Creativity and business are two sides of the same coin. A business that quells creative thinking is sure to come to a standstill sooner or later, whereas one that encourages imagination has the potential to grow infinitely and become a leader in the industry. This year, make it a point to read these seven books that allow you to explore and put your creative forces into action.
Lateral Thinking – Edward De Bono
This classic book by De Bono is one of the most recommended books by experts around the world if you’re looking to spark off your creative side. De Bono proposes that education teaches us to think “vertically”, which by itself is inadequate to solve complex problems. This is where “lateral thinking” comes into play as a supplementary process and drives the brain to face and solve problems in an unorthodox way using imagination and creativity.
Draw To Win – Dan Roam
Draw To Win is a one-of-a-kind book that brings together Roam’s 10 years’ worth of ideas about the power of visual imagery. Over the years, Roam has advocated that imagery is one of the most powerful tools to achieving leadership and innovation, and this book proves an effective guide on tackling complex business problems by visualising them with the aid of drawing tools like lines, circles, arrows, stick figures and Venn diagrams. Mapping out your thought process through drawing, Roam shows us, is all about giving an outlet to your analytical ability.
Opposable Mind – Roger L. Martin
With this well-researched book that teaches you to think beyond the obvious and trigger the process of creative problem solving, Martin suggests that all successful business leaders employ what he calls “integrative thinking” in their approach. This helps them consider two conflicting ideas and come up with one that is eventually better than the both. Taking the example of business titans like AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, and others, Martin teaches how these brilliant minds work differently from the rest and how one can emulate how they think.
Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be) – Ron Tite, Scott Kavanagh, and Christopher Novais
In this book, the authors make compelling arguments about how in today’s changing professional environment, with the ever pervasive digital economy, new and emerging technologies, and altered media landscape, business as an art form cannot be dismissed. They champion creative thinking by explaining how businesses with an artistic bent of mind will be the ones to achieve success.
Simply Brilliant: Powerful Techniques To Unlock Your Creativity And Spark New Ideas – Bernhard Schroeder
If you’ve always thought of yourself as someone who simply can’t tap into your right-brain, then this book is a must-read for you. Schroeder dispels the idea that creative thinking is an innate ability and suggests that with the right mental toolkit, everyone can begin to think imaginatively. He uses the CreativityWorks framework to explain how one can escape the constricting mental barrier and begin developing original ideas that lead to innovative business products and strategies.
Orbiting The Giant Hairball: Gordon Mackenzie
MacKenzie worked at Hallmark cards for three decades, and in this compact and beautifully illustrated book, he outlines his survival guide to keeping your creativity alight while working within a “giant hairball”, that is the labyrinth of corporate structure, with its deterring and numerous red tapes which can curb innovative thinking and impose limitations. MacKenzie’s ideas are honest, refreshing, and truly inspiring.
Design A Better Business – Patrick Van Der Pijl, Justin Lokitz, and Lisa Kay Solomon
The book introduces practical tools and skills that help in developing a design-based thinking for business. With the aid of case studies, stimulating visual guides, and real life examples of multinational corporations as well as small startups, it not only teaches you cultivate the habit of innovative thinking but also how to sustain them over time.
So which of these is first on your list to start with?