Tweets of the Day


Connected Kingdom Podcast: Social Media

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The Connected Kingdom Podcast is back after a long but not lazy summer break. In this episode, Tim Challies and I interview Nathan Bingham, Director of Internet Outreach at Ligonier Ministries and social media guru, about how Christians and churches can use social media for God’s glory.

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A Swear Word for Creative Types

“ORGANIZATION!”

It’s a terrible word isn’t it.

Don’t dare mention it in the hearing of creative people.

In his research for Making Ideas Happen, Scott Belsky found not only that most creatives described themselves as messy or chaotic, but that the vast majority wore it as a badge of honor!

I once knew a Pastor like that, a “Conquistador of Chaos” as Julie Morgenstern would describe him. Procedures, systems, routines, filing, diaries and To-do lists were traitors and enemies to be kept out of that study at all costs!

While bureaucracy has sometimes suffocated good ideas, Belsky argues that “your approach to productivity largely determines your creative output. The way you organize projects, prioritize, and manage your energy is arguably more important than the quality of the ideas you wish to pursue.” [14]

Belsky uses a mathematical equation to prove his point:

Creativity x Organization = Impact.

100 Creativity x 0 Organization = 0 Impact

2 Creativity x 50 Organization = 100 Impact

But imagine if you were able to combine left-brain with right-brain to produce this sum:

100 Creativity x 100 Organization = 10,000 Impact

Well you don’t need to imagine, because there is such a company and it’s name is….Apple!

Surprising in a way isn’t it. Apple is usually associated with stunning innovation and beautiful design. But Apple is also consistently in the top 5 of Fortune 500 companies for such mundane matters as managing the supply chain.

Structure and organization are at least as important as idea generation if we are at all interested in execution and production. And we shouldn’t be surprised at this; after all, THE Creator is a God of order, not confusion (1 Cor. 14:33,40).

Belsky pleads with creatives (and that includes preachers, teachers, entrepreneurs, students, homemakers, etc.,) to have “a relentless bias toward action” in order to push any idea forward to execution, and quotes a number of successful creatives to back him up:

The truth is, creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity (Robert Sutton, Professor at Stanford School of Engineering).

Seth Godin once said that the vast majority of the products or organizations he had built failed. “But,” he explained, “the reason that I’ve managed a modicum of success is because I just keep shipping.”

Jesse Rothstein, super-salesman at Proctor & Gamble and founder of Coach for America, has a secret: “Perseverance and a simple conviction that he adheres to with an almost religious fervor: he follows up like crazy.”

“I’m starting to believe that life is just about following up,” he told Belsky.

Rothstein’s brilliance lies with the fact that he always identifies the necessary actions for each project and then takes them (and enforces them) relentlessly. He always follows up until every action is done. [86].

See my Introduction to Making Ideas Happen here. Tomorrow we’ll look at Belsky’s Action Method, his simple organizational tool for helping us Make (more) Ideas Happen.


Check out

Color bound: My pastor has to look like me
“Because of his color, many people can now ‘relate’ to the office of the president because the president physically looks like them. How often do we apply that same mindset to our churches?”

Christians take “beliefs” fight to the European Court
Want a prophecy of where the US is heading? “British courts have found overwhelmingly against Christians, occasionally comparing their beliefs unfavourably with secular principles”

He desires a noble task: The Erosion of the Evangelical Pastorate
“The evangelical church has a problem. We’re going to run out of good pastors. For a variety of reasons, we are failing to sufficiently prepare the next generation of church leadership.”

Why creativity blocks happen and how to overcome them
Preachers may find this useful too.

How to transition between sermon points without losing your audience
Eric McKiddie: “I’ve had to learn how to decelerate, downshift, turn, and then accelerate again by using a transitional paragraph, rather than a couple of sentences. Here’s how I do it, in seven steps.”

Pain-filled memories
I’ve never seen a man walk through agonizing bereavement in such a transparent and edifying way.


Tweets of the Day


Making Ideas Happen: 99% Perspiration

Great ideas do not guarantee success. Having a great idea is only about 1% of the creative process. The other 99%, as Thomas Edison said, is perspiration.

Scott Belsky, creativity analyst and author of Making Ideas Happen, noticed that most ideas got lost somewhere in that sweaty 99% and set out to discover how to make more ideas actually happen: How to get from “Ping!” to product or service.

And BTW, creativity is not just something that painters and sculptors do. It’s something everyone does every day. We all have ideas, plans, and projects that we are trying to move from lightbulb moment to reality: Preachers make sermons; Homemakers make beautiful rooms, tasty meals, and kids birthday parties; Politicians make laws; Builders make houses; Gardeners make gardens; Farmers make food; Teachers make lesson plans, etc.

Belsky found that whatever activity he looked at, the creative “sweat” had three common characteristics:

  • Organizational Habits: Especially important in a world of information overload and constant connectivity.
  • Community Engagement: Ideas did not happen in isolation but rather through sharing and feedback.
  • Leadership Capability: An ability to build and motivate teams to overcome doubts and obstacles along the way to execution.

Belsky’s takeaway: Spend less time on looking for the next great idea and much more on making existing ideas happen.

The ideas that move industries forward are not the result of tremendous creative insight but rather of masterful stewardship. Yes, there is a method to the madness of turning an idea into a reality—it’s just not as romantic as you thought [Making Ideas Happen, 8].

“Eureka!” will disappear down the plughole unless it is clothed with organization, collaboration, and leadership. Productivity must be twinned with creativity.

As Making Ideas Happen is especially helpful in its discussion of organization and collaboration – not so much in the area of Leadership – I’ll highlight Belsky’s advice in these two areas over the next few days.

You’ll find more insights on making ideas happen at Belsky’s awarding winning website, 99%.