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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Off The Clock (with Laura Vanderkam)

Annie Dillard once wrote "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing." However, many of us struggle to find a good balance with our time. We always feel like we're running behind, and that we lay our head down each night a bit behind where we awoke that morning. On this episode, time expert Laura Vanderkam is here to help us understand how people with a healthy perspective on time allocate their hours effectively. Her new book is called Off The Clock.

Exactly What To Say (with Phil M. Jones)

Have you ever been in a big client pitch, a challenging company meeting, or a conversation with a peer and been at a loss for the right words? What do you say in those difficult situations to improve your odds of success? This episode features Phil M. Jones, the author of Exactly What To Say. He will help us understand the words that will help you achieve your goals, influence others, and connect more deeply with your peers and clients.

Why Empathy Is Essential (with Michael Ventura)

Every so often, a word becomes so common in the marketplace that it begins to lose its meaning. I believe that empathy is one of those words. On this episode, SubRosa CEO Michael Ventura shares insights into how to leverage empathy to thrill and delight your clients and customers and creative change in the world. Michael's new book is called Applied Empathy.

Choose Wonder Over Worry (with Amber Rae)

How much time do you spend worrying every day? For many of us, the answer is "too much". When you worry, you disengage parts of your mind and perspective that are necessary for creative brilliance. On this episode, Amber Rae shares how to identify those voices of worry in your head, and how to instead choose to focus on possibility. Her new book is called Choose Wonder Over Worry.

One Way To Spark Unique Ideas For Your Project

You need great ideas consistently in order to do your job. But, where do those ideas come from? You can't just sit there and stare at the problem. Instead, it sometimes help to have a few tools to pull out of your toolbox when you need to be brilliant. On today's show, I share a simple mothod called a "Stimulus Dive" to help you spark new and non-intuitive ideas when you need them most. 

Five Myths About Creative People

There are several myths that exist about highly creative people, and they can seriously affect how teams are led, how client interactions happen, and how we collaborate with one another. If you believe any of these five myths, it can create chronic issues on your team. And, if you are perpetuating any of them, it can seriously curb your effectiveness as a creative pro.

Getting To The Best Idea (with David Moldawer)

Ideas are often plentiful, but great, concise, well-presented ideas are rare. Sometimes you need another person to help you shape your work into something that can achieve maximum impact. David Moldawer is just such a person. He's an editor, and a writer, and he helps authors simplify and communicate their very complex work in a way that it can be received. On this episode, we talk about how to find your voice as an artist, a common fallacy that prevents us from success, and how to best position yourself for creative success. 

How To Finish (with Jon Acuff)

There's so much discussion about how to get started, how to overcome creative block, and how to find your motivation, but you know what's rarely discussed? That's right - how to finish when things get hard. Today's guest Jon Acuff has written the book on the topic, and he's here today to discuss his creative process, and some core principles for finishing challenging long-arc goals in your life and work. 

Friend Of A Friend (with David Burkus)

Networking. Just the word can sometimes bring chills to introverts like me. We tend to think of networking as "slapping palms" and "swapping business cards" and the whole thing often feel a little... swarmy. However, today's guest David Burkus is here to tell us how to think differently about networking, and how we can leverage both our strong and weak ties to help us accomplish our professional goals. His new book is called Friend Of A Friend.

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.