from Z to A in ACTION! an essay on making ideas and dreams come true

I have used a part of my summer holiday to write this essay on action. I have researched on, what it takes to get from a-z in action or as I have called it “from Z(ero) to A(ction) in ACTION!”.
-defining some of the main steps necessary to generate ideas and putting them to work.

For a very long time, I have been thinking about working my way through the process of idea creation to creativity and finally to action. In my world, it’s a petty when a good idea goes to waste without getting to test a part of the actual idea out.

Now for a definition of action “ as my good friend J.C. Fischer and I came up with for a 6-word story  “babysteps will get you there too”.

In this case, it means that small actions inside yourself will lead to larger actions externally if the larger actions feel right. So the scalability of actions is really important.
If we take the word ”act” it means that you are doing something about a given idea. That ‘something’ could be anything from reflection on the idea, to bringing it to life by making it happen

So how do you generate ideas?

Ideas have a touch of magic and dreams.

An idea to me is a magical feeling that you get when you think about something new. A good idea to a person, is an idea that you decide, you would like to act upon – because you think it’s a good idea. Still, most of the good ideas stays at the good idea stage (and never makes it to action). So how do you spur your idea into action?

Creativity is interaction

Creativity is a constant steppingstone in the action process -not just a tool to spur ideas into action. You need creativity to generate ideas. In the words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “creativity is interaction”

Most important to me is the interactions between the people you see, the culture you live in and your own creative vibe.

How can you create a better creative vibe within yourself?

I have made a creativity 100 list a while back which is a 100 point list to get more creative.

My favorites from that list are :

– Creativity means creative choices of inclusion and exclusion (Robert Mckee)
– Creative action speaks louder than creative words
– Be a firestarter a twisted firestarter
– Eliminate the word ‘against’ in your mind. Don’t be against smoking or against war be FOR health and FOR peace.

Let’s say you’ve got the idea now, and you’ve got that creative vibe going what’s next?

You still have quite a way to go to get to action. All steps are small actions themselves but the place we want to get at is where people can see you are making something instead of just talking about the idea.

Talk and listen… ( trust me, you need your community =)

So when you have the idea and you are flowing with it,  start talking and introducing it to various people to get feedback. Don’t think about action just yet – just listen to what people are telling you about creativity

Listening is just as important as talking in action-hunting.

When people are saying the same over and over again and marking out the same assets and faults of your idea it’s time to add a little action to the idea.

An idea description

Change the thing about the idea that people say ( and you feel) is broken, and use the assets to make an idea description you’re probably going to change the idea description a thousand times during the idea stage but that’s quite okay.
Things I normally put into my idea descriptions are :
– what’s the point of this idea?
– Why is it going to save a tiny part of the world
– How can I make people like it?
– Who will like it the most (aka. Who is the primary target group)
– What is stopping you from going into action?
– What are the next steps to be taken?

Review and rewrite the description every time you idea get stuck and is more likely to go down the drain than to action =)

Remarkability ( be different)

For this to work you don’t have to think in ways that other people haven’t done before. But you have to be damn good at creative puzzles. Creative puzzles are the way you mix and match tendencies, functioning ideas, money-earning ideas into your own. Take your inspiration from places you had no intention of going.

So when you think of being remarkable you don’t really have to go all the way and reinvent the deep dish again. You can settle for a creative puzzle, which is just as unique. Remarkability can also be a unique way of putting together puzzles.

Turn everything …

Ask questions upside down, inside out.

How would a teapot see your livingroom? What would a cat do in a given situation

Find the coolest people as muses and ask yourself questions like “how would Elvis Presley write this book” or “how would the queen of Saba sing “anarchy in the U.K”- quite amusing and a grand way to put yourself in new shoes.

This essay is not ending.

I will continously add to it. But this is all I’ve got for now, from my balcony in surburbia Denmark =)

creative sources for this post:

Hugh macleod : “how to be creative”

James Wood Young: ” technique for getting ideas”

crossposted on and

4 replies on “from Z to A in ACTION! an essay on making ideas and dreams come true”

Hi Henriette
Great blog!
Have you got any good ideas for people who get too many ideas? 🙂
I find it sometimes necessesary to store ideas in jam jars – at least I can’t hear all the noise they make when they are behind glass 🙂
I am looking forward to hear you talk about blogging Monday – see U there.

hi Anne

I will think about good ideas about people who get too too many ideas =) ideas behind glass – what a cool name for a company =)

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