He has two books that are related, one called Six Thinking Hats and the other is Six Action Shoes. If you Google the titles you’ll find a few summaries online or click the links; plenty of used copies on Amazon mean you could pick up both book for around five bucks plus shipping. Without getting into considerable details, both books illustrate an important idea – that you can’t think or act the same way in all situations.
For me, even just the past few days have reminded me of the different roles I play and how differently I approach them. IFor example, since Friday….
1) I shot a video interview with an effects supervisor on the film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Shooting the video required being the tech guy setting up the equipment, a manager dealing with my son Shane, and an producer / editor making sure I got the material I needed to be able to put the story together.
2) I was a reporter, breaking news about Ann Coulter and potential voter fraud on the Huffington Post. As a marketing person, I promoted the story on Twitter and by emailing it to important bloggers I know.
3) As a comedy writer, I posted a piece on 236.com based on a weird idea I had about a Disney version of Slumdog Millionare. As a graphic artist, I mocked up a fake poster to go along with the story.
I’m really leaving out a lot but you get the idea. We’re entering a new era for creative people where wearing just one job hat won’t do for many if they want to be successful. Musicians and poets need to also be computer experts and sales people. Programmers need to be market researchers and graphic designers.
Of course, they don’t really NEED to…but it’s getting tougher and tougher to succeed if you are having to rely on other people.
The pace and pressue of this change is enourmous. One way I keep sane is by not trying to be ‘myself’. I realize that different roles require different skills and I relish the change. When I write a fact based story like the Coulter piece, I go into logical, methodical, clear explanation mode. If it’s an opinion piece, I switch between a focus on facts and on my inner sense of the truth of the matter is in spiritual sense. When I write comedy for 236.com, I let myself go crazy, turn off my inner critic, experiment and really trust my own instinct of what’s funny to me.
So, who are you? How do you change yourself from project to project? And who do you need to learn to be in order to take your own work to where you want it to go?