Book Club - Imagine: How Creativity Works
Radical new concepts or simply a mixture of old ideas? Can a simple argument or an incorrect answer spark more ideas then the fluffy, everyone contributes brainstorm session? Are people who travel inherently more creative? These are the types of situations that Jonah Lehrer examines in his latest book Imagine. A book that I couldn't stop reading (well, listening to).
I'm a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, the way he mixes unique points of view with facts, studies and in-depth stories and that is exactly Jonah's style. This book is filled with real data, real samples of his concepts in action and his connections are logical and lined out very well.
Key Take a ways:
I think the most lasting point in the book for me was the way that we can help control our creative output, simply by understanding what stage in the creative process we are in. If you are in the early stages of the process we need to tap deep into our bank of experiences and we do that with a relaxed and open mind. Once our ideas are solidified and we have direction, then we need to get focused, slam our coffee and redbull and power through the work.
One interesting point was the collective brain power of big cities. The inherent increase in population creates an environment where ideas are shared more quickly, random knowledge transfer happens more often and in turn bigger cities produce more ideas.
Another take a way was the importance of experiencing different cultures and being exposed to new ways of thinking to the creative process. This helps the brain see new ways of connecting the dots and fills it with more fuel to use at a later date.
To sum it up:
The tips are endless in this book and it really is a fantastic read. If understanding what colors you should paint your conference room or if you want to increase your teams creative output are in your job description, then get the book, you will not be disappointed.