So what’s a physician doing reading a book on creativity? That’s for artists, writers and marketing types, no? Well beyond my diurnal preoccupation with vomiting and diarrhea, I see myself as a creative. A creative is someone who creates ideas for a living. I create ideas here at 33 charts (my virtual sandbox), when I teach and when I fashion protocols for research studies.
Making Ideas Happen centers around the belief that having ideas is only a small part of innovation. While we all spend out time looking for that next great idea, Belsky suggests that we’re better served developing the capacity to make ideas happen.
It’s worth a read if you see yourself as a creative.
Beyond some organizational advice that I found to be second to David Allen’s Getting Things Done (arguably the most effective system of personal organization), I found the book’s message and wisdom to be a valuable addition to the way I think.
Here are a few of my favorite pearls that I took away from Making Ideas Happen:
- Organization enables you to manage and ultimately execute your ideas. It’s the intersection of creative energy and organizational prowess where great ideas become actions.
- The quality of ideas is less important than the platform on which they materialize. The ideas that move industries forward are not the result of tremendous creative insight but rather of masterful stewardship.
- The creative’s ability to stay organized is not natural. They need visual stimulation, plans and objectives. While our creative side intuitively seeks freedom and openness, our productivity desperately requires restrictions. Constraints serve as kindling for execution.
- Kill ideas liberally. It is typical that in a creative environments spontaneous idea generation gets in the way of following though on any particular idea. Say no more than you say yes and build a team culture that kills ideas when necessary.
- The process of creation is deeply consuming and lined with narcissism. We fall in love with our ideas and become both certain and effective. Our communities are therefore critical in helping us refine our ideas, stay focused, and execute to completion.
- Most meetings are fruitless (My favorite).
If you’re a doctor with ideas that you want to bring to fruition, do yourself a favor and read Making Ideas Happen. And tell me what you think.