James Webb Young was an ad executive in the heyday of advertising, but I refuse to make a Don Draper joke. Moving on quickly, Young once gave a presentation to the School of Business at the University of Chicago and then, after a process of refinement, turn it into a book that clocks in at under sixty pages. And yet, it offers a very cogent and powerful process for developing ideas.
Because the book is so short and the argument so simple I hesitate from saying too much more about it for fear of giving it all away. However, I will say that if you have decided to not read this tiny and yet powerful book, then do a quick search. You’ll find a few posts out there from less “honorable” blogs that will undercut book sales.
I digress…Young’s argument, in the end, is common sense that I will oversimplify as a balance between input and output. Read, watch, learn and then sit down at the keyboard or sketchpad or whatever and do what God has uniquely gifted you to do. This is an important point to reflect upon: a God-given skill must still be sharpened, honed, and fueled to be effective.
Recommendations & Audience
This is a book that is accessible by pretty much anyone and would definitely be of a help to anyone whose job or passion requires creative output. Specific to the church world, pastors and creative directors would greatly helped by this book. In fact, it’s something that I think would be worth covering with an entire staff, creative team, or perhaps even every volunteer in your church. Does that sound a bit extreme? Perhaps, if we only define creativity by flashy graphics and responsive design, a whole volunteer training session would be a stretch, but since creativity can be applied to problem-solving, strategizing, and so on, all volunteers should be empowered with the skills and process to improve and expand their ministries through creativity.