Scott Belsky is my kind of entrepreneur. He not only thinks up provocative ideas, like developing a professional online network for artists and other creatives. He also channels his ideas into results, as the Behance Network, so ably proves.
I met Scott a few years ago via a mutual friend at Cornell, where we both spent some years (mine were way before his). When I first entered his offices in Manhattan, I saw that gleam in his eye of an entrepreneur who’s figured out how to make his concept work. In Scott’s case, it was how to help creative people—those famously right-brain, all-over-the-map, idea-driven individuals—actually execute their ideas. His solution goes by the simple name of the Action Method.
Getting to 100 percent
“Every project in life can be reduced into three primary components,” Scott observes in his book Making Ideas Happen. The first is action steps (what to do next), the second is reference materials (what information to have available for the project), and the third is the all-important backburner items (what to defer until another time so that you’ll take that first step).
Scott’s Action Method is basically a way to deal with the other 99 percent of the Thomas Edison equation: the 99% perspiration it takes to implement the 1% inspiration. No surprise, then, that the99percent.com website is Scott’s, as is the annual conference by the same name that he hosts.
From concept to notebook, and more
Scott’s not only a method man; he’s a product guy. We had that in common as well: a belief in the power of well-designed objects to help people accomplish what’s important to them. A mutual customer led the way by taking some of Scott’s Action Method papers and Circa-punching them to create a DIY Behance/Levenger Circa notebook.
Scott and I know enough to listen to customers. So we asked our design teams: what would the ideal Behance Action Method Levenger Circa notebook look like? What they came up with are notebooks Scott and I adore, and we hope you will as well. You’ll also find Action Method 3x5 cards and Action Method bound notebooks.
If you’re reading this blog before April 11, you may want to calendar a reminder to check our website then to see the new Circa Behance and Action Method notebooks. If you’re reading this blog after April 11, head to the Circa section of Levenger.com and you’re there.
Explore the Action Method online. Both Scott and I believe your peak productivity will be the right balance you find for yourself between electronic tools and the traditional technologies of pen and paper, which, as our collaboration witnesses, continue to evolve in exciting ways.
Dreamer, Doer, or Incrementalist?
It’s been great fun working with Scott on making this new product line happen. I’ve also learned much from our partnership and friendship. I’ve discovered, for instance, that creative organizations have not only Dreamers and Doers but also Incrementalists—those who both think it up and then act on it.
One of the innovators I most admire, Walt Disney, was all three. And organizations—especially those creatively driven and with an entrepreneurial streak—benefit from having all three types. As Scott says:
“There is no ideal category. The Doers, Dreamers, and Incrementalists all have their own strengths and limitations. However, once you consider which type you might be, you can leverage the forces around you—potential partnerships, organizational tools, and other resources—that can make all the difference.”
How about you, dear reader—are you a Doer, Dreamer, or Incrementalist? I’d love to hear how it affects the way that you work with ideas. Just click on the Comments link below with your submission. (If you’re reading this as an email, click here and you'll connect to Comments).