10 remarkable books on creativity

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creativity books

This list of creativity books is a small part of what our research looked like when we developed our creativity training, Creative Confidence. They also helped a lot in creating our own and personalized instructional design process. We now know we can all be creative, we learned valid processes to test ideas and we have a lot of examples to draw lessons from, these are just a few of the things we gained from reading the following:

1. Business Model Generation- Yves Pigneur & Alexander Osterwalder

A visual and practical book, useful for understanding how to map, design, assess and test new Business Models. It broadly explains how to create and use the Business Model Canvas (a chart with 9 blocks such as product’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances) to align your companies’ activities.

2. Creative Confidence – Tom Kelley & David Kelley

Creativity lies in everyone of us. Don’t take my word for it, but it helps to read this book that explains this through inspiring stories. Also, to better understand how to tap into your creative potential in your work and personal life, principles and strategies are presented and explained.

3. Creativity: the psychology of discovery and invention – Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

The book is a monograph of creativity and includes the ten features of creative people, the 5 steps of the creative process, an explanation of the flow experience and a description of the elements that make creativity possible. In its second part, the author shows how creative behaviours were expressed and what external factors contributed to the development of creativity of the remarkable interviewed people.

4. Design of Business – Roger Martin

The book describes the concept of design thinking as a balance between analytical and intuitive thinking. It also explains the knowledge funnel, as a process with three stages: mystery (exploration of the problem), heuristic (narrowing work to a manageable size) and algorithm (converting to a fixed formula).

5. Leonardo da Vinci – Walter Isaacson

When you’re thinking of examples of creative people, it’s very probable that you will consider Leonardo da Vinci as a relevant one. This biography is very well researched and shows the connection between art and science in Leonardo’s work. It presents the skills his genius was based on and explains thoroughly the importance of diverse passions in the innovation process.

6. Sprint- How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days – Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz

Reading it will get you more knowledge on a methodology to test ideas using a five days process. It’s called the „design sprint” and Jake Knapp designed it while he was working at Google. We use it in our instructional design and it helps us to be agile and find the best solutions fast.

7. The Art of Innovation – Tom Kelley & Johnatan Littman

Another book in which the creative genius from IDEO, Tom Kelley, takes us through the strategies and secrets for developing innovative products. The experience in the innovation field allows him to give us great stories to learn and get inspired from as we read.

8. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

This book proposes a new approach to changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. In a clear and articulate way, he presents the process of testing the vision continuously, adapting and adjusting rapidly, as suitable for companies of all sizes.

9. The Innovator’s DNA : Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators – Clayton M. Christensen, Hal B. Gregersen and Jeffrey H. Dyer

It is known that two-thirds of the innovation skill set comes with learning. So, it is useful to understand the skills we need to practice to become more creative. As the book broadly describes them, these are: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting and networking.

10. The Ten Faces of Innovation – Tom Kelley & Johnatan Littman

Read it to know more about the ten roles people can play in an organization to foster innovation. It’s a useful guide to find yourself in the roles that suit you best. Are you an antropologist, a hurdler, a storyteller or a set designer? Or a bit of all? The examples from succesful projects will show you how the roles work in practice. One of the best creativity books we’ve read.

Books Innovation