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Monday, 25 September, 2023
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Execute or suffer the consequences

Execute or suffer the consequences. The problem with creative thinkers and unconventional people, the traditional wisdom goes, is that they never get things done.

Truth is, often this is correct. Maverick thinkers can be prevaricators. But the additional, necessary thought is that traditional thinkers can be too simplistic and impatient. They get off the bus too soon too often.

But to be fair, some super creative thinkers don’t see actual plans and execution as part of their skills set. They have escaped the greyness of modern thinking enough to think creatively, but they still accept part of the myth: that Creatives cannot be practical. Cannot execute.


Like everything else in life, execution is just a system, a dataset. You can read about it, learn it, make it your own. And then you can do it YOUR way, you can own it. So no, maybe the Maverick execution is not what was expected, but that is the beauty of this. Creativity is not only one thing: products. It is also people, processes and the environment you work in. You can apply maverick thought just as well to HOW you do things as to WHAT you do.


Well, you need to envision what the final THING looks like. You need to think about what problems you want to solve. And you need to include those data points in your creative, maverick, rule-breaking thinking. Add that grist to the mill.

Stop thinking about ideas as only theories or concepts, start thinking about how they will live in the world, how will they get into the world… You’ll find that suddenly you are INTERESTED in execution, instead of avoiding it.

Execute or suffer the consequences.

Many people do not execute because they fear either failing or succeeding. Failing will damage their perception of who and how they are (their ego) and succeeding will alter how they see themselves because things will change, which means they will need to change.

This is curious because, to think creatively, you must take risks and break rules and risk failing in the ideation phase. I guess because this all takes part in the privacy of our own minds, no-one worries too much about this. But when execution looms, other people get to see what we have done… and that’s scary.

The question is why we care at all about that? Once we see how our ideas function, we can learn how to improve them further, how to adapt. Essentially, moving to execution requires a shift in mindset. Don’t get too wrapped up in the outcome or the result, get interested in the process.

IN Start-Up Land, everyone wants to fail fast and fail forward. SO much so that failing is the new succeeding and start-ups are just not getting out of the blocks. This glamorisation of rushing to execution doesn’t help. But the principle does hold true: you learn more when you DO than when you just think.

Philosophers distinguish between A priori knowledge (things which can be known independent of experience, such as mathematics) and A posteriori (knowledge that depends on experience or empirical evidence).

As Mavericks, we need to be careful of thinking what we do is Apriori.

It’s not.

We need to get our hands dirty.

David Chislett
David Chisletthttps://davidchislett.com
David Chislett is a speaker, trainer and writer who has been working in the creative fields since 1994. He aims to change the world by helping people and organisations tap into their inherent capacity for creativity. David believes that Creativity holds the answers to many of the social and economic ills of our world and hopes to help more people discover their own options and choices by accessing their ability to create them. David is also a working poet and publishes work regularly on https://www.patreon.com/davidchislett. To learn more about his training and speaking offerings, head over to https://davidchislett.com

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