October 4, 2007

News & Opinion: Creativity Today

By: Aaron Schleicher @ 3:56 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

Awhile back, we presented a book called, The Idea Book - an interesting book from Sweden we were surprised wasn't readily available here. We made it available to people in the States, and received a ton of compliments and thanks for bringing this title into the fold.
Well, we've found another great book.
It's called Creativity Today. Published in the Netherlands (in English), the cover states that the book offers "tools for a creative attitude for business, education, industry, training, development, government, consultants, workers, thinkers, meetings, design, health..." Indeed, it's true. In fact, Creativity Today has inspired thousands of European managers, teachers and students, and has become the standard by which other creative thinking books are measured.
Paul Williams at Idea Sandbox ( turned us on to this book. We're using it internally as a manual for how to approach any problem or situation creatively. Here are some of the many points in the book that stand-out to us:
- By definition, new ideas don't fit into existing schemes of thought. This means that judgment very often occurs too fast when new ideas are launched.
- Visual languages are generally less respected than verbal language. Yet, the ability to visualize may be the most important basic skill in the creative thinker's toolbox: no creative solution, simple as it may be, can be thought of, designed and realized without using imagery.
- Ideas need to evolve from an abstract, conceptual level to a concrete, practical level, otherwise they will always remain what they are: ideas.
With each of these points (and many, many others), the authors provide case studies and easy-to-follow instructions, analyzing problems through "The Series of Phases," applying "The COCD Box," and a variety of exercises and tests. This book is literally a textbook in creative thinking. They take on creative challenges such as fixing traffic jams, product creation and development, customers waiting too long at a checkout counter, how to make money, and many more. As a bonus, this edition includes an expanded section called "Creation Today" that applies the ideas of the book to organizational development.
You can't get this book anywhere in the States, so we decided to remedy that. 800-CEO-READ will sell it until a U.S. publisher picks it up. The cost is $39.95, but the first 100 people who type the code 8x2vf during checkout will get an additional $5 off. Click here to check the book out.
You can also visit the book's website for more info.
Thanks for considering this offer. We hope you can start practicing the lessons in this book soon and watch their effect on your business.

About Aaron Schleicher

Aaron Schleicher has been the author services specialist at 800-CEO-READ since 2004. You can usually find him hidden under a baseball cap, feet kicked up on his desk, talking with authors, publishers, and businesses. Outside the office you can find him crafting candles, listening to records, and making music with friends and family.