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The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How…

The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and…

by David Burkus

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Debunking myths about creativity is like shooting fish in a barrel. There are so many of them and they are so patently false. However, some are a little more subtle and often not recognized. In this book, David Burkus addresses the obvious, the subtle, and many in between. The Eureka Myth, The Expert Myth, The Incentive Myth, The Mousetrap Myth – just a few of the myths he takes on (and, what a coincidence, some of the book’s chapters.) So, the first value of this book is that it brings together the most egregious and creativity-stopping of those myths all in one place.

Now discussing the myths and how they are incorrect would make for a perfectly fine book. However, Burkus has gone a step further – a step many authors overlook – and included some of the actual research showing these myths are patently false. Burkus brings these studies into the conversation in a way that proves his point while being eminently understandable. Anyone who has seen the way such research is normally shared knows how quickly the conclusions can get bogged down in in the details and statistics. And many authors have a hard time pulling the relevant information form the academic babble without sacrificing understanding, validity, or both. But Burkus’ approach supports the point that he is trying to prove while providing background that shows sufficient research was completed.

Of course, anyone can find research to support almost anything nowadays. But the information Burkus provides is convincing and researchable.

In most instances, Burkus has also provided real-world stories that are intended to support the “mythiness” of the belief. At times, there is a bit of a stretch between the story and the myth it is meant to debunk. And, of course, it is even easier to find stories that support an author’s thesis than it is to find research to back it. But whether the stories match perfectly or not, and whether they are the exception rather than the rule, doesn’t matter. Burkus has found good stories that support the need for and application of creativity. (I’m not sure I’ll ever look at guns on boats the same way. I just never thought about how hard it is to aim on a rolling ship.)

One of my success criteria for a book of this type is the “dog-eared” quotient. In other words, was it a book where I made a lot of notes and dog-eared a lot of pages. (Someday I’m going to have to actually establish a scale.) This one ranked very high. There were numerous instances where I was able to glean specific information that I will be using to move my creativity forward, as well as include as a part of presentations and training in the area.

This is a good book for anyone looking to help instill creativity within his or her department/business unit/organization/any entity not included in this list. It will help you keep from going down some false paths. And it may provide you inspiration for new ideas on how to get some or even more creativity going. ( )
  figre | Feb 12, 2017 |
I read this book for the 12 Books group at Goodreads, which is business reading and discuss group. This is definitely a discussion book, not a how to book, like many business books are. I found it very interesting, a combination of history and research in creative thinking. It reminded me of some things that I had learned before, and told me more stories about our human past. Creativity is not what we believe it is. It is not a singular achievement, but a group activity that takes a great deal of work. The things that we believe about the creative process get in the way of success. ( )
  susanbeamon | Aug 31, 2014 |
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"How to get past the most common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies. We tend to think of creativity in terms reminiscent of the ancient muses: divinely-inspired, unpredictable, and bestowed upon a lucky few. But when our jobs challenge us to be creative on demand, we must develop novel, useful ideas that will keep our organizations competitive. The Myths of Creativity demystifies the processes that drive innovation. Based on the latest research into how creative individuals and firms succeed, David Burkus highlights the mistaken ideas that hold us back and shows us how anyone can embrace a practical approach, grounded in reality, to finding the best new ideas, projects, processes, and programs. Answers questions such as: What causes us to be creative in one moment and void in the next? What makes someone more or less creative than his or her peers? Where do our flashes of creative insight come from, and how can we generate more of them? Debunks 10 common myths, including: the Eureka Myth; the Lone Creator Myth; the Incentive Myth; and The Brainstorming Myth Written by David Burkus, founder of popular leadership blog LDRLB For anyone who struggles with creativity, or who makes excuses for delaying the work of innovation, The Myths of Creativity will help you overcome your obstacles to finding new ideas"--… (more)

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