We’re so excited to have Chicago Ideas Week back at Catalyst Ranch today for another
Innovation Board luncheon. For those who aren’t familiar with CIW, the organization was founded in 2011 with the purpose of bringing thought leaders from all over the world to Chicago to “provoke new ideas and inspire actionable results.” They seek to create a forum where ideas can flourish, connections can be made across multiple industries and great change is possible. What is also amazing about CIW is their emphasis on accessibility – all of their events are only $15 and many of them are captured in high definition and released free to the web. Great ideas and creativity should be available to all, regardless of economic status.


In honor of Chicago Ideas Week’s presence at the Ranch today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite presentations to come out of last years Chicago Idea’s Week – “Helping Creative People Create” by Scott Belsky. Scott Belsky is the founder and CEO of the online portfolio platform, Behance. Behance was recently purchased by Adobe and is used by millions of creative professionals to share their projects across multiple industries. Additionally Scott has dedicated his career to helping creative teams actually put their ideas into action. Scott has analyzed the strategies and organization of some of the most creative and effective ideation teams and puts the results into an incredibly actionable presentation.

CIW: Creative Process: Scott Belsky from Chicago Ideas Week on Vimeo.

One of my favorite points that Scott talks about is needing a bias towards “action.” That ideas are great but if there is no accountability and plan to put ideas in to action they will flounder and fizzle when they should flourish. His strategy of “capturing action” at the end of every meeting is particularly effective. There is also a need he argues for both “dreamers” and “doers” to balance out a creative team. Too many dreamers and you have what Scott calls “an orgy of ideas” with little action. Too many doers and you have organized action but few new ideas. These are just a few of the useful and innovative points Scott makes.

So often focus is put on the idea and the process of its generation. In fact one of our goals at Catalyst Ranch is to be a space that inspires new ideas at every turn by engaging all of the senses. And many of the top companies and most innovative start-ups have incorporated this idea within the design of their office spaces, creating workspaces ideal for ideation. What’s so great about Scott’s presentation is that he essentially asks the question – “But then what?” How do you take that next step after that wonderful spark of creativity?

What are your own strategies for turning ideas into action? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!

Chicago Ideas Week runs October 14th – 2oth, 2013, for more information on all the great happenings visit https://www.chicagoideas.com/