What’s Lateral Action?

Pssst… Guess what?

...creative thinking is not enoughThe most important skill for economic survival in the 21st century is creativity.

The creative economy is the final frontier. It’s the only area that can’t be automated or outsourced offshore.

At least not yet.

But creative thinking is not enough. You’ve got to actually try novel and unique things, and make those valuable mistakes that teach you way more than your successes.

It’s not enough to be productive if what you produce doesn’t make a difference. Those who stay busy with foolish productivity are scurrying around efficiently avoiding any real innovation, one productivity hack at a time.

Maybe it’s time to stop just getting things done.

And start focusing on doing things that really matter.

That’s how creative entrepreneurs operate.

That’s lateral action.

Creativity + Productivity = Success

I’m Mark McGuinness, a writer and coach running Lateral Action to help you succeed (however you define success) by getting you to realise that busy does not equal productive or more importantly, innovative.

The Lateral Action website gives you access to the following resources:

The Lateral Action Blog
Tips and techniques to help you focus on doing remarkable things, rather than getting trivial things done or never moving beyond ‘creative thinking’. Plus lively debates with other members of the Lateral Action community. Sign up for free blog articles.

The Creative Pathfinder
A FREE 25-week guide to succeeding as a creative professional. Join over 8,000 other students on the journey here.

Coaching for Artists, Creatives and Entrepreneurs
I’m here to help you make your creative and career goals a reality – full details on the coaching page.

The Creative Entrepreneur Roadmap
An in-depth guide to creating a small business with a big reach, powered by your creativity and the internet. Sign up here if you’d like to be first to know when the course is offered again.

Mark McGuinness

I’m a business coach, trainer and consultant specialising in work with creative professionals, innovative companies and other trendsetters at the forefront of the Creative Economy. When I’m not doing that, I’m writing poetry. More about me.

Lateral Action began as a joint venture between Brian Clark, Tony Clark and me. These days, I run the show on my own.

Meet Lou, Jack and Marla

Along with tips and commentary that help you succeed at the intersection of creativity and productivity, Lateral Action takes a novel narrative approach, illustrating the ideas I write about. The story unfolds with a series of animated videos featuring three characters who bring Lateral Action to life.

Let’s meet the cast:

LouLou is a success story from last century… business school educated, exceedingly logical, and nose-to-the-grindstone productive. Lou will be out of a job soon, and it’s coming as quite a shock to him.


JackJack is a creative guy who suddenly finds himself in demand in the corporate world. He has big dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, but he’s unsure if he can do it because he’s not a ‘business’ guy.


MarlaMarla is a creative diva and an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with. She scoffs at those who think creative types can’t run successful businesses, and she’s got the cash flow to prove it.


Scripts by Brian Clark, animation and narration by Tony Clark, and starring Kim Clark as the voice of Marla, and yours truly as the voice of Jack.

Linguistic Disclosure

I’m from the UK, where ‘flavour’ has a ‘u’, ‘enrolment’ manages just fine with a single ‘l’, and ‘organise’ is a real live honest-to-goodness word. So most of Lateral Action is written in British English.

Many of the wonderful guest writers who appear on Lateral Action hail from more exotic climes, and favour the equally-awesome-but-subtly-different American English. It’s all good.


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