THE PODCAST

Weekly inspiration in your ears.

With millions of downloads, the Accidental Creative podcast has provided weekly tips and interviews with top thinkers, leaders, and artists for over a decade.

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How To Give Feedback About Creative Work

Have you ever presented a project and been told something like "yeah, that's just not working for me"? Not very helpful, right? How you give feedback is really important to a team's culture. On this episode, we share three key principles for giving feedback to others about creative work. 

Find Your Creative Voice With These 10 Questions

We must actively search for our creative voice, and clear a path for it to emerge. It is uncovered, not manufactured. We may not even like what we discover at first, but by embracing it we will position ourselves to occupy the unique space for which we’re wired. Here are a ten questions that will help you uncover clues to your unique contribution.

Unsafe Thinking (with Jonah Sachs)

You're probably really skilled at what you do. However, this can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you can take shortcuts that help you create more value faster for your clients or organization. On the other, the more skilled you are the easier it can be to slip into ruts and "safe thinking." On today's episode, Jonah Sachs, author of Unsafe Thinking, will help shake us out of our creative ruts and help us think more boldly.

How To Handle Conflict

If you have talented, driven, creative people on your team, conflict is inevitable. Conflict isn't bad, it's just a by-product of the creative process. However, how you handle conflict will determine the health or dysfunction of the team. On this episode, we share...

How To Eliminate 90% of the Tension On Creative Teams

Many of the e-mails and questions we get at Accidental Creative revolve around one question. Actually, it’s one question asked from two different perspectives: How can I get them to understand me? The them in the question is either “my manager” or “my creative team” depending on who is asking the question. There is a lot of time spent lobbing shots across the organizational bow, from both sides, but there is often a significant dearth of real communication. So with that in mind, on this episode I we share a simple way to eliminate 90% of this organizational tension. It begins by understanding the main question being asked by the other person in any given interaction.

How To Plan Your Day In 10 Minutes

If you were going to purchase a house or a car, you would probably step back and consider how you're going to re-organize your finances to ensure that you're preparing yourself properly and will use your money effectively. However, many people are much less intentional abou thow they spend their day than how they spend their money. Yet, which is more valuable? How you spend your day is how you spend your life. On this episode, you'll learn a very simple 10 minute method for planning your day effectively so that you bring your best creative value to your clients and organization. 

How To Keep A Creative Project On The Rails

No matter how well things go in the course of a project, there are always ways in which you can go off the rails. This is especially true when you're leading other team members or a client through a complex web of decisions. Sometimes, there are circumstances beyond your control that force you to go backwards and re-visit some of your earlier work. However, you should always ensure that a project isn't going off the rails because of a lack of diligence on your part. On this episode, we share four practical tips for keeping your creative project on the rails as you make difficult decisions. 

The Coaching Habit Revisited (with Michael Bungay Stanier)

When you think of the word "coach", what image comes to mind? Someone standing on the sideline barking orders at everyone? The master strategist standing in an empty room with a whiteboard full of plans? How about this one: the great listener? On today's show, Michael Bungay Stanier returns to share additional insights from his international smash hit book The Coaching Habit. We talk about misunderstandings people often have about coaching, and how we can coach our peers and even our managers to help them unleash their best work every day.

5 Ways To Shake Up Your Creative Process

Over time, this pressure to produce every day can cause us to fossilize around bad habits. We get into a rhythm – the bad kind – that causes us to move mindlessly through our days without much thought for our process. On this episode we share five places where you might be experiencing “fossilization”, and some remedies for dealing with them.

Dealing With A Culture Of Blame

It's human nature to want to assign blame. Since the dawn of time we've assigned unseen causes to effects that we can't explain. We even find ways of off-loading blame for our vices (the devil made me do it!) and our shortcomings (it's just my nature.) Much of this...

Push Through The Second Wall

There are two walls that creatives hit when engaged in making something meaningful. The first wall, and the most obvious one, occurs before or very early in the process. It’s what causes us to shrink back from engagement and to instead seek something – ANYTHING – that will immediately relieve our need to feel productive. It’s much easier to check e-mail, make a call or re-shuffle the papers on our desk than it is to bare our soul to the blank page, the blinking cursor, or the empty art board. However, the second wall can be the one that really keeps you from producing your best work. On this episode, we share some strategies for surmounting it and pushing through to your best work. 

Make Your Contribution

Is passion important? Surely. Is it the most important factor in doing great work? I have my doubts. Some of the most effective contributors throughout time have been marked by two characteristics: they were (a) reluctant, but (b) resolved. They saw the great task before them, but they were determined to surmount obstacles because they recognized an opportunity and felt the urgency of the moment. Do not be dulled, friends. Do not allow the lull of comfort to cause you to abdicate your contribution. Stay sharp. Keep your edges. Nothing – NOTHING – is worth giving up the most precious thing you have to offer.

How To Handle Failure

After a failed project, many teams simply move forward to the next one, without a postmortem. This is a huge mistake. It's important as a leader that you seize those failures and mistakes and turn them into growth moments for your team. Otherwise, people are likely...

Great At Work (with Morten T. Hansen)

What separates top performers from everyone else? Is it really just a matter of hustle and multi-tasking, or is there something else going on? Today's guest Morten T. Hansen has spent several years studying top performers and he's discovered that there are seven key differentiators between average and remarkable performers. On this episode, he shares why working more hours can be counter-productive, how to prune priorities to create maximum value, and how to say "no" to your boss.

Why Slow and Steady Does NOT Win The Race

It’s not enough to make daily, measured progress on your work if it’s not deliberate progress. If you’re not moving in a meaningful direction, then failure is a likely outcome. While most professionals know this, it often doesn’t affect how we approach our work. Instead of defining our work effectively, we are instead carried along by the flow of it from day to day. Instead of determining the problems we are trying to solve, we tackle big, conceptual challenges and thus set ourselves up for failure from the start.

3 Critical Pressures Every Manager Faces

Leading creative work is like trying to organize something that doesn't want to be organized. You will face a number of unique pressures that can easily sidetrack you (and your career) if you don't handle them well. On this episode, we share three of those...

3 Strategies For Reclaiming Margin

Feeling overwhelmed? Yeah, join the club. So many creative pros feel as if they are swimming upstream every day; like they go to bed at night a little farther behind than they were when they woke up that morning. Often, this is a function of a lack of margin in your life and work. On today's show, we share three specific strategies for reclaiming your life, and instilling margin so that you can bring your best work every day.

Get Momentum (with Jason and Jodi Womack)

Have you ever had a goal or an ambition, but you simply couldn't figure out how to get moving on it? Or, have you ever encountered a hurdle that you simply couldn't jump over or go around? Today's guests, Jason and Jodi Womack, help people gain momentum in their life and career, and on this episode they'll share how to deal with the expectation escalation that comes with technology, how to determine the direction of your life and work, and why relationships are critical to effective productivity. 

Why Great Leaders Tell Great Stories

As a leader of a creative organization, your job may be to tell your client's story through the work of your team.  Your team is in the business of positively shaping the perception a market has towards what your client is selling. You are attempting to gain...

Complete Your Conversations

An unbelievable amount of focus, time, and energy is spent in many organizations relitigating decisions that have already been made and should have been final. Not only is this a massive sinkhole for the team's resources, it's a drain on its emotional engagement and a drag on its sense of mission. On this episode, we discuss the dangers of incomplete conversations and how we as leaders, collaborators, and freelancers working with clients can hone our focus by completing conversations.