Ideaship

How to Get Ideas Flowing in Your Work Place

Jack Foster (Author) | Larry Corby (Illustrated by)

Publication date: 11/01/2001

Bestseller over 20,000+ copies sold

Ideaship
  • Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)
  • Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work
  • Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)

Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work

Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

Innovative, original ideas are a company's most powerful competitive advantage. Nathan Mhyrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft, has said that a great employee is worth 1,000 times more than an average one simply because of his or her ideas. In Ideaship, the sequel to his bestselling book, How to Get Ideas, Jack Foster shifts from how individuals spark their new ideas to how to unleash the creative genius of an entire organization.

To create an idea-prone workforce, Foster proposes a totally new concept of leadership: "ideaship." Leaders shouldn't be spending their time obsessing over profits or sales or quality or service. Instead, they should devote most of their energies to making the office a place where creative ideas flow, where the workforce truly believes in its ability to brilliantly solve any problem put before it. Above all, where it's fun to work.

With energy and humor, Foster draws on over thirty-five years as creative director of major advertising agencies-organizations whose only purpose is to constantly generate ideas-to offer dozens of fun, fast, often surprising nuggets of practical advice on how to create an environment where innovation and fresh thinking thrive. He reveals why you should only hire people you like, insist employees take vacations whether they want to or not, why efficiency is sometimes inefficient, and how sometimes you can accomplish more by playing the fool instead of the capital L "Leader."

Ideaship spells out proven ways to encourage creativity, simply and clearly and cogently, without a lot of charts and graphs and formulas and acronyms and statistics and fillers. It flips traditional leadership on its head and shows how simple acts of compassion, trust, and generosity of spirit, as well as some seemingly zany actions, can unleash unexpected, vital bursts of creativity.

  • Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)
  • Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work
  • Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

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Overview

  • Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)
  • Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work
  • Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)

Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work

Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

Innovative, original ideas are a company's most powerful competitive advantage. Nathan Mhyrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft, has said that a great employee is worth 1,000 times more than an average one simply because of his or her ideas. In Ideaship, the sequel to his bestselling book, How to Get Ideas, Jack Foster shifts from how individuals spark their new ideas to how to unleash the creative genius of an entire organization.

To create an idea-prone workforce, Foster proposes a totally new concept of leadership: "ideaship." Leaders shouldn't be spending their time obsessing over profits or sales or quality or service. Instead, they should devote most of their energies to making the office a place where creative ideas flow, where the workforce truly believes in its ability to brilliantly solve any problem put before it. Above all, where it's fun to work.

With energy and humor, Foster draws on over thirty-five years as creative director of major advertising agencies-organizations whose only purpose is to constantly generate ideas-to offer dozens of fun, fast, often surprising nuggets of practical advice on how to create an environment where innovation and fresh thinking thrive. He reveals why you should only hire people you like, insist employees take vacations whether they want to or not, why efficiency is sometimes inefficient, and how sometimes you can accomplish more by playing the fool instead of the capital L "Leader."

Ideaship spells out proven ways to encourage creativity, simply and clearly and cogently, without a lot of charts and graphs and formulas and acronyms and statistics and fillers. It flips traditional leadership on its head and shows how simple acts of compassion, trust, and generosity of spirit, as well as some seemingly zany actions, can unleash unexpected, vital bursts of creativity.

  • Sequel to the bestselling How to Get Ideas (more than 40,000 copies sold)
  • Introduces a revolutionary concept of leadership: a leader's most important tasks are to make employees believe that they are creative and make it fun to come to work
  • Short, simple, and fun to read with dozens of proven, easy-to-implement techniques that will make employees more creative

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Meet the Author & Other Product Contributors


Visit Author Page - Jack Foster

Jack Foster spent 35 years working in the creative department of major advertising agencies; the first ten as a writer, the last 25 as a creative director. He helped create advertising for over a hundred companies including Carnation, Mazda, Sunkist, Mattel, ARCO, Suzuki, Denny's, and Universal Studios. He won dozens of advertising awards, including being named ""Creative Person of the Year"" by the Los Angeles Creative Club.



Illustrated by Larry Corby

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Table of Contents




1. How do you become an ideaer?
2. Follow the golden rule
3. Remember that people work with you, not for you
4. Care about them
5. Make their jobs seem easy
6. Don't ask for one solutionAsk for many
7. Don't reject ideasAsk for more
8. Give them more than one problem at a time
9. Ask for more ideas, sooner
10. Make sure they like you
11. Cut down on approvals
12. Tell them everything about their company
13. Give them what they need
14. Take the blame / Give the praise away
15. Help them achieve their goals
16. Hire only people you like
17. If it isn't working, change it
18. Get rid of sad dogs who spread gloom
19. Let them solo
20. Let them do it their way
21. Make sure the problem is the problem
22. Shun rules
23. Trust them
24. Let them shine
25. Praise their efforts
26. Allow them the freedom to fail
27. Never lie about anything important
28. Be wary of fear
29. Show some enthusiasm
30. Ask them to help you
31. Get rid of the word "I"
32. Make it Us vs Them, not Us vs Us
33. Share what everybody does
34. Share experiences
35. Insist on vacations
36. Let them vacation when they want to vacation
37. Forget about efficiency
38. Play the fool
39. Cancel school
40. Have fun
41. A final word

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Excerpt

IDEASHIP

PART I
WHAT IS IDEASHIP?

I spent half my life in advertising. Half of that time I ran creative departments in advertising agencies, half in creative departments run by others.

I was telling a client of mine one day about the difficulties of running such a department, a department that is — by definition and design — a collection of misfits and free spirits, of original thinkers, of people who resist authority and reject dogma; and whose strength is their ability to discover — on command — fresh solutions to a variety of problems.

He thought about it for a while, and then he said: “Running a creative department is not a do-able job. Any attempt to direct or lead or run people who are like that will be counter-productive. They’ll rebel. Or they’ll clam up.”

Perhaps he was right.

But that’s because we were using the wrong words. “Direct” or “lead” or “run” don’t describe what I, and many like me, did.

We didn’t direct or lead or run our departments. We ideaized them.

We weren’t leaders. We were ideaists.

And the art form we practiced was not leadership. It was ideaship.

Henry Miller once wrote: “No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.”

A leader motivates and directs and runs and guides and leads. An ideaist restores.

A leader leads. An ideaist ideaizes.

In short, ideaship is a step beyond leadership, for an ideaist does more than lead — he or she restores to people their belief in their own guidance.


Another client of mine maintained that creative departments are so atypical that any lessons learned there about leadership (I hadn’t yet coined the word ideaship) are not applicable to other groups of people in other kinds of organizations.

Phooey.

The creative people in advertising agencies don’t have a patent on getting ideas. Everyday, the people you work with probably come up with dozens of ideas, from how to get to work quicker to how to stretch their lunch hours, from how to make deliveries faster to how to write memos better, from how to jazz up a sales meeting to how to speed up a production line.

So we know they can come up with ideas. And if you want them to come up with more and better ideas and with more original thinking and innovative approaches and fresh solutions, then an advertising agency creative department is far from some weird model that only a gull would emulate.

Rather, the reverse is true: It is a paragon for your organization, and the lessons learned there are a guide for you.


* * * * * *


What follows then are some of the things I think I’ve learned and some of the conclusions I’ve drawn about ideaship from thirty-five years experience in advertising agency creative departments.

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Endorsements



"Jack Foster's concept of 'ideaship' will help you get more out of the people you work with and increase your own productivity in the bargain."

—Edward Stephens, former Dean, The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

"Ideaship is thirty-five years of creative coaching experience, condensed and delivered in the short, pithy style of one of America's finest copywriters."

—Joe Phelps, CEO, The Phelps Group

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