The Innovator's Dilemma
Newsweek|January 07 - 14, 2022
Management author and guru Seth Godin on how to fearlessly embrace creativity
By Dorie Clark. Photographs by Klaus Vedfelt and Getty

WE’D ALL LIKE TO INJECT MORE creativity into our work—the chance to stretch, learn new things and expand our skill sets. But too often, we hold ourselves back: What if it doesn’t work? What if no one listens? Or cares?

But Seth Godin, author of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, says, “The best way forward is to forget about winning in the short run.” Instead, he believes we should concentrate on learning from what our audience tells us. That’s how we can innovate and create something useful and meaningful.

In a recent interview as part of my weekly Newsweek show BETTER (Thursdays 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT), I asked Godin to talk about how professionals can tap into creativity to enhance their workand the difference they make for others. Here are four strategies he shared.

Don’t Wait to “Get Picked”

Many professionals who want to start a new initiative—for instance, launching a blog or a podcast, or creating a new service—hesitate to take the first step. But Godin reminds us that this is a trap we mustn’t fall into when starting out.

“Every podcast begins with no listeners,” he says. “Every blog begins with no readers. You don’t wait until you get picked. You don’t wait until you get a guarantee. You simply begin.” Godin says not to worry if the going is slow at first. “We don’t need the biggest possible audience,” says Godin. If you’re speaking to the right people—who understand and value your message—it doesn’t need to be a large number at first.

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