Margin and Creativity

For me,

Margin (space, reflection, free time, lack of pressure) is necessary for facilitating creativity.

This is not the same as getting things done. Pressure and deadlines get things done.

But creativity needs time to flourish. It needs margin – the “space” found in a run, a hike on the trail, time away from work, a change of pace, dinner with friends, Saturdays, playing music, backpacking, long flights, collaboration with the team, an offsite for the day. (You can fill in more venues…)

Great ideas need “room.”

In our world “space” or “margin” doesn’t just happen. We have to make it happen. We have to shut off the noise. Don’t your best ideas typically come after you’ve had some time to simply dwell or think and not just “do”?

Maybe space truly is the final frontier, just not the one we typically think about.


At work I’m trying to stay committed to “extreme decision making.” Meaning, I’m working intentionally at cutting down on the time required to make decisions, reducing the number of decisions I make through delegation, and by working at “extreme clarity.” My standard with day-to-day decisions is to decide immediately, on the spot, Yes or No, or to empower the person asking me, to decide. 

It’s  not always been that way. I can procrastinate with the best of them. I’m always getting things done, but it’s easy to delay key decisions, key planning, scheduling decisions and others. It’s easy to tell people “let me think about that” and not really mean it. 

I just made a decision yesterday about a legal and corporate level matter that sat on my desk for a year. Yes a year! I made the decision in 15 minutes. It was an important business decision in a specific geography. But the decision was much simpler than I’d made it to be for the year prior. I just had to get on with it.

I’ve just decided that I’m done with dragging my feet; period. Life is too short. Barriers must be removed. The weight of delayed decisions creates too much stress.

“YES,” NO,” & “YOU DECIDE” are the standard answers. There’s also the choice to ignore certain domains and decision areas, choosing what NOT to be involved in. This is key. Simply eliminate the responsibility for certain decisions that others can and should make themselves. We can only work so hard and so smart. Delegate and Empower people to make decisions based on established criteria. Make qualified choices to allow certain scenarios and decisions to be resolved without getting involved. When something is really wrong or really bad, and we recognize over time that it’s not being resolved, then pop in and deal with it. Create clarity, define, and move on. The goal should be to never have to go back to resolve that issue again. There’ll be a position and process to handle it.

Delaying decisions can be habitual. I am trying to remind myself to decide quickly and move on, every hour, of every day, of every week. It creates clarity. It reduces stress. It improves productivity. It sets a better tone. Indecision is a killer. Eliminate Indecision.

Shared Reality

Track with me on this…

My business or domain, my reality

Your business or domain, your reality

Our mutual (together) business (work), our “shared” reality

Businesses working together (B2B) need to work in a SHARED REALITY space

If everything is done on one or the others terms, then there’s a one-sided reality. That can create tension, or worse, set up an opportunity for failure.

This has a strong impact on the working relationship


We want to drive toward as mutual of a space as we possibly can, and it should be represented in the contract terms and conditions

As much as possible, we should seek agreements that set up for a win-win scenario.

I am to provide the client value in accordance with certain defined terms and deliverables or products. The client provides me with reasonable terms and conditions for value received

And if there’s a relationship, this should be easy. If there’s value expressed, it should be easy.

The shared reality space, the space in the overlapping circles, the closing of the gap, the intersection of the lines, that’s the space to seek. In that space lies the best opportunity for success. There’s potential for the stuff of greatness in that space.


Connectivity and Engagement

A few recommendations related to business, networking, connectivity, engagement:

Be the most connected,

Hardest working,

Fastest responding,

Proactively communicating,

Actively  networking,

Self learning,

Team oriented,

Client focused,


Most engaged,

person in your space.
That’s it today. Do it. see what happens

Communicate back to me