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For your knowledge advantage, we put together the most actionable insights from 10 getAbstract summaries (8 books with a total of 2061 pages and 2 articles) on this topic. If you did this work yourself, you would be busy for at least 2471 minutes (about 42 hours). Learn more.

Embracing the Unknown

Creative thinkers view challenges through a new lens or perspective to find novel solutions.

Creative thinking goes hand-in-hand with critical analysis and problem-solving. As author Maria Brito writes in How Creativity Rules the World, creativity arises from the habit of making connections between thoughts and experiences.

Free Your Mindset

Management expert Michael A. Roberto, Ph.D., says mindset can be the biggest hindrance to creative thinking. In Unlocking Creativity he outlines the most common presuppositions people have when it comes to looking at problems, mindsets that can blind them to solutions, for instance, a “linear” mindset, where you believe the best way to approach a problem is step-by-step in a proscribed sequence. Mindfulness – focusing on the present moment – will help you let go of worn-out frameworks and perspectives.

Image of: Unlocking Creativity
Book Summary

Unlocking Creativity

Business leaders can overcome six mind-sets that block creativity and innovation in their organization.

Michael A. Roberto Wiley
Read Summary

Being willing to imagine something that doesn’t yet exist can feel risky. Have an open mind. Creative thinking happens in a setting of psychological trust where there are no stupid ideas, and people feel comfortable exploring what may not be fully-formed solutions. Think of your proposed solutions as experiments; not all will succeed. Companies can encourage a more creative approach to problems by understanding that failure is a part of success.

If creative visions don’t seem impossible at first, then they aren’t good enough visions.”

Maria Brito

Define the Problem

When approaching any problem, consider not only the business and technical parameters any solution must have but also the human needs it must meet. Delving into these will uncover creative opportunities. According to The Art of Innovation authors Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman, top design company IDEO develops a detailed “problem statement” to define whatever challenge they face, and uses that as the basis for brainstorming solutions. Don’t judge while brainstorming ideas; leave evaluation until after you’ve gathered as many ideas as possible.

Image of: The Art of Innovation
Book Summary

The Art of Innovation

Lessons in creativity from the firm that designed the Apple mouse and the Palm handheld.

Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group
Read Summary

Many businesspeople…overlook the possibility that brainstorming can be a skill, an art, more like playing the piano than tying your shoes.

Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman

Order Out of Chaos

Creative solutions don’t often follow a linear trajectory. However, cultivating a consistent, daily creative practice makes innovative thinking a habit. Model comfort with the unknown for your team members. Explore areas of doubt or apprehension for opportunities to better understand the challenge you face. Often your intuition will lead you to new approaches. Empathy is a vital ingredient for creativity. Mickey Mouse is the result of Walt Disney’s empathy toward animals. When asking for creative solutions from your team, remember:

  • Teams work best when members feel free to voice their opinions.
  • Managers foster creative teamwork when they keep track of the big picture as well as the relationships and connections between facts.
  • It’s up to leaders to keep pursuing innovative solutions, but also to continuously question if those solutions are the right ones.

Creativity may not be a linear process, but it is not magic. Taking the time to create space for creative thinking increases your odds for true innovation. Read these titles for more creative inspiration:

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: How Creativity Rules the World
Book Summary

How Creativity Rules the World

Innovate, create value and pursue more fulfilling professional projects by unlocking your inner creativity.

Maria Brito HarperCollins Leadership Read Summary
Image of: Creative Calling
Book Summary

Creative Calling

Unleash your creativity to channel a new source of personal power.

Chase Jarvis HarperBusiness Read Summary
Image of: 5 Boring Ways to Become More Creative
Article Summary

5 Boring Ways to Become More Creative

Learn down-to-earth ways to make creativity your own – no divine inspiration required.

Mark Manson Mark Manson Read Summary
Image of: The Right Kind of Crazy
Book Summary

The Right Kind of Crazy

A Jet Propulsion Lab engineer describes the role of teamwork and leadership in landing a rover on Mars.

Adam Steltzner and William Patrick Portfolio Read Summary
Image of: The Creative Thinking Handbook
Book Summary

The Creative Thinking Handbook

Creativity is the power skill in today’s evolving business world.

Chris Griffiths Kogan Page Publishers Read Summary
Image of: The Creativity Leap
Book Summary

The Creativity Leap

Find the intersection of analytics and creativity to increase creative intelligence in your workplace.

Natalie Nixon Berrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
Image of: Spark Creativity with Thomas Edison’s Napping Technique
Article Summary

Spark Creativity with Thomas Edison’s Napping Technique

A new study shows that awakening just before sleep helps people solve problems and fuels creativity.

Bret Stetka Scientific American Read Summary
Image of: A Minute to Think
Book Summary

A Minute to Think

Learn how doing less – but thinking, reflecting, questioning and resting more – can boost performance.

Juliet Funt HarperBusiness Read Summary

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