Read “Making Ideas Happen”

I’ve been reading “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky, and it is very much in line with my work approach as well as what I believe is needed in most roles I’m interested in (design, community facilitation, urban planning)

In this book, he says,

Making Ideas Happen = Idea + Organization+ Communal Forces + Leadership.

He recognizes that most creative professionals can come up with ideas but often struggle to execute them (that is, they often lack the later parts of the equation).

Though I am a designer and love creating ideas, I actually love projects when the ideas are not mine.   I like facilitating that process, and filling the gaps in the equation.  I have most enjoyed projects which facilitate community ideas and I just help make it happen and/or create the frameworks for others to do projects. This pattern occurs in many of my projects.  For example –

1)     As creative director of “Renovate the Neighbourhood” I helped create and the manage the design framework to combine 12 suburban improvement projects from 8 team members,

2)     As organizer of a community art event, Brisbane PARK(ing) Day, I set up systems, partnerships and communication to facilitate the creativity of over 40 teams

3)     As manager of the Brisbane City Council’s Intercultural Funding Strategy, I coordinated the project funding and reporting framework of over 13 partnership projects run by other related policy sections.

I’m starting to recognise and learn from these on how to further improve  how I organize projects and work, how I created networks of communal forces and how I can provide leadership and collaboration.

I first found out about the book, and the associated conference,  at Monthly Design Review and heard Scott speak at Creative Week NY.  It just makes a whole lot of sense to me! and I found myself underlying many passages in the book, and reflecting how I have and can apply the thinking in work, projects & life –


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