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What We’re Reading: Creativity

I’ve shared some of our favorite web design books, favorite IT books, favorite AJAX books, and favorite blogging books. Continuing with the “favorites” theme, here are three recommended books on creativity. I have three requirements for this genre: they have to be fun, they have to be actionable, and they have to contain a rush of new ideas. Here are three books which do.

Jump Start Your Brain
This is an old book from Doug Hall, consultant, NPR host, and former P&G marketeer. Lots of great tips and exercises to push your brain in new directions (“Which solution would make your boss, your banker, your partners exceedingly uncomfortable? Which solution would draw coverage from the Wall Street Journal? From the Weekly World News? Which solution would turn your weaknesses into strengths?”) Out of print, but still available for a couple bucks on Amazon from third-party sellers.

What a Great Idea!: The Key Steps Creative People Take
Great book of solid tips for sparking new ideas from Charles Thompson. Here’s one: “Find and hang a picture of your vision on your wall. NASA has lots of pictures of space stations and the moon.” And another: most people have a dominant nostril (really!) and if you breathe exclusively through your non-dominant nostril for several minutes, your thinking will head in a new direction (works for me!)

The Circle of Innovation: You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness
Tom Peters collected riffs from 60 of his seminars and presents them here in a ADHD frenzy of slide sets. When I am mulling a business problem, I sometimes like to flip through this book at random and force myself to see if there’s a link between the random riff and what I’m trying to solve. Very high ratio of Big Ideas to Pages — lots of pictures, no dense text. Good in small doses, like chocolate truffles.

Add additional suggestions for other great creativity books in the comments.

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    One Response to “What We’re Reading: Creativity”
    1. Not so much a book suggestion, as my way to think bigger: go see the Astronomy Picture of the Day

      http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

      Fantastic pictures, and a reminder that there’s more to it than my desk.