The Art of Creating New WorkJanuary 28, 2013 | By Wayne O'Neill
Art cannot be appreciated in a rush. It takes time to digest and fully soak into your being. Whether the artist is a painter, sculptor, designer, architect, engineer, manager, teacher, or business executive, art gets messy because it begs us to choose to see the world differently. According to Seth Godin, author of more than seven best selling innovative books, unique speaker and successful entrepreneur, “Art isn’t something you hang on the wall. Art is what we do when we’re truly alive.”
You may be thinking, “I’m no artist.” Who told you that? Maybe it is time to reconsider that decision. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I brave enough to follow my dreams which will probably require a change in process, procedure, tradition, or even my company because it needs to change in order to not only survive but thrive?
2. Do I have insights into people’s emotional intelligence that help me see beyond the facade?
3. When was the last time I allowed myself the freedom to be creative and bold in my thinking?
According to Seth Godin in the book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?, “Art is who we are and what we do and what we need. Art is an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don’t, and the guts to do something about it. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it (all of it, the work, the process, the feedback from those we seek to connect with) personally. Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.”
But art can bring out our fears. Instead of playing it safe, staying in your comfort zone, getting a job and sticking with the same organization for 40 years with a gold watch to prove it, the new reality is: Change is inevitable. In order to succeed, you need to:
- Work like an artist. Spend your time on the things you care the most about. Seth Godin says, “Invest in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labor, and grit.”
- See with new lens. Observe signs and signals of needs and what others value that are market opportunities hiding in plain sight. Embrace client intelligence that engages you in stimulating, productive counterintuitive thinking.
- Reset your sights. In doing your homework, gather remarkable data on business and political issues. Then set your expectations high enough to become all that you are capable of and more than you have been taught is possible. Scarcity and abundance have flipped. High quality work and competence are now abundant. Trust, connection and surprise are scarce and valuable.
- Trust your gut passion. Follow what you care about. Your inner guide draws from a wealth of experience and insights to help you analyze and find solutions, and your passion ignites energy.
- Set new zones. Align your comfort zone with behaviors that keep you in today’s new safety zone before preparing a strategic plan. The new safety zone is where innovation happens and connections between people or ideas are reborn.
- Create ideas that spread. Communicate clearly and widely. Share your vision and mission often.
- Connect the disconnected. Listen to diverse viewpoints. Create opportunities for input and “buy-in.” Provide multiple pathways to connect people with different perspectives and learning styles. An engineer’s taste bud is quite different than the sales and marketing team.
- Cling to what is sticky. When choosing new paths, commit to vital, new ways of thinking and embrace values you hold dear.
- Lead boldly. Get over your fear of failure. Take action, lead with confidence, and achieve your goals.
As is evidenced by the artists Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and Martin Luther King Jr., the path of the artist demands strength, vision, confidence, and determination in order to stand up, stand out and make a difference.