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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality Paperback – 2 Jun 2011

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Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality + Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) + Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career (The 99U Book Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670920606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670920600
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


If you care about your art, your job or your market, you really have no choice but to read this book (Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow and Linchpin )

Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard. This book helps you with the hard part (Guy Kawasaki, former Apple guru and author of The Art of the Start )

This book is like a Swiss Army knife for ideas (Ji Lee, Creative Director at Google Creative Lab )

This is a book about execution, and when it comes to going from an idea to a real business, execution is everything (John Battelle, co-founder of WIRED and BoingBoing )

If your creative team or organization struggles to implement their best ideas, or if you find that your own creative projects languish unfinished, you need Making Ideas Happen (Teresa Amabile, Director of Research, Harvard Business School )

There are techniques in this book that can turn disorganised creative prima donnas into organised creative prima donnas (Chuck Porter, co-chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky )

Belsky offers an illustrated map to get to the destination of your great ideas (Scott Thomas, Design Director, Obama Presidential Campaign )

About the Author

Scott Belsky is the founder and CEO of Behance, the software and design company dedicated to enhancing productivity in the creative community. He oversees a social networking site used by more than 30,000 creative professionals from around the world. He has consulted for media and Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Hewlett-Packard. In 2010 he was included in Fast Company's '100 Most Creative People in Business' list. Prior to founding Behance he helped grow the Pine Street Leadership Initiative at Goldman Sachs; he received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MacAddict on 30 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I must confess straight away that I'm a fan of the Behance Action Method. The book is about the rationale behind the Action Method and how Scott Belsky arrived at the method to get "creative" people organised so that they actually deliver on the ideas that they have. The focus of the book and of Behance, is on execution. This is not a book on how to have more ideas; rather it deals with implementing those ideas that you already have and for this reason stands out in a crowded market.

The first part of the book explains how the Action Method was developed through years of research among the leading "creatives" and then describes how to implement it, and why doing so is a good idea. One of the key ideas is to treat all Action Steps as part of a project and this is the key one that works for me. David Allen's GTD productivity method is popular in the IT world, but I've always struggled with it for reasons that I can't quite identify. However, using the Action Method has sorted this out for me by simply classifying everything as part of a project and sorting it into Action Steps, Backburner Items and References has given me better flexibility to cope with an eclectic work environment.

As the Action Method is focused on execution, much of the book is given over to day-to-day execution and how to progress a given project. What the book doesn't deal with is longer term, higher level goal-type systems and for this, you'd be better off trying something else, but if you want a good, simple method of processing daily actions then this is a good book to own.

Overall, I think the book is slightly too long and does labour some points: Maybe that's because Belsky is good at getting his points across in writing. The book also over-labours the "celebrity" examples.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Aimar Niedzwiedzki Braten on 18 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book for getting better at getting things done. Personally I find the idea part to stretch the concept slightly. I have tried several times to use the Action Method to help me get ideas to happen but cannot say that I have felt a massive change. But it helps you with tasks and moving forward.
Perhaps it should have been named Making productivity happen. Not so easy sold that one...
I found the book to be too long and slightly repepetive. This could have been told on a lot less pages without anything important gone missing.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
Anyone with much experience with brainstorming sessions already knows that "making ideas" is quite easy. Making them HAPPEN is quite a different challenge and a much more formidable one. Again I am reminded of Thomas Edison's admonition, "Vision without execution is hallucination." What we have in this book is a remarkably comprehensive as well as a lively and informative discussion of how almost anyone can develop the capacity to master a process that Scott Belsky characterizes as a "primer":

1. You have ideas (yours or someone else's) that you want to make happen: "Most ideas get lost in what I call the `project plateau,' a period of intense execution where your natural creative tendencies turn against you." Belsky explains what these tendencies are as well as how to avoid of overcome them.

2. Making ideas happen == ideas + Organization = Communal forces = Leadership capability: "We will dive into ach of these forces and discuss how you should use them in your own creative pursuits." Belsky delivers in abundance on that promise.

3. Organization enables you to manage and ultimately execute your ideas...or someone else's: "The Action Method [that Belsky explains and discusses in detail] is a composite of the best practices for productivity shared by creative leaders." Belsky has picked the brains of hundreds of the most productive creative thinkers and shares their most valuable insights, as well as his own. Better yet, he organizes them in the aforementioned Action Method, a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system to make ideas happen.

4. The forces of community are invaluable and readily available: "Ideas don't happen in isolation.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:" -- Isaiah 14:24 (NKJV)

Psychologists estimate that the average person has over 10,000 thoughts a day. I believe that because I once met a consultant who would share almost that many thoughts with me every time we met. The only problem was that these weren't very useful thoughts . . . but he sure loved each and every one. I took to peeking around corners so I could avoid his latest informal briefing. That's one kind of problem that people have with their ideas . . . they don't attract any interest.

Mr. Belsky organizes the method of turning ideas into action according this formula:

"(The Idea) + Organization and Execution + Forces of Community + Leadership Capability"

The book digs into this formula by first proposing a way of organizing work on ideas (the Action Method). I found the proposal to be reasonably similar to the way I organize my work so I suggest you take it seriously if you have trouble keeping track of what's going on the moving things forward expeditiously. I agree with the key point that it takes a lot of effort to turn an idea into reality. Most of my books were conceived of in a few seconds or minutes, but the work involved to write and produce one takes months of dedicated, consistent effort. Implementations that build on the books take 100 times more effort.

I also agree with the point about concentrating your efforts. Otherwise you get 1 percent of a lot of things done, which amounts to nothing being accomplished.

I thought that Mr. Belsky also did a good job of pointing out how collaboration helps. Right on!

I personally found the section on leadership capability to be the most practical.
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