Want to be more creative? Try getting off the page

Finance Tech

Foreword: In this anecdote Joyce Reitman, Relatus CEO, shares a mantra for the creative process that rings true for Broadway icons and successful founders, too.

Years ago, I attended an in-person conversation with Barbara Cook, who was a 50-year veteran of Broadway and cabaret, a self-pronounced food addict and someone who had seen the bottoms and tops of a career. At the age of 80 she was still recording and teaching a master class at Juilliard.

That evening, Ms. Cook spoke about the creative process and used the phrase "getting off the page." She described how a singer, whether operatic or jazz, will perform and take particular attention to every note on the page.

Ms. Cook voiced her frustration with that approach, saying that those singers will never achieve greatness and will leave an audience cold. She said reading and singing the notes on a page is just the starting point to launch the musical creation.

Similarly, I find we can apply the same concept to the formation and launch of a business. Launching a business is not about precise financial statements, beautifully worded business plans, the latest trend in tech-speak. Those elements are the just launching point, where you then have to get to the passion and "ah-ha" moment of new direction and execution.

Getting off the page, why not?

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