The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

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by Todd Henry
     
 

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Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative

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Overview

Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements:

• Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind.
• Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow.
• Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource.
• Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output.
• Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency. This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Henry, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Accidental Creative, has been helping "creatives" maximize their efficiency for years. Here he aims to help individuals in explicitly creative professions, like writers and designers, establish enough structure to get the most out of their process—and "accidental creatives," such as managers, consultants, and salespeople, to unlock their latent imaginative, artistic abilities. He tells both groups: "Don't go to the grave with your best work still inside of you. Die empty." He discusses the challenges and stresses of careers that pay workers not on their time but on the value they create, and which require them to overcome greater-than-usual emotional hurdles. With references to a plethora of business and personal-growth gurus, including Keith Ferrazzi and Tony Schwartz, he guides readers through a system of increasing productivity and effectiveness, monthly checkpoints, self-definition, and how to identify and seize new opportunities. Even if his one-size-fits-all setup is broad and somewhat of a stretch, his can-do attitude and encouragement is contagious. (July)
Kirkus Reviews

Creative professionals whose brilliance has faded might take a rag and some spit to their careers using this inspirational handbook from creativity consultant Henry.

With a few personal anecdotes and very little technical jargon,the author's debut cuts right to the chase: Nobody, he writes, actually wants to create on demand. But by narrowing one's focus to three priorities at a time while paying attention to seemingly unrelated creative impulses, Henry argues that imaginative sparks can grow into fully realized ideas if they are given a little structure and a lot of space. Too often, he writes, creative professionals play it safe to avoid getting fired, potentially missing great moments of inspiration while churning out a steady flow of mediocre work. It's an idea that's popular in the tech industry right now, but Henry's tips will work even for professionals who don't build prototypes. Much like Julia Cameron inThe Artist's Way(2002),Henry peppers his self-help guide with creativity-enhancing exercises for readers to use in their daily lives. But he avoids the overly prescriptive—readers won't have to navigate essay questions or flow charts.The author wins points by acknowledging that burnout comes from unrealistic expectations combined with energy-sucking meetings and nonstop e-mails.He adds value with simple methods forremoving items from an artist's to-do list that make setting priorities and managing time effectively seem more attainable.

Readers will relate to Henry's description of the creative process and learn to sustain creativity over time.

From the Publisher
“Mr. Henry’s prescription for maximizing productivity is sagacious, innovative, and sublimely practical. The Accidental Creative is high-octane fuel for creative productivity.”
—Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591844013
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/07/2011
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.12(w) x 6.32(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Mr. Henry’s prescription for maximizing productivity is sagacious, innovative, and sublimely practical. The Accidental Creative is high-octane fuel for creative productivity.”

—Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art

Meet the Author

Todd Henry is the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consulting firm that helps organizations like Mattel, Intuit, P&G, and State Farm generate creative ideas. In 2006 he started The Accidental Creative, one of the top business podcasts. Henry is a sought-after speaker, consultant, and coach. Visit accidentalcreative.com

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Accidental Creative 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
HolaMindy More than 1 year ago
I'm surprised how much I've gotten out of this book in just a few weeks since reading it! This book is going to help you bring a thoughtful structure to your everyday creative work. Todd teaches you how to examine your life as a whole to make sure that you have the key elements necessary to support your creating. I often find myself exhausted from a long day at work and have little energy left to give to my own personal art. After reading the book I've made some small, intentional changes to my daily habits and I've been excited to find that I have so much more left in the tank for my writing and crafting sessions. You don't need to have heard any of Todd's podcasts to love this book, but if you've been a fan of the show (as I have), you'll love this book. This was definitely worth the money and I even find that it is helping me synthesize the ideas from other creative revolution books, like Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. This book applies to all creative professionals, from writers, painters, and graphic designers to product design engineers and computer programmers. I think it would make an excellent gift for new college graduates too. I sure wish I'd had it when I graduated from college!
bnlv More than 1 year ago
After being a listener of the Accidental Creative podcast for years, it was great to see Todd finally release a book. This is an important book worth sharing for a few reasons... 1. it's hits all the strong points from Accidental Creative - and there are many, 2. it covers a ton of uncharted territory extremely relevant to the modern knowledge worker, 3. it articulates art and creativity in way that almost anyone can digest, bringing it closer to home for engineering minds (like mine), and 4. brings all this together with a focus on mental and physical health too - it's like a Four Hour Body for the mind. A thoroughly recommended, refreshing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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lostandlovely More than 1 year ago
This book is a must-read for two groups of people: Those who create (write, design, film, craft, etc.) and those who lead teams of people who do creative work. Todd Henry has synthesized the material from his highly popular podcast "The Accidental Creative" and his experience coaching organizations into a powerhouse of a book. We are all striving to produce more while wondering where the "more" is supposed to come from. This book walks you through some revolutionary practices, that if implemented have the potential to move you to creative freedom. For example, Todd takes a holistic approach when he recommends we do "whole life planning" not just planning for specific, independent projects. What we do in our personal time affects our work, and vice versa. I have personally found it most helpful to implement Todd's quarterly checkpoints as a way to manage my family. The result is less time spent depleted and more time filled and ready to create. There are many takeaways just like that throughout the book. It's an inspiring read and provided me with a jump-start to my creative life.
mestudio More than 1 year ago
A few years ago, I stumbled upon Todd Henry and his podcast. Instantly I was drawn in by his accessible manner, as he painted the picture of what creative burn-out looked like..and it was my self portrait. His emphasis on "filling your tank" with artistic input before you even begin expelling your creative output, changed my entire perspective of the process. I anxiously awaited the release of his book, How To Be Brilliant At A Moment's Notice and I am thrilled to say that it exceeded all expectations that I had. It is the essential user's manual for any creative! If your creative outlook was impacted by Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" then this book will blow you away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago