This morning, I presented my synopsis of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven Guide to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Linkner, at the July First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. It is hard to come up with the most important portion of the book. It could be this one:
Businesses have systems and processes for everything, from answering the phone to taking out the trash. Remarkably, most companies have no such system for the one thing that matters most: developing and growing creative capacity.
Companies that have “innovation processes” often stifle the creativity of their organization by making those processes too rule driven, formal, and restrictive. In contrast, Disciplined Dreaming is an open system that focuses on the creative mind-set and philosophy along with specific techniques, rather than a rigid code of rules.
Since we are falling behind on the creativity front in the United States, (as we all know and acknowledge), getting some creativity discovery systems in place strikes me as a genuine high priority – maybe the highest.
As I read the book, I cam away with three takeaways the I considered especially important:
Takeaway #1 — spend a lot of time – a lot of time!!! – in creativity exercises (ask questions; ask more questions; look around, list everything that you see; then, look some more, look much deeper than before…
Takeaway # 2 — “you accomplish what you meet about.”
No meetings = no success. Conducting/leading the right meetings, really! held regularly, over the long haul, makes success possible.
I am so fully convinced that this is ground zero in business success. Here’s a paragraph about Pixar’s habit of a regular “Daily”:
Another practical tool Pixar uses is called the Daily; each day, teams hold review and feedback sessions on works in progress (unlike other studios, where people work alone or in silos and share work as a final product). The daily fosters collaborative creativity and allows many people to offer ideas and insight as the creative work is being developed. Head director John Lasseter credits the Daily with helping the studio develop better work in a more streamlined manner. Even the Pixar building contributes to creative collaboration, its central atrium fostering random encounters between staff.
Takeaway #3 – beware of secrets. Open communication fosters communication, and such communication fosters creativity breakthroughs…
If you have not yet read Disciplined Dreaming, it really is worth your time. But, more importantly, ask yourself this question: do you have a system in place to cultivate creativity?
My synopsis of Disciplined Dreaming, with audio + handout, will be available in just a few days at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.
And check out the Bob Morris interview of Josh Linkner on our blog here.