Review: Making Ideas Happen By Scott Belsky

In a previous review, I discussed Made to Stick, a book about how to make ideas more memorable. Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen is about how to actually make them happen – without using voodoo or stealing other people’s creations.

Let’s be honest: we all have these grand ideas that we never follow through on and we find excuses for it. The truth is, it’s because we struggle to overcome the obstacles between vision and reality. It is daunting to put something out into the world with the possibility that it could fail or be ridiculed. According to Scott Belsky, the founder and CEO of Behance, none of us are born with the ability to drive creative projects to completion. Execution is a skill that must be developed by building organisational habits and harnessing the support of colleagues.

The one section of the book that I found particularly riveting was the exploration of the three creative types: the dreamers, doers and incrementalists. It discusses what sort of role each of these types plays in the creative process, and how certain types working together are the key to making ideas happen. Belsky uses some real life examples, such as Apple (can you guess which types Steve Jobs and Tim Cook were?).

Another interesting section covered how meetings need to always have a purpose and some form of action attached to them. For those of us who’ve experienced ‘death by meetings’ in the workplace, Belsky suggests that we encourage more action and less meeting for the sake of meeting. He also proposes that people push back when they feel as if their time is being wasted – a great life lesson for us all.

Seth Godin has suggested that “this book can quite simply change your life”. While the statement might be a bit of a stretch, as I don’t yet own a yacht or Batmobile, it is a great, insightful read. I highly recommend it to any literate human being.

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