Idea Incubator #3: Focusing Expectations to Efforts

Posted July 24, 2012 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 1: The Positioned Mind

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome. If you are new to this self-seminar series on enhancing creativity, please click here to START.
If you are returning, here is the newest updated “Incubator:”

glass collection from Liane Sebastian

With profits down for businesses and contributions dear for nonprofits, it is easy to shrink from being creative. New ideas take time, resources, and are risky. In a tough economy, many groups have frozen projects to maintenance-level. Few are growing. Those that are tend to be very cautious and self-conscious about spending money—like coming to a picnic over-dressed, they can be more imposing than engaging—playing it safe. Similarly, entrepreneurs are hunkering down to basics and seeking the tried-and-true versus the innovative. As associations are struggle to retain members, they cut back to a skeleton of benefits to offer them. Much of this is short-term versus long-term thinking. Creativity is always the solution out of economic strife. What is different today is that more ideas must be tried to find the ones that will work.

This is the best time to be creative. It is the worst time to pull back on differentiation or on benefits offered to constituents. It is a time to define new directions and to take calculated risks. Most importantly, it is a time to develop passions, because at the end of the day, it is passion that defines.

“There is a poverty of spirit in any business environment that does not promote doing what you love. This is not a luxury. The culture of treating dreams like myths prevents you from moving the people you are meant to move. Each person should be doing and helping others live out their missions.”
—Suzanne Falter-Barns, author and contributor to Women who Win at Work.

To nurture a dream, combine skills with inspiration and resources. Determine if anyone else is doing something similar who can help. If working with a team, begin creativity thinking by excavating what matters to each contributor. Here are suggestions to put creativity to work and take it out of the realm of ‘luxury’:

glass collection of Liane Sebastian1. Conduct a talent and expectation audit. For each staff or team member, describe his or her greatest talents and how the business utilizes those attributes. Of course begin with yourself. By making your own thoughts concrete, you can develop the questions to ask of the other team members so that it is easy to compare goals, needs, and capabilities. Too many idea-generators try to impose what they want on others—to see in them what they want to see. It never works. Unless it is clear what everyone wants and expects out of a creative endeavor, it is not worth beginning. If an idea needs more than one person to execute, be sure everyone has the talents, capabilities, and desires needed.

 glass collection of Liane Sebastian2. Define the dreams and aspirations of each team memberand how their talents contribute to possibility. The more you can understand what motivates them, the more you can craft a project that will inspire commitment. New ideas are fragile babies and need to have commitment or they are like fire flies, gone in an instant. So melding any creative pursuit with what can be expected from each contributor is like taking clay and placing it on the potter’s wheel with the best consistency for a great product. Ask each participant:b. What priorities and goals are desired in this project?

a. What priorities and goals are desired in this project?

b. Who do they most care about affecting with their contributions?

c. What do they ultimately wish to accomplish that this project can be a stepping stone towards?

d. What does he or she do when not working?

e. Does this project combine with anything else that they are doing?

glass collection of Liane Sebastian3. How does your business develop creativity and respond to new ideas? Every company, whether a one-person operation or comprised of thousands broken into departments, has a culture—a personality, a style, a way of doing things. Some cultures are more conducive to creative thinking than others. For example, those that have to punch a time card are probably not environments where new ideas are welcome. Trust is essential as a base for new thinking. When an employer pays by the minute worked, how can they expect someone to think differently? The focus there is on outcome, not income! So taking a look at your own organization and how it may encourage or discourage new ideas can reveal ways to readjust if causing barriers.

a. Who in your group is most likely to come up with new approaches to challenges?

b. How do you encourage and incorporate suggestions?

c. What recognition do you give for the successful use of talent?

d. What is one step you can take to incorporate more contributions from staff or team members?

e. What strength of each can you enhance?

f. What is the next step to encourage for the development of both the team and the individual projects?

Retention of team members, success of project results, and retention of contributing members all require creative approaches and new ideas. In difficult times, creativity’s role becomes more pronounced. Solid ideas both take and give fortitude.

Share your methods for incorporating creativity into the heart of your business. There is a difference between being in a creative business and approaching business creatively. I know creative professionals who are very conservative and unimaginative business people. Then I know those in conservative professionals who stand out by applying new ideas to their practices. How do you demonstrate this distinction?

See my ideas for applying these ideas to business: “Creativity in Tough Timeshttp://wisdomofwork.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/creativity-in-tough-times/

Always inspired, Liane, lianesebastian9@gmail.com

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Please visit the Initiator Index for overview and development progress.

Stay tuned for the next version of Idea Incubator #4, or revisit the last version.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer

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Idea Incubator #2: Collaborative Seeds

Posted July 13, 2012 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 1: The Positioned Mind

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome. If you are new to this self-seminar series on enhancing creativity, please click here to START.
If you are returning, here is the newest updated “Incubator:”

glass collection from Liane Sebastian

A major difference between solo creativity and service creativity is that the source of idea-generation shifts from personal expression to collaborative expression. There is no such thing as good design without a good client. There is no such thing as an innovative business without the combined talents of a team. It is very rare than any success is purely solo. To work collaboratively, find commonality and a shared vision is based on rapport, values, and goals.

The applied artist is a chameleon, able to create for clients’ parameters. Just as it is hard to draw something you can’t see, it is hard to create with others you don’t understand. Time commitment has a lot to do with communication.

Each creative professional can only handle a small number of projects at once—if projects are sizeable, only two or three. Only one or two can be consumingly active at a time. So qualifying partners—making sure the match is appropriate—becomes critical if building long-lasting relationships. First projects with new collaborators are introductions. Then, momentum is gained through a momentum that can share elements and evolve. Creative collaborations can build, push each contributor to excellent, and create a result that is greater than each segment. This resonates in finished products that exceed expectations.

Yet, marketplace potential is not dependent on creativity alone. Ideas that attain impact are just as dependent on timing, promotion, visibility, management stability, and potential reach. Ideas are investments. They propel the momentum, but they are seeds. They must resonate with an audience and sustain relevance. The better the camaraderie between creatives the more impactful the resulting ideas.

“Find customers who have a value synergy with yours. Time can be saved and business retained if you do a good job of pre-qualification. Carefully define your market and define strong priorities.”
Melissa Giovagnoli, consummate entrepreneur, author, and publisher, contributor to Women who Win at Work.

The more values you share with your collaborators, customers, and clients, the more goals you will collectively achieve. Here are questions to help build collaborations that take on the most inspiring momentum:

glass collection of Liane SebastianKnow what you need first. List your top necessities to form a healthy business and career blend. Perceive your time and focus like a pie with each major segment represented by a percentage. How much time is spent on necessities versus desires? This indicates your values, which you must know to bring into a collaboration. When you know how you use your time, then you can know how much time you have to devote. Collaborators need good communication foremost; you can’t communicate well if you don’t know what you want, what limitations you must impose, and what can be expected.
glass collection of Liane SebastianNegotiate the parameters. What values matter most to you in a collaborative relationship? Knowing the ingredients of the collaboration you need is half of the negotiation table. No one can negotiate ideas without conviction. No one can negotiate without knowing the cards in the hand. Defining the project dictates the nature of the collaboration. Be sure to know the strengths of each participant. Overlaps need to be known while setting up the parameters to avoid stepped on toes later.
glass collection of Liane SebastianWhat matters most to your collaborators, customers, and clients in their choice of working with you? The better you understand their needs in the collaboration, the more you can fulfill them. Putting yourself in their shoes is easiest by asking them questions about what motivates them. Understanding their goals gives you the chance to walk with them, rather than at criss-cross paths. If you can help them get what they want, they can help you get what you want.
glass collection of Liane SebastianSet up a collaborative statement. Whether you show this to your collaborators or not, before starting down the yellow brick road, having a map that lays out the rough territory will be needed through the unexpected developments that are inevitable. There are many ways to get to one goal but they can not be chosen without knowing the goal. Create a checklist to evaluate each prospective customer or client:
1. List the top three criteria that you require.
2. List top three needs your constituents require.
3. Address each of the above six needs with several ideas for how to fulfill. What overlaps can you find? The more similar these lists, the stronger the potential for successful completion.
4. Write a Statement of Intent that outlines the goals of the collaboration and who is doing what.

The match between collaborators needs criteria. Few creative professionals turn down projects presented to them—especially with a nice budget attached. But there is a big difference between stretching your expertise versus building trust through shared appoaches.

Creative service is like a romance. Complimentary philosophies, perceptions of market, exchanged research, and most importantly, rapport, collaboration can be so much more profitable than individual enterprises. The qualities of strong collaborations blend into producing projects that take on a life of their own and even become legendary.

Always inspired, Liane, lianesebastian9@gmail.com

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Please visit the Initiator Index for overview and development progress.

Stay tuned for the next version of Idea Incubator #3, or revisit the last version.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer

Idea Incubator #1: Setup to Start

Posted July 9, 2012 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 1: The Positioned Mind

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Idea Initiator is an experimental self-seminar—an online workbook. This series is to enhance ideas you have or to help you develop new ones. Ideas are nurtured by context and questions. I hope that you find good ones here and engage in this interactive exploration.

inspirations in glass

To embark on any creative subject takes more than curiosity, passion, or even homework. It takes getting ready. It takes setting up a situation with promise of success. A mountain climber would not start out on the trail of ascent without proper gear, nor should a journey of creative adventure begin without setting the stage.

The Idea Initiator self-seminar begins with finding the starting gate. It is in different places for different people. But things all starting gates have in common are direction, competition, and a good horse. The mastery of all three will give fuel to any enterprise. Creative thinking is needed in all businesses. It is not an issue of “thinking outside the box.” It is an issue of perceiving no box. Often the most creative solutions are in personally obvious combinations.

Preparing the stage for creative pursuit is like ritual. For most people, getting their physical environment organized precedes getting their minds ready to focus. Usually the atmosphere where a person chooses to work is totally reflective of mind state. So this first day involves identifying what is needed to begin. Identify what causes stress from maintenance and set up solutions, determine priorities. Set up your environment to operate on priorities more efficiently. Pausing to prepare saves time later.

Order marches with weighty and measured strides; disorder is always in a hurry.” —Napoleon Bonaparte, 1804

Ideas start from your environment. The more organized and prepared, the less maintenance tasks can be used for procrastination or frustration. Organization provides resources to be at your fingertips and enables you to be ready for quick opportunities. Sustained vitality needs a calm organizational plan to emphasize the essentials first so that they don’t distract later. These questions help to determine areas of needed attention:

glass inspiration1. Evaluate environment.
What domestic or personal care details consume frustrating time (i.e. looking for things, time on emergency minor repairs, etc.)? Often the mere act of cleaning up the desk or the room is enough preparation for a new direction. However, if backup disks are disorganized, if the computer desktop is a mess, if communications are behind, or if there are too many distractions, beginning will be stalled. Take a minute and look around where you are sitting as you begin this creative exploration. These questions will help you see your space with fresh eyes:

• What is worth looking at? Are there objects or views that inspire?

• Are your tools organized? Can you find what you need when you need it?

• Is your work space clean and free of the unnecessary? Distractions are the biggest time-waster, so knowing what they are in advance can help to not fall victim.

If your environment offers nothing worth looking at, if it is messy and oppressive, or if you can not find tools, any beginning will be a lesson in frustration.

glass inspiration2. Deal with the Unfinished.
Lingering obligations should be identified and dispensed with because they will cause detours later. So the first questions when looking at an undone Things to Do List are:
• Are there unfinished projects or commitments that can be completed? If they can not be completed before starting on a new adventure, then save yourself later trouble and either decide to back-burner, delegate, or say no.

• What activities or tasks can be done by someone else? If an activity can be done by someone else, it should be done by someone else. Creativity is pursuing what is unique to you.

• What must be finished as an obligation. Favors are easy to procrastinate so getting small projects out of the way is simply cleaning the creative house.

 glass inspiration3. Set up for solutions.
Knowing the variables of what must be completed and what causes distractions, tackle each area with a cold eye to priorities. Make sure to have the fundamentals needed:

• Do you have an area or setup for your creative pursuits? If not, designate a permanent table, corner, space, or studio.
• Design a storage system for projects and resources so that information and communications are easy to find. What product or system would make each annoyance in Question 1 more convenient, manageable, or delete-able?
• What activity or purchase would solve the unfinished business in Question 2?
Make a list of ideas to approach. then determine what action for each is needed. Finally, prioritize which will affect beginning this creative journey the most.

“The next time you launch a campaign, do not think about your solid goals or wishful dreams, and do not plan out your strategy on paper. Instead, think deeply about the tools and materials that you have.”—Robert Greene

glass inspiration 4. Seek best advice for resources.
Discuss ideas and share tips with your network circle. This journey assumes that you already have e-mail connections and social network preferences. Online resources such as LinkedIn are ideal for sharing challenges and getting insights. Find those groups with those who can offer short cuts or connections. Target those to ask for advice and get involved in the discussions.

If it takes more than a week to complete these steps, some of your responsibilities need serious challenging. Take them off this list and set up a separate plan. Large endeavors can prevent you from starting the Idea Incubator process. Such long-term commitments do not establish maintenance, though they require effort to complete. The goal today is to get the maintenance variables under control.

Set up your best organizational systems to sustain and you will not only have more time to spend on developing new ideas, but those ideas will be rooted to your own concerns.

Share you ideas here if you want, though this is a self-seminar. To use this technology to its potential involves discussion and sharing ideas, thus helping others as you proceed on your creative journey.

Always inspired, Liane, lianesebastian9@gmail.com

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Please visit the Initiator Index for overview and development progress.

See Idea Incubator #2: Collaborative Seedsd.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer

Idea Incubator 23: Relying on Resources

Posted April 20, 2011 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 3: The Focused Mind

glass collection of Liane Sebastian
Everyone has limited resources. Once, speaking to a room of 200 designers, I asked: “has anyone ever had an unlimited budget?” No hands were raised in response. Throughout my career, I have had only one project where money was no object, resulting in a corporate brochure printed in seven colors with 60 location photos, and ten fold-out pages.*

Beyond money and time, there are several other resources often overlooked. To maximize such advantages requires insight and creativity.

“Look to grievances within your own experience to discover conviction. The only fulfilling strategy is to apply resources where they can do the most good.”

—Melissa Giovagnoli, contributor to Women who Win at Work

This sounds simple, but people are easily distracted or unconsciously complicate situations. Yet a creative use of limited resources will yield stronger results than an unimaginative use of abundant resources. These questions help to focus:

1.  Set up a chart with four categories:
business _____________________________________
career  ______________________________________
social _______________________________________
personal _____________________________________

2.  Answer these questions for each of the four categories:

• What grievances, problems, annoyances, worries, or causes do you address?

• What problem do you hope to solve or what cause do you contribute to?

• What are your greatest resources?

• What can you do to best focus resources?

3.  How can you match your concerns to your resources?

4. What first steps can you take?

* My unlimited budget project was a corporate brochure for S&C Electric Company, a medium-sized privately held manufacturer in Chicago.

See “Marketing to Match” also from Melissa Giovagnoli.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Also please visit the “Initiator Index” for overview and development progress.

When Idea Incubator concludes after Part 3,  the online publication will be complete. Segments can be used in any sequence, revisiting like an old friend to remind and revise. As a companion, keep a running check on priorities, originality, and rejuvenation to create a flow for developing the best directions. But this is not the end of the process. Though it places you on your best path, you can go further.

I hope you will continue with your self-seminar into the e-book, Idea Initiator that takes the concepts defined in these first three sections, offers a segment on how to sustain creative energy through project ups and downs, and is a guide for how to synthesize the ideas you have formed into a concise and pursuable plan.Contact me to receive your free copy: please go to my website and e-mail me with your request, using the subject line “idea initiator.”

Always inspired, Liane


Idea Incubator 22: Propelling Passion Daily

Posted January 31, 2011 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Part 3: The Focused Mind

Tags: , , , , ,

glass collection of Liane Sebastian
For most creatives, there is a tug-of-war between what you want to do and what you have to do. Want-to-do is create or produce ideas. Have-to-do is sales, bookkeeping, and filing, and housekeeping. It is hard enough to balance between—but it is really sad when creative people don’t spend time being creative.

As an art director who has studied creative business models and methods, out of hundreds of designers, I have concluded that salaried staff designers spend 70-80% of their time on billable work. For a designer entrepreneur, it is only 10% of time spent pursuing creative approaches.

Minding the store is important to business. So time allowed for creative endeavors needs to be spent with wisdom. How can you make the most of your creative hours?

Rieva Lesonsky, entrepreneurial expert, knows how dancing to business music requires choreography chosen for best potential. When interviewed, she said:

“Find a business, or the thing about your business, that excites you. Build on that. The best overall joy in work will make a better company for you and everyone in it.”

—Rieva Lesonsky, contributor to Women who Win at Work

Life is too short not to do what you love. And the same with those you work with!

Ask these questions as a reality-check and way to focus passions so potential:

1. What parts of business do you most enjoy?
Identify your top three tasks.

• What strengths does each task use that you most enjoy?

• How can you build on what most excites you through greater use of your strengths?

2. What excites those you work with?
Consider the point-of-view of each co-worker, contributor, colleague, volunteer, or participant.

• What parts of your work can only you do?

• For each task, evaluate whether you must retain, if you can delegate, and if so, to whom?

3. How do the parts only you can do match up to what you most enjoy doing?

• How can you increase the use of your joys, uniqueness, and the benefit of being in your business?

• What aspects of your business gives you both the most fulfillment and product income?

See  “Form a Creative Base,”also from Rieva Lesonsky.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Also please visit theInitiator Indexfor overview and development progress.

When Idea Incubator concludes after Part 3,  the online publication will be complete. Segments can be used in any sequence, revisiting like an old friend to remind and revise. As a companion, keep a running check on priorities, originality, and rejuvenation to create a flow for developing the best directions. But this is not the end of the process. Though it places you on your best path, you can go further.

I hope you will continue with your self-seminar into the e-book, Idea Initiator that takes the concepts defined in these first three sections, offers a segment on how to sustain creative energy through project ups and downs, and is a guide for how to synthesize the ideas you have formed into a concise and pursuable plan.

Always inspired, Liane

Idea Incubator 21: The Best Project Editor

Posted December 29, 2010 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 3: The Focused Mind

Tags: , , , , ,

glass collection of Liane Sebastian
It is easy to get distracted, especially when developing creative approaches. Keeping on track is a day-by-day activity. Like a kid in a candy shop, I have to be really careful to stay on track and not be seduced by my quest for the next great idea. Tough choices must be made. Multiple passions can be dangerous.

The best compass is the reaction from the audience. Leslie Grossman, serial entrepreneur, knows more about developing business initiatives than anyone. She advocates big-picture thinking:

“Get the market need and your passion to come together and form a purpose. Use your experience in a bigger way.”
—Leslie Grossman, contributor to Women who Win at Work

Passion is great for self-satisfaction but does little to effect the world if not matched with an audience demand. Feedback that steers the ship also helps to make an idea stronger. Attain conceptual continuity by reviewing these questions regularly:

1. How does your work most reflect market needs?
Define what causes, services, or products need solutions.
How do you address or fulfill these needs?
What purpose do you derive from blending your passion with the market need?

2. What initiatives can you use to fulfill purpose?
What is the task that will most develop your direction?
What is the first step you can take?
Who is the best collaborator to help?

3. How can you best connect with others to help fulfill your purpose?
What expert can you contact for advice?
How can you best prepare to talk with them?
What contribution can you make in exchange for their help?

4. Who shares your purpose the most and how can you help one another?

5. Choose one initiative that will strengthen your progress and your passion. Make a plan to complete.

Being multitalented can be a curse as much as a blessing. When appealing to expert advice from Hayward Blake, the Daddy of Chicago graphic designers, he warned that my multi-focus will delete my three disciplines rather than support them. Of course I think that my blend of writing, design, and drawing all come together in publishing. But such a blend also makes me confused at times, pulls in several directions, and needs discipline to focus. So I know more about blending than anyone. Hopefully, my struggle to focus and resist the “grass is greener” syndrome will help you to ovoid such a trap and make the best use of your time.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Also please visit theInitiator Indexfor overview and development progress.

When Idea Incubator concludes after Part 3,  the online publication will be complete. Segments can be used in any sequence, revisiting like an old friend to remind and revise. As a companion, keep a running check on priorities, originality, and rejuvenation to create a flow for developing the best directions. But this is not the end of the process. Though it places you on your best path, you can go further.

I hope you will continue with your self-seminar into the e-book, Idea Initiator that takes the concepts defined in these first three sections, offers a segment on how to sustain creative energy through project ups and downs, and is a guide for how to synthesize the ideas you have formed into a concise and pursuable plan.

Always inspired, Liane

Idea Incubator 20: Presentation Passion

Posted November 30, 2010 by wisdomofwork
Categories: Idea Incubators, Part 3: The Focused Mind

Tags: , , , , ,

glass collection of Liane Sebastian
There is such a demand on communication skills that mistakes will be made. Interpersonally, good intentions go a long way to cover. Online, the mistake is just out there. To use passion as a salve online translates some of the components that work offline.

Entrepreneur and social activist Adrian Guglielmo is an expert in presenting ideas that use passion to convince. Passion is a strength when directed appropriately:

“Speak with passion—it shows immediately. If you have conviction, mistakes are forgiven and the good deeds are elevated.”
—Adrian Guglielmo, contributor to Women who Win at Work

How a message is conveyed is as important as the message itself. Passion puts a point on communication’s arrow. Investigate the role of presentation in your work:

1. What kinds of presentation can advance your career?

2. How can you prepare for presentation? Define your direction.
research:
read:
collect advice:
promote:
strategy:

3. Describe which areas of presentation inspire your greatest conviction?

4. Which presentation is the most difficult for you?

5. Which areas can you improve to yield the most results?

6. Schedule next steps.

Presentation Considerations

Personal and cyber presentations are so different that many people capitalize on the gap. And many get into trouble in one or the other. The skills are very different, but both depend on a foundation of factors:

• Brevity. People read faster than ever. Reading online means scanning down the middle, so short segments of text are absorbed the most. Being faced with a full screen of grey copy is daunting and rarely read throughout. Brevity demonstrates respect for the viewer’s time.

• Pace. Viewers, whether sitting in an audience or in front of a screen, need to be visually guided. Eye-tracking on a page can be evaluated and measured. Is the most important content the largest and easiest to find? What does a viewer perceive first?

• Drama. People are emotional first. The more content can inspire emotion, the more it can motivate. Stirring emotion online is harder than face-to-face, so graphics must carry the message. Balance light content (humor) with deeper meaning. How much can be said in images? How much can be personalized for individual viewers?

• Expectations. If you don’t know what readers or viewers expect, you can’t present content of interest. Every industry has standards for appropriateness. Fulfilling expectations means knowing your audience.

• Stories. People remember stories more than names, facts, for features. When a message is delivered, wrapped in a parable or an analogy, it becomes more entertaining and dramatic.

• Simplify. It is easy to overcomplicate messages in the effort to be comprehensive. To make elegant, present no more than three major points. This will save time in preparation and increase perception.

• Polish. Just like wearing a tailored suit with polished shoes, publications need to be dressed. Through testing, correcting, and being thorough in accuracy, crafting, and functionality, the work put into the quality of workmanship shows.

• Style. Especially in a time of templates for websites, blogs, newsletters, etc., it has become even harder to stand out with distinction. Choose a style, commit to it, and build upon it. Anchor around a key signature. For example, this blog has a look and feel that mirrors my website that mirrors my business philosophy.

• Goal. Purpose has to be obvious. Mystery can be used to build up to the point, but what change must the presentation ultimately initiate? For example, this blog is meant to inspire the reader to want to see my portfolio, to buy one of my books, and/or to hire me for a custom design project.

• Relevant. Most viewers react according to the avoid pain/attract pleasure concept. If a presentation falls in between, it lacks legs. Tying into current events, concerns, hot buttons, or dilemmas will plant the impression of being a helpful resource. The message soothes the pain points or clears the confusion.

• Takeaway. Different than a goal, the audience discovers something useable, memorable, or educational. In selling creative services, the pitch can’t be about me but must be about how the prospect will benefit. Offering useful information is an introduction to creative services and demonstrates a give-to-get philosophy (see my article,  with this title “Give to Get,” (PDF) that collects ideas from contributors who demonstrate the wisdom in generosity.)

Presenting in person and online are so different that each of these factors must be adjusted on both sides to promote consistency. Personal meeting reveals rapport—so important in the development of design. Online, visuals must be strong enough to make mistakes minor and the overall message primary.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Also please visit theInitiator Indexfor overview and development progress.

When Idea Incubator concludes after Part 3,  the online publication will be complete. Segments can be used in any sequence, revisiting like an old friend to remind and revise. As a companion, keep a running check on priorities, originality, and rejuvenation to create a flow for developing the best directions. But this is not the end of the process. Though it places you on your best path, you can go further.

I hope you will continue with your self-seminar into the e-book, Idea Initiator that takes the concepts defined in these first three sections, offers a segment on how to sustain creative energy through project ups and downs, and is a guide for how to synthesize the ideas you have formed into a concise and pursuable plan.

Always inspired, Liane