The one-sentence summary
We all have creative potential that can be unleashed and there are many techniques that can help.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- This book is from the founders of Ideo, the innovation agency. It argues that we can all be creative, and offers a range of techniques for doing so.
- The basic steps are:
Flip: moving from design thinking to creative confidence.
Dare: moving from fear to courage; being prepared to have a go.
Spark: think like a traveller, empathise with the end user, and make field observations to inform improvements.
Leap: from planning to action – do something. Don’t get stuck in the planning phase. Keep a bug list – things that annoy you and should be improved. Then work out how to fix them; bridge the knowing/doing gap.
Seek: from duty to passion. The looks good, feels bad trap keeps people doing things they don’t care about just for the money or security.
Team: work in creatively confident groups by keeping your sense of humour, minimizing hierarchy, building on the energy of others, trusting camaraderie, and deferring judgement – at least temporarily.
Move: have the confidence to go and get on with it.
- There are usually three factors to balance in any innovation programme:
Business: is it viable?
Technical: is it feasible?
People: is it desirable?
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- There is no word in the Tibetan language for creativity or being creative – it merely translates as being natural, more like when we were young and not afraid to experiment.
- People with self-efficacy set their sights higher, try harder and persevere longer (Carol Dweck’s ‘growth mindset’).
- Design-driven innovation involves inspiration, synthesis, ideation and experimentation, and implementation.
- Guided mastery is a series of small successes leading to much greater creative confidence. The counterpoint to this is an anti-portfolio – a failure resume from which lessons can be learned.
- Many people carry a creativity scar – an incident from their youth where they were embarrassed when experimenting with something. This makes them scared to try new things as adults.
- Add constraints to spur action: less time, budget, or fewer people or resources.
- For easier buy-in by colleagues and bosses, recast changes as experiments.
- “Everything in modern society is the result of a collection of decisions made by someone. Why shouldn’t that someone be you?”
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Not much. It’s a comprehensive toolkit and call to arms for innovative thinking.
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