Reviews of books on Creativity, Innovation and alternative thinking
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell This book sheds light on how some ideas and concepts take off to create new crazes and fashions. The book is particularly relevant if you are trying to introduce new ideas into your organisation, and will help you create a strategy to lobby key influencers and understand how ideas can spread rather like viruses.
The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge The author defines five business “disciplines” which help to build “learning organisations”. These companies will be the successful ones in the coming decade because of their ability to learn, to absorb new ideas, theories and practices at all employee levels and use them to competitive advantage. Using ideas that originate in fields from science to spirituality, Senge explains why the learning organisation matters and explains his management principles.
Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono The internationally best selling guide to better thinking used by tens of thousands of people. There is nothing more sad and wasteful than a roomful of intelligent and highly paid people waiting for a chance to attack something the speaker has said. Argument is inefficient, ineffective and slow. Argument was never designed to be constructive. The parallel thinking of the Six Hats method is rapidly replacing argument around the world. Discovering “what is” may not be the same as designing “what can be”.
Creative Whack Pack Set by Roger Von Oech The Whack series of cards, books, etc are an outstanding way to boost your level of creative thinking in many areas of life: professional, personal, and even parenting/relationships! Whack-y approaches to perception and problem solving foster a “don’t panic” mentality in troubleshooting and problem-solving. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that they are not the seriously useful tools they are.
Sticky Wisdom by Dave Allan, Matt Kingdom If you want to have fun at work and profit from it then this is the book for you. The premise is that there are six main ways of being more creative, from thinking about things afresh through green-housing to bravery. Each chapter presents a range of case studies that help ground the activities in a sense of reality. Where many management books are drier than a diver’s underpants this has a freshness about it, keeping you reading and smiling.
The Springboard by Stephen Denning Denning explains how organisations can use certain types of stories (“springboard” stories) to communicate new or envisioned strategies, structures, goals, and values to employees, partners and even customers. It also demonstrates how organizations can use stories to distill and share valuable insights and solutions. The text is filled with examples of how such techniques were used by the author within the World Bank.
The Magic of Metaphor by Nick Owen Already on its third reprint this volume presents a collection of powerful stories designed to engage, inspire and transform the listener as well as the reader. Promoting positive feelings, confidence, direction, vision, they supply a wealth of advice and information on the art of creating metaphor and storytelling. This book is invaluable for trainers, teachers and coaches.
Maverick! by Ricardo Semler It’s almost unbelievable – an experiment in culture change that worked wonders. This inspiring tale of Ricardo Semler’s successful ‘quest’ to run his company in the interest of all it’s stakeholders is tremendous. It may well be easier to influence the direction of a business when you’re the owner but this book will help you look at and adapt your own management style. You will only put it down when you have finished. Charles Handy says ‘I relish this book. It revived my faith in human beings and my hope for business everywhere’.
The Writing on the Wall: The Campaign for Commonsense Business by Geoff Burch This book pulls no punches. It is thought provoking, insightful and downright funny in parts, its a must read for business people at any stage of their career. There are humorous and often vicious exposes of everything from marketing to process re-engineering. You have been warned!
Resistance Is Useless: The Art of Business Persuasion by Geoff Burch Like Geoff’s other books this is compelling and fun to read. The message is serious. The text explains the value and power of persuasion – a verbal martial art that, if used correctly, should give the outcome desired in business dealings.