The Accidental Creative

2012 Echo Conference

In this 52 minute session from the 2012 Echo conference, Todd Henry talks about what the creative process needs to look like in order to produce healthy individuals, work, and relationships. Todd Henry is the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative where he helps creatives and teams be prolific, brilliant and healthy. 

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your creative process and product. 

As you survey your life and work, are you able to juggle all three aspects of creativity; being prolific, brilliant AND healthy? Or does "fried, unreliable, fired" describe you in any way? Where do you struggle? What needs to change?
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Todd talked about 5 Steps to Solving Problems in the creative process.
  1. Define Problem
  2. Explore Options 
  3. Choose Best Option
  4. Execute
  5. Rinse & Repeat
But he said that many times in our "create-on-demand" world, we shortcut it to 3 Steps:
  1. Panic About Problem
  2. Explore Option
  3. Execute!!!

Are you hovering close to the center of your world and shortcutting the creative process or are you reaching out to pursue novelty in your creativity? Are you doing your best? What are the results?
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Todd talked about the tension between Possibilities and Pragmatics:
  • Time vs. Value
  • Predictable vs. Rhythmic
  • Product vs. Process

Where do you find the most tension in your context? How do you deal with it?
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Todd talked about the 5 Elements of Creative Rhythm and the strategies to help.

1. FOCUS - how we define the problem
PING - pinprick in your gut that prevents focus
Define: Challenges 
Refine: Big 3 

Do you struggle with not having time to complete projects? What is distracting you?
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What are the specific challenges in the project you are working on now? Consider Todd's tip of carrying the three most pressing questions to find solutions and stimuli in your environment.
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2. RELATIONSHIPS - connections that allow us to pursue meaningful things
Start Circle - gather 4–6 people outside of work and discuss:
      1. What are you working on?
      2. What can we help you with?
      3. What is inspiring you?
Head-to-Head - learning to craft and share idea and get another idea
Seek Leadership - someone who has your best interest and authentic

Are you practicing any of those relationship ideas now? Which will you implement in your life?
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3. ENERGY - time management
Practice Pruning - to be more effective 
Think Whole Life - because your whole life requires energy

What needs to be pruned from your life? What needs to be done now? What can you move around to be more effective?
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4. STIMULI - we create out of what we take in
Have a Study Plan - what you pursue  
Take Better Notes - what goes on inside your own head
Stimulus Dive - what gets you outside your comfort zone

Are you aware of deeper questions and pursuing those? What do you need to be studying, thinking, and pursuing now for what is coming up in your life? How will you get out of your comfort zone to provide more stimulus for your creativity?
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5. HOURS - where you put your time
Unnecessary Creating - expressing yourself outside your job
Idea Time - pausing to specifically just think and dream

When was the last time you created something that someone was not paying you for? What was it?
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When is your time to pause to pursue creativity and new ideas?
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FRESH. Building practices in these areas give you the ability to engage your work with more purpose. And you will be true to yourself. 

For information or to purchase tickets to experience next year's Echo Conference live, go to