collection of clever ideas for taking an innovation to fruition.

Inspiration and Perspiration

The most successful creative projects are always the result of more hard work than creative spark, Belsky explains. He is a firm believer in Thomas Edison’s words, "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." In other words, any real accomplishment is going to take more hard work than lofty ideas. Just because your idea is wonderful doesn’t mean it will propel itself to success. In Making Ideas Happen, Belsky divides that 99 percent of hard work into a few, easy-to-follow steps for transforming a bright insight into a successful creation. With these simple steps, creative people and their bosses can turn a brilliant new idea into a product or solution through a combination of organization, communal forces and the right leadership habits.

Action Steps

One of Belsky’s strategies for completing a creative project is his "Action Method." This method can help anyone organize the massive amounts of information required to execute a great idea. It is built on three steps that can be applied to any creative endeavor.

Action Steps make up the first part of Belsky’s plan. These are the specific actions you will need to complete to take your project forward. These include activities such as writing and sending an e-mail, making a phone call, posting a blog entry, paying a bill and so on. These actions are your prime focal points. Your list of these steps will be your most valuable tool when working on your project.

The second part of the Action Method approach is made up "references." These are the documents and things that serve as your reference points along the way to completion, such as sketches, notes, meeting minutes, progress reports, Web sites, handouts and anything else you might want to reference in the future. While Action Steps require action, your references will inform those actions.

The third part of Belsky’s project outline is made up of "backburner items." These items are the good ideas that might require some action in the future, but not yet. These ideas and initiatives can be saved for another day. The mission at hand right now is to complete more of those all-important Action Steps.

In Making Ideas Happen, Belsky describes how to develop and take the right steps so new ideas can be implemented faster and success can be reached sooner.

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