“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
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)
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.