Developing Your Creative Rhythm

A lot of leader conversations I’m having these days center around the concepts of innovation, creativity, and ideation. The past two days’ posts here and here dealt with the concepts found in the book “The Idea Hunter.” Continuing in the same vein but with a little different focus is the book “The Accidental Creative” by Todd Henry.

The author’s quote from the book flap sets the stage perfectly:

“You go to work each day tasked with (1) inventing brilliant solutions that (2) meet specific objectives by (3) defined deadlines. If you do this successfully, you get to keep your job. If you don’t, you get to work on your resume. The moment you exchange your creative efforts for money, you enter a world where you will have to be brilliant at a moment’s notice. (No pressure, right?)”

To attempt to be perpetually brilliant and increasingly productive, without changing the basic habits and structure of your life to accommodate that undertaking, is a futile effort.

Henry develops the following elements as a structure to guide your creative potential, providing you with the stability and clarity to engage your problems head-on.

Focus – in order to create effectively, you need a clear and concrete focus

Relationships – if you want to thrive, you need to systematically engage with other people, in part to be reminded that life is bigger than your immediate problems

Energy – to make the most of your day, you need to establish practices around energy management

Stimuli – if you want to regularly generate brilliant ideas, you must be purposeful about the kinds of stimuli you are putting in your head

Hours – you need to make sure that the practices that truly make you a more effective creator are making it onto your calendar

Practices in each of these five F-R-E-S-H areas provide the foundation for a life that is prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Wait a minute – you’ve got a problem with the “creative” label? Call yourself anything you want, but if you’re responsible for solving problems, developing strategies, or otherwise straining your brain for new ideas, you are a creative – even if you end up being one accidentally.

– Todd Henry, “The Accidental Creative”

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