Conceptual Blockbusting and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.95
  • Save: $1.70 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Conceptual Blockbusting: ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Guaranteed Happiness! Acceptable: This book is in usable shape, has significant wear on the outside and/or highlighting and writing on the inside. Not a pretty book, but one that will get the job done.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas Paperback – October 23, 2001


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.25
$8.00 $4.00
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Simple Rules by Donald Sull
Simple Rules by Donald Sull
Check out the newest book by Donald Sull. Learn more | See related books
$15.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas + Six Thinking Hats + Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step (Perennial Library)
Price for all three: $36.63

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

O's Little Book of Happiness
"O's Little Book of Happiness"
A collection of thoughtful and affecting writing on happiness-the first in a series of inspirational books from O. Magazine. Learn more | More in Self-Help

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition edition (October 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738205370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738205373
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James L. Adams is professor emeritus at Stanford University, where he has chaired several programs, taught courses on design and creativity, and participated in many executive programs. Trained as an engineer and artist, he has conducted corporate workshops around the world. He lives on the Stanford campus.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By S. Thomas on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My dad gave me a copy of this book for Christmas in 1978 when I was a junior in college. I enjoyed reading it then, and I've read it numerous times since. I can say now with some length of perspective that in my opinion it's a definitive classic on this topic and I'd say it is probably the most influential single book in my engineering career. It's enabled me to think of things of that no one else does, and more often than not it's because of ideas I picked up here. The solutions are enduring too. The nine-dot problem, the ping-pong ball in the tube, the spacecraft panels opening without a damper are examples I think back to when faced with technical challenges that have no apparent easy answer.

I cringe inside when people want and push for systematic and methodical ways to solve problems. It's almost a religon to some that the pretense of an imagined rigor akin to mathematical proof will always lead them to "correct" answers. It's not that those methods are wrong but they're quite incomplete and tend to only reinforce the mental blocks you already have.

If you want to unconfine your thinking and leverage the power of both halves of your brain, then put this book in your cart, buy it, and read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Robert Alan Black on February 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
James Adams' classic book, Conceptual Blockbusting, is a definite read for people who want to expand and deepen their true creative thinking skills. Since reading it many years ago I have re-read it often, then referenced it and recommended it to others in general, workshop participants plus students. Managers will benefit greatly by reading and re-reading this book to discover how they are squelching, killing or sideswiping creative thinking in the people they are responsible for managing. All others can benefit by becoming more aware of the well-structured approach he has used to depict the many varied forms of creative blocks Adams discovered during his many years of teaching. No this is not a book for those who already think they are as creative as they can be, nor is any other book actually.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book approaches from a different prespective the question of how a person or an organization can become more creative. Most creativity books give you techniques that will trigger creative ideas - brainstorming, picture prompts, role playing. These are all good techniques, but Adams addresses creativity by answering the question: What are the factors (conceptual blocks) that keep us from being creative in the first place? Knowing these factors - cultural or professional bias, fear of looking silly - for example, allows us to move beyond them. To my mind, this knowledge and the use of creativity techniques are a one-two punch that gets you creative results. The book does have its share of creativity techniques, but the most important knowledge to walk away with is the knowledge of those things that hinder our creativity. Edward de Bono, another creativity guru, also explores on the reasons why people's creativity is stifled, but his approach is somewhat narrower, focusing more on the default mechanism of the mind that tends to focus on pattern recognition and therefore on pursuing the routine rather than the different (see Mechanism of Mind and Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step (Perennial Library). Adams' book, in contrast, is more comprehensive in dealing with the various conceptual blocks. If you want to be more creative, I highly recommend this book as a starting point or as a close companion to other books that have creativity techniques and exercises.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By towSaint on February 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps it was the high recommendation for this book that left me a little disappointed. I have seen this book recommended in a number of software developer books (most notably perhaps, Code Complete 2E). The author discusses possible obstacles (mental, cultural, etc.) to creativity, some of the psychology behind creativity, and some 'vehicles' to greater creativity. All in all probably very worth reading, but the reading is dry, with the occasional exercise breaking the monotony slightly. I highly recommend this book, until I can find a book that says the same thing in 25% of the space, which I think is possible.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very helpful with expanding my abilities to think creatively. I think that, as we work our way through the school mill and then on in to jobs, a lot of our natural creativity is pushed to the background. We learn to get things right - whatever right is. Making mistakes becomes bad. This book helped me recognize my own unwillingness to have what might be considered bad ideas. It helped me become a little more exploratory in my thinking.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dennis_h_reed@compuserve.com on December 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
The time spent reading this small volume was well rewarded with new insights about creativity and the communication of ideas. My awareness was heightened as to how frequently my acquaintances and I use the same "verbal" methods to try to communicate ideas that could much more clearly be communicated visually.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps more for the layman than the professional scholar, this book can help you to see why you keep coming up short in finding answers to the recurrent problems that plague you. I have bought at least ten copies since it's first publication because when I loan it out, I seldom get it back.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hi: My name is Jim Adams (James L. Adams, since there are so many of us). My e-mail address is jla@stanford.edu. As an emeritus professor of Mechanical Engineering (Design), Management Science and Engineering, and Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University, I have been retired from paychecks for twelve years. But it isn't easy, because there are so many good things to do, and I was given neither infinite money nor infinite time at my retirement party.

Along with trying to keep track of my ever-expanding family, nose about the world, and follow my increasing number of hobbies, I continue to think, read, and occasionally depress myself by brooding about the human condition. I guess I have always liked to do such things, and now I don't have a job to distract me. In particular I have for many years been interested in creativity and innovation, design, the nature of technology and science, the quality of industrial products, the ancient and honorable pastime of working with the hands, and people. These interests are the focus of my blog, and they are inter-related.

Growing up on an orange grove in Southern California (ten acres still exist, and under the able hands of my brother are becoming famous as the "Last Orange Grove in Rialto"), I received a good introduction to making and fixing things. My interest in engineering came from that, my initial thinking that I would be a machinist like one of my uncles, summer jobs as an apprentice machinist, a draftsman, and a junior engineer, and attending Caltech.

Upon graduating from Caltech I worked for Shell Oil as a production engineering trainee for a bit, until it became clear that I should join the Air Force to avoid my draft board's long lasting desire to put me in the army. I was stationed at the Air Force Flight Test Center (Edwards Air Force Base) and was a project planner involved with future operations. It was both fun and exciting.

After the Air Force, I spent six years alternating between being an art student at U.C.L.A.an engineering student and lecturer at Stanford, and working at General Motors and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in order to remain housed and fed. It was a swell six years.

After I received my Ph.D. degree I worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab as an engineer and group supervisor on the first U.S. Moon, Venus, and Mars spacecraft. The Space Race--an amazing period and unbelievably fascinating work. My new wife and I also got to work on the beginnings of the family that keeps expanding.

In 1966 I joined the Stanford faculty and have been university property ever since. Before my retirement I taught courses ranging from mechanical and product design through technical management to the nature of technology. I finally retired because I felt I had thoroughly experienced the university. I no longer teach courses, but my house is still on Stanford land and I retain office space from which I can mooch coffee and bother people who seem to be working too hard.

In addition to teaching, I have done research, held many administrative jobs and been a member of a very large number of committees in the university, been involved in start-up companies, and consulted and conduced seminars and workshops for over 100 commercial clients, as well as many government, educational and professional groups. I have taught and worked with executives, school teachers, truck drivers, and alumni, as well as university students, and have received a gratifying amount of recognition and number of awards for my work.

Before I retired, I wrote Conceptual Blockbusting, a popular book on creative thinking, The Care and Feeding of Ideas, a book directed toward the management of creativity and change, and Flying Buttrresses, Entropy, and O-rings, a book on the nature of engineering. I am presently working on three more. The next one, Good Products, Bad Products, will be published by McGraw-Hill in January 2012.

And I consider myself very lucky, since I am still having a wonderful time and have no regrets about how I have spent my life so far.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas
This item: Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas
Price: $15.25
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com