At Proof, we live and breathe our Playbook. It’s important for us to keep true to our values and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Living out our core values, we aim to learn every day and part of that has recently manifested as somewhat of a Proof “book club” (PBC).
Each month, we – as a team – select a book that is relevant to the work we do, but that will also serve to inspire us in the work we do for our clients. This month, we tackled Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelly. As founders of IDEO and creators of the Stanford d.school, these brothers have a lot of experience in the creative sphere.
“At its core, creative confidence is about believing in your ability to create change in the world around you.”
The Proof team all read the book and on our last Vision Day, shared our collective thoughts, take-aways, and inspirational elements. One consistent key point is that what is deemed as a “successful” creative product, idea, or design, is often – if not always – the product of many failed attempts.
While the book shares many stories of success and creative brilliance, the primary ideology harkens back to the old adage we’ve heard many times: “Try, try, and try again.” Even with a great idea in mind, it will take work and a healthy dose of messing things up before the big idea is realized. And that when they come to life, the world around you can and will truly be changed. A clear takeaway from the book: “Failure sucks, but instructs.”
It’s easy to let these notions slip our minds, but it’s important to remember – especially in a creative profession – that failure is never an ending point, but a point on the map of the journey to create something great.
A few other inspiring quotes and key takeaways:
- “Being human centers is at the core of our innovation process. Deep empathy for people makes our observations powerful sources of inspiration.”
- “The surprising, compelling mathematics of innovation: if you want more success you have to be prepared to shrug off more failure.”
- “Don’t let your inner perfectionist slow you down. All the over planning, all the procrastinating, and all the talking are signs that we are afraid, that we just don’t feel ready…That tendency leads us to wait rather than act, to perfect rather than launch.”
- “Constraints can spur creativity and incite action, as long as you have the confidence to embrace them.”
- “No one person is responsible for the final outcome. It is the result of everyone’s contribution.“
It’s hard to be “best” right away, and you may never end up truly being “the best” (the idea alone is very relative). What we can do, in fact, all we can do, is commit to rapid and continuous improvement with a focused dedication to always be better today than we were the day before.