Let's start with the most basic book ever done on
the creative process. Once again, simplicity is elegance. This one
delivers the goods in a quick read.
A Technique for Producing Ideas - James Webb Young
This was written in the 1940s. The author
was a well respected "idea man" in the advertising industry. The book
came into being when someone asked him "where do you get ideas?".
The answer became this book.
The idea here is to work hard on the idea, then forget it and let your
subconscious go to work on it.
Roger von Oech has written a LOT on creativity and there's plenty of
good info in his books. I'm going to suggest two books to
get started. He has written so much on the subject that it gets
overwhelming knowing where to start.
The first book is A Whack on the Side of the Head. This
one lists the things that can give you problems
in getting to your creativity. Each chapter covers one of the ten
The Right Answer - That's Not Logical - Follow the Rules Be - Practical
- Play Is Frivolous - That's Not My Area - Avoid Ambiguity - Don't Be
Foolish - To Err Is Wrong - I'm Not Creative
The second suggestion is a Kick in the Seat of the Pants. This one goes
into personality types and how each type relates to their creativity.
There's a lot of going over the same stuff that's in Whack on the
Side of the Head but the other info on personality types makes it worth
It's always a good thing to understand where other people are
Language in Thought and Action - S. Hayakawa
This may seem an odd choice for creative info, but language was one of
our first creations. This one will also give you an advantage in
anything verbal as well as help in making
you immune to things like propaganda, verbal manipulation, and a host
One of my favorite books. An antidote to "spin" and many types of self
And then there's Edward De Bono. The man has some great ideas and
theories but he also has a huge ego. That makes some of his stuff
to to get started into. That being said, he is well worth reading.
He recently published his "magnum opus" called Why so Stupid for a VERY
high price. Apparently it's a rerun of his older theories
with some more up to date examples.
Most of the information that's in Why so Stupid can be found much
in a couple of
his earlier books, Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step and De
Bono's Thinking Course .
Thinking Creatively in Turbulent Times by H.F. Didsbury is an
interesting combination of
how-to, theory and practical examples of creativity. Since it
came from the World Future Society it 's not a surprise that the focus
is on improving our future. The best way to give you some idea of
what's here is probably an abbreviated list of chapters, so here we go:
Technology & Science, Future Studies, Urban Futures,
Educational Futures, The Pension Crisis, Automation's Future, Health
Challenges, Space Missions, Recreational Futures, Philosophical
Insights/Values, Sustainable Development
One of the major reasons I think we're here is to use our creativity to
improve the human condition. Some great ideas in here for doing just
OK, enough of the the theory and visionary angle, let's have some
and some examples please.
Fast Company's Greatest Hits by Vamos and Lidsky will do that.
Yeah, it's a business book, but it's also collection of well written
and interesting stories that illustrate creativity in action. Nothing
like a little real world success to go with your theories.