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Scott Belsky, Making Ideas Happen
Colle+McVoy FeedIt Scott Belsky
According to Fast Company, Scott is one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business." He's accomplished this by founding Behance, the world's leading online platform for creative professionals. Over the years, Behance has developed a series of products to help organize and empower the careers of creative professionals. Scott is also the author of the national bestselling book Making Ideas Happen.
Scott Belsky presented as part of Colle+McVoy's FEED IT inspirational series on July 15, 2011. While he was here, Scott discussed common practices shared by the most productive creative teams worldwide. We sat down with Scott for an exclusive interview in the hopes of gathering his insights on how we, as marketers, can increase the possibility of our ideas being shared with the world. In short, how we can make ideas happen.
FEED IT Recap: Scott Belsky
“Ideas don’t happen because they’re great or by accident.”
It was an interesting answer, but it prompts an obvious next question, “How then do we make ideas happen?”
While Scott visited Colle+McVoy on July 15, 2011, I sat down with him for an exclusive interview in the hopes of gathering his insights on how we, as marketers, can increase the possibility of our ideas being shared with the world. In short, how we can make ideas happen.
What follows is a brief synopsis of the interview, outlining the five main themes that stood out.
Find Your Work Sweet Spot
Scott has always been passionate about facilitating creative production, which served as the impetus for his transition from working in leadership development at Goldman Sachs to starting Behance, an organization focused on matching the best creative talent with the best creative opportunity. “I needed to do something in a world I’m passionate about and with people I love working with.” But passion alone did not make him successful. He was able to align his enthusiasm for organizing creativity with his unique skills and opportunity streams.
Scott found his work sweet spot, have you?
Be a Student of Your Craft
During our conversation, Scott referred to himself as “a student studying design firms, agencies and creative leaders across industries to understand what they are struggling with.” As a student of organizing the creative world, Scott has identified creative professionals defying the odds and who offer a world of knowledge he can learn from. Whatever your creative craft, obsess over how you can find ways to learn more. Given the accessibility the Internet allows all of us today, this has become easier than ever.
Creativity Is a Responsibility
The name Behance came from the word “enhance,” which means to make something better, and “be,” which means being authentic and never compromising. The mission of Behance is to empower creative professionals to make ideas happen. A focus on pushing ideas to completion initiates a sense of responsibility and accountability among creative professionals. In Scott’s words, “Every artist and every creative mind should not only see their creativity as an opportunity, but also a responsibility.”
Embrace Distributed Creative Production
Advertising agencies focus on gathering all the best creative minds in-house. Scott argues this model is not sustainable because the best creative minds are going to be free radicals. “They’re going to be working on their own terms, wherever they are in the world. And they’re going to have greater output as a result of that autonomy,” Scott explained. He refers to this philosophy as “distributed creative production” and believes agencies need to embrace this idea to flourish.
Focus on Process and Kill Ideas
Ideas are plentiful in the agency world. We invest an incredible amount of time and energy in coming up with insights and ideas that allow a brand to stand out. Scott believes we should dedicate the same amount of resources to discussing how our process is organized. Rather than subscribing to the status quo, he encourages organizations to question process and test different methodologies to influence change. And during the daily execution of an idea, the tendency should be to kill ideas. “When ideas come up, the immune system of a productive creative team needs to quickly quench them in order to keep on track. We should only allow new ideas to take us off track during brainstorms,” Scott pleaded as we wrapped up our interview.
I’ll end this overview with Scott’s favorite quote from Thomas Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Executional excellence is vital to making ideas happen. This is also the inspiration behind Scott naming Behance’s think tank The 99 Percent.
So which side are you on, the one percent or the ninety-nine percent? I welcome your thoughts below.