The Accidental Creative Book Summary - The Accidental Creative Book explained in key points
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The Accidental Creative summary

Todd Henry

How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice

4.5 (133 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry is a guide to help creatives bring structure to their work in order to consistently deliver high-quality output, avoid burnout, and generate new ideas.

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    The Accidental Creative
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    The pressures and expectations of today’s workplace can stifle creativity.

    Creativity is a highly valued skill. Indeed, it’s becoming increasingly necessary in more and more jobs. However, unlike traditional workplace skills, creativity fluctuates, and this can make it incredibly difficult for employees to deliver when their employer expects them to deliver the creative goods.

    To prove to your boss that you’re a viable creative asset, you need to be prolific, brilliant and healthy. Unfortunately, most of us are deficient in at least one of these areas, and because of that our work and reputation suffers.

    Maybe you’re prolific and brilliant, but you have an unhealthy approach to work that puts you at risk of overexertion and burnout. Or maybe you’re both brilliant and healthy but aren’t being prolific, which results in nobody wanting to work with you because you’re not pulling your weight. Or maybe you’re healthy and prolific but not brilliant, which puts you at risk of losing your job since an absence of quality in your work is irredeemable.

    Another pressure of the modern workplace is that employees must be creative and innovative, while at the same time consistently meeting deadlines.

    This expectation shows that most companies are more concerned with results than with the creative processes of individual employees. For example, a client of the author, preoccupied with whether her managers would approve her work, found herself ignoring her creative impulses and playing it safe instead. A CEO told the author that he calls this tactic bunting for singles; just as in baseball, it’s safer to go for smaller “bases” at work than risk a strikeout by going for the bigger home runs.

    Furthermore, companies also tend to focus more on predictable outcomes and less on giving room for irregular waves of creativity, a tendency that takes a toll on innovative thinking. A friend of the author said that the creative types at his company refer to the decision-makers as “vampires” because they suck all the life from the room.

    As you can see, managerial expectations are often at odds with the needs of employees when it comes to creativity.

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    What is The Accidental Creative about?

    The Accidental Creative (2011) explains how you can unleash and manage your individual creativity. The book posits that everyone has the potential to be creative, though many lack the tools to act on this creativity. This book describes how to achieve maximum creativity and provides you with techniques to help you create consistently and effortlessly.

    The Accidental Creative Review

    The Accidental Creative (2011) is a book that offers valuable insights into staying creative and productive in today's fast-paced world. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies to help individuals overcome creative blocks and generate innovative ideas consistently.
    • The book explores the intersection of creativity and productivity, offering a balanced approach to achieving both efficiency and originality in our work.
    • Featuring relatable stories and anecdotes, it keeps readers engaged throughout, making it a compelling read that provides immediate value.

    Best quote from The Accidental Creative

    In the effort to cut off the troughs we inadvertently cut off the peaks as well.

    —Todd Henry
    example alt text

    Who should read The Accidental Creative?

    • People who are feeling uninspired in the workplace
    • Anyone looking to expand their creative potential
    • People interested in understanding how creativity works

    About the Author

    Todd Henry is an international speaker, coach and author, as well as the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consultancy firm that promotes personal development and creativity. In 2006, he began The Accidental Creative, a highly successful business podcast, before publishing his ideas in book form.

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    The Accidental Creative FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Accidental Creative?

    The main message of The Accidental Creative is to unleash your creativity and thrive in your creative work.

    How long does it take to read The Accidental Creative?

    The reading time for The Accidental Creative varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Accidental Creative a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Accidental Creative is worth reading for anyone looking to cultivate their creativity and excel in their creative pursuits.

    Who is the author of The Accidental Creative?

    The author of The Accidental Creative is Todd Henry.

    What to read after The Accidental Creative?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Accidental Creative, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Practice by Seth Godin
    • The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett
    • The Creator Mindset by Nir Bashan
    • The Myths of Creativity by David Burkus
    • The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt
    • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
    • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    • Accidental Genius by Mark Levy
    • The 3-Minute Rule by Brant Pinvidic
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins