The Change Revolution

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Posted 4/17/14 at 1:23 PM | Phil Cooke

Creativity Isn't About Inspiration, It's About Rituals

Daily Rituals book cover

I love the quote by painter Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” Real creative professionals know that creativity isn’t about a spark, or inspired moment. Sure those things happen, but they’re rare and can’t be counted on. What can be counted on is showing up.  One writer described the writing process as simply “Connecting the seat of your pants to the seat of a chair.”

Daily routines are the key to long term creative productivity. The book “Daily Rituals,” by Mason Currey tells the story of 161 creative professionals throughout history and charts their daily routine. The result is amazing. What I discovered from the list of writers, painters, musicians, and other creatives is that the vast majority were virtual slaves to a daily routine. They created the environment, schedule, and process that worked best for them – and then stuck to it. FULL POST

Posted 4/16/14 at 10:45 AM | Phil Cooke

Why Your Boss is the Key to Your Future

Photo: Pixabay/kzd - Public Domain

At some point or another, everyone has boss problems. I’ve worked for bosses who were the owner’s son or daughter, and were completely incompetent. There are fine leaders out there who are second generation, but in my career, I’ve worked for some real losers. I’ve had other bosses that were insecure, others who were egomaniacs, and still others who wanted to be somewhere else. As a result, sooner or later, most employees dream of owning their own business and becoming their own boss. But there’s a problem with that dream – unless you are independently wealthy, everyone has a boss.

When I left full time employment and became a freelancer, I suddenly had multiple bosses – my clients. When I started Cooke Pictures, in theory I was the boss, but once again, our clients are my bosses. Try as you might, as long as you’re working full-time, part time, freelance, or self-employed, you’ll always have a boss. Which leaves only one option: FULL POST

Posted 4/15/14 at 9:56 AM | Phil Cooke

The Future of the Church

Photo: Flickr/Jason Tester - Creative Commons
Where will you go next?

Recently, Steven Siwek and the team from Glory Unlimited did an interview with me on media, culture, and the future of the Church. I’d love to know what you think:

A Conversation With Phil Cooke

Posted 4/14/14 at 10:35 AM | Phil Cooke

An Open Letter to an Actress Who Wants to be Famous

Larry Poland

Recently, Dr. Larry Poland, founder of Mastermedia International received a letter from a very sincere sixteen-year old who obviously is serious about her Christian faith and said she aspires to use her singing talent for God. In her letter she wanted Larry’s advice about coming to Hollywood to become a “famous Christian singer.”  After about a week of praying over his response, Dr. Poland wrote the young girl we’ll call “Lucy” the following letter – and it’s a letter you should consider sharing with others with the same goal:

Dear Lucy,

Thanks for your letter sharing your dream of becoming a “famous Christian singer.” My friend, what I am going to say in this letter may seem discouraging to you, but you have to understand that I have worked in Hollywood since 1980 and have seen literally hundreds of bright, committed young men and women aspire to a dream like yours. Frankly, your letter frightened me . . . for three reasons: FULL POST

Posted 4/10/14 at 10:23 AM | Phil Cooke |


Porn's Frightening Impact on the Media Industry

Photo: Wikipedia/gunnar_maas - Creative Commons
Betamax recorder

Way back in 2006, the Los Angeles Times tracked the impact of the pornography industry on the emerging technology of the time. I’ve written before on the history of the battle between industry giants VHS and Betamax, back in the early days of home video. Back then, when home video was new, someone could purchase an X-rated video on the phone, and have it mailed to his doorstep in a plain, brown wrapper. For the first time, you could purchase sexually explicit videos without being seen publicly, and the industry literally exploded overnight.

Back in those days, in a typical month, 50% or more of the top ten list of bestselling videos were porn. Betamax and VHS were battling it out for industry dominance, and when the porn industry made the decision to move to VHS, they carried such weight, it swung the entire business. Although from a technical standpoint, Betamax was considered a better quality format, it literally died almost overnight.

Then it happened again with the advent of HD, Blu-Ray DVD, and online streaming technology. Few people realize the incredible impact of the porn industry on technology. The fact is, many key technology decisions have been driven by the direction the adult video industry has taken. FULL POST

Posted 4/9/14 at 11:46 AM | Phil Cooke |

1 comment

Do You Complain, or Change Things?

Photo: Wikipedia/sailko - Public Domain

You’d be surprised at how many times I start working with a new client, only to have someone on their team pull me aside to complain about how the organization is run, or the incompetent leadership, or the mission. I know other people who constantly complain about their job, co-workers, schedule, and more. The bottom line is that there are far too many people complaining and not nearly enough making things happen. Here’s a shocking statistic I read recently: 78% of people who were fired last year, weren’t fired because of mistakes, incompetence, or lack of skill. They were fired because they couldn’t get along with other people at work.

Admit it: How much time to you spend complaining about your problems to people who can’t help you solve them?

The book of Philippians in the New Testament says, “Do all things without grumbling.” That’s good advice. Stop thinking it will help, because it doesn’t. Here’s a list of what complaining will not do: FULL POST

Posted 4/8/14 at 11:43 AM | Phil Cooke

Is it Cowardly to Hide Your Identity Online?

If you respond to blogs, news, and other online sites through a fake name, I have one question: Why?  What and why are you hiding? Over the years, on this blog – as well as other places I write like Huffington Post, Charisma News, Christian Post, Fast Company, and others, I’ve discovered that the most venomous, nasty, and uncivil posts are almost always from people hiding behind a fake name. There’s simply no accountability when you post anonymously. Which is probably the reason Huffington Post, and many other sites are starting to require the use of real names if you want to respond.

Not long ago, Facebook marketing director (and sister of founder Mark), Randi Zuckerberg announced that anonymity “should go away.” She said, “I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.” FULL POST

Posted 4/7/14 at 10:42 AM | Phil Cooke |


Why Aren't We Taking the Digital Mission Field Seriously?

Graphic: Flickr/Mindfreeze86 - Creative Commons

Since Facebook passed the billion member mark about a two years ago, it’s become (by population) the 3rd largest country in the world – somewhere between the United States and India. In that scenario, the question for the Church becomes “Who’s sending missionaries to that country?” Or “Who’s planting churches in that country?” Certainly many churches, ministries, and their leaders have a social media presence, but are we really thinking deeply about how we can engage this new “digital mission field” with our message? Other than trying to amp up our “likes,” how many organizations have a strategic plan for evangelism through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? FULL POST

Posted 4/3/14 at 10:32 AM | Phil Cooke |


The Data is in: Noah Is Driving People to the Bible

The YouVersion Bible App team tracked the opening of the movie “Noah,” and during the 3 day opening weekend the app reported a 300% increase in people reading or listening to the Noah story from the book of Genesis. In actual numbers, YouVersion reports during the opening weekend, the Noah story was read or listened to on the app 389,794 times – or about 129,931 times per day.  It’s the highest number of people exploring that passage that they’ve ever experienced.

Bible Gateway, another top online scripture site reports similar findings with a 223% increase. Geof Morin, Executive Vice President of the American Bible Society did a sampling among their huge number of Facebook followers and discovered that 87% of respondents said they were reading the story of Noah because of weekend conversations about the film. If you’d like to be part of The American Bible Society’s effort to share the Noah story, you can sign up here. FULL POST

Posted 4/2/14 at 11:02 AM | Phil Cooke |


Name Calling: Why Do Christians Do It?

Photo: Flickr/Stockicide - Creative Commons

We’ve seen it over the years – discussions and disagreements in the Christian community that start out well, but then slide into name calling. I’ve seen it over the “worship wars,” creation versus intelligent design arguments, the emergent church, and more. But even after all that, I have to admit to being a bit shocked at the level of venom the discussion of the Noah film generated. As I mentioned in my posts, there is much to be debated about the movie. I would have made different creative choices, and there are many decisions the director made in the film I don’t agree with. But in spite of that, I simply recommended that Christians see the film – especially before they launch a petition drive against it, create an online campaign, or call for a boycott.

I expected to get a reasoned discussion, and some people did exactly that. From both sides of the debate many people posted serious, thoughtful, and respectful arguments either to see it or not to see it and why. What I didn’t expect was the amount of name calling. Since I posted my original blog on the movie a few weeks ago, and a few others since, Christian readers have called me: FULL POST

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