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 (120 ratings)
18 mins
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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.

    Best quote from The Accidental Creative

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

    —Todd Henry
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    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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