Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

December 9th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience – well, that comes from poor judgment.” – A. A. Milne

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

“How To” books are a perilous endeavor. How to Win Friends and Influence People is worthwhile but The Secret is drivel. Right?

And so we are confronted with [How To] Make Ideas Happen, an instructional tome for creatives encouraging accomplishment by way of organization & execution, community involvement, and dynamic leadership.

I found it a worthwhile read of recommendations sure to sneak their way into my personal undertakings. I am confident I will experience rampant success immediately.

But I was certainly doubtful in the opening pages as Belsky encouraged the implementation of “energy lines,” “responsibility grids,” and “windows of nonstimulation.” Maybe I was expecting something more theoretical and less cheekily practical?

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed fresh from his successes at Cornell, Harvard Business School, and Goldman Sachs, Belsky also recommends “Darwinian Prioritization,” i.e. nagging.

Praising the benefit of quick action, Belsky notes disparagingly that “Bureaucracy was born out of the human desire for complete assurance before taking action.” I know, complete assurance can be such a bummer. What squares those people are who prefer lame things like assurance.

Page 70, the beginning of the chapter on Execution, begins with the infamous Thomas Edison quote: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” And not until page 99 comes the rub: “Unfortunately, perspiration is not glamorous.” No shit. And thus we are paid to do what others do not want.

But all is not lost. Belsky has his own quotes to rival Edison: “To envision what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is.”

And “[Engaged leaders] are driven by deeply held convictions rather than by some persona that requires tremendous energy to uphold.”

But the most relevant, and to me revelatory, segment came when Belsky noted the importance of storytelling to leadership. But more on that in my own book.

There is nothing but stories.

Ultimately though, Belsky is a disciple of the Gold Sachs and is proudly supervising his own network of grifters and charlatans. He has created a vast money-making enterprise and this book is little more than a philosophical mouthpiece to proselytize his wares. Look at all the neat products you creatives can buy.

Have you fully implemented the Action Method?

Purchased tickets to the Conference?

The Behance Network seems legitimate and reasonable and respectable. What happened?

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