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Jack's Notebook: A business novel about creative problem solving Paperback – September 28, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gregg Fraley works as an innovation consultant to Fortune 500 companies and does keynote speeches and workshops on creative thinking, innovation, problem solving, and new-product development. He is a partner in The Innovise Guys, an innovation and entertainment podcast. Fraley is a board member of the Creative Education Foundation (CEF), and he teaches creative problem solving at CEF's annual Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI). He is also a professional member of the National Speakers Association (USA).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595552472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595552471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff Lippincott on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Earlier today I was reading some book reviews written by others regarding some of the books I have recently reviewed myself. I was looking at some of the reviews for Smart Women and Small Business (ISBN: 0471778680) and one of the reviewers wrote:

"Honestly, I have yet to read a book that truly has creative ideas on how to make the leap from a salaried job to the right small business with as little risk as possible, which I feel holds many back."

Well, I suspect the instant book, Jack's Notebook, is probably a book she has missed, because it does go into depth explaining how its star character Jack used the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process to make the leap from a salaried job to the right small business.

The author explains how the CPS process involves three phases: (1) Problem Exploration, (2) Brainstorming, and (3) Getting into Action. And the six steps of CPS were identified as follows:

1. ID the Challenge

2. Facts and Feelings Exploration

3. Problem Framing and Reframing

4. Idea Generation

5. Solution Development

6. Action Planning

It's just a rehash of the same old story my father used to tell me until it sunk in. He'd say: "Son, you've got a problem. You first have to understand your problem. Then you think up the various alternatives to solving your problem (and you can because you understand it). And then pick one of those alternatives and do it." The author even says somewhere in the book: If you really understand a problem, solutions come easily.

So if you want to jump out of the corporate rat-race and start your own business, and you are procrastinating the move, then I recommend you read this book. I seriously believe it will help you take the necessary steps to follow your dreams. 5 stars!
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Format: Hardcover
Jack has climbed beanstalks, sold cows, beaten giants and entertained readers and storylisteners from more than 150 years. Now he has done saved the damsel, solved a business problem and beaten yet another horrible giant (business), while teaching the reader principles about creative thinking and introducing the most famous CREATIVE SOLVING PROCESS, the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process.

"Jack's Notebook" is a fun read, A page turner throughout from when Jack first meets his mentor on a rainy night to when he meets the damsel Molly and finally teams up with many creative people to save two damsels.

I highly recommend Gregg's book for people to learn more about creative thinking and creative problem solving and to people who enjoy reading a "page turner" mystery novel.
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Format: Hardcover
There's a new concept arising for business books - books that are entertaining, easy to read and leave you with a much better understanding of a methodology or concept. Patrick Lencioni is probably the recognized leader of this genre. I'd call it the business novel. Authors using this approach mix theory and methodology with a character driven plot.

Leoncini has written several books to examine how teams work together and how to improve meetings using this approach, and I've reviewed the book Follow the Other Hand, in which Andy Cohen uses a magician as the deus ex machina to drive insights for a business owner. Gregg Fraley, a consultant in the innovation space, has just completed a book about innovation focused on the Creative Problem Solving process called Jack's Notebook.

Fraley has several purposes in mind for the book. First, he wants to communicate the methodology and power of the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) technique. If you don't know, Creative Problem Solving was developed by Alex Osborn, who is considered the "father" of brainstorming. You can learn more about CPS and other concepts related to it at the Creative Education Foundation. Second, he is interested in reaching small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them become more adept at problem solving and innovation, so his book is not targeted at the traditional mid-level manager in a large business, although there are topics within the book that are applicable to anyone in business. Finally, Fraley wanted to write a book that would capture the reader's attention, not to become a dry, coffee table book that you "should" have but never read.

Jack's Notebook is a story about a down on his luck guy named Jack who meets a consultant who is an expert in the CPS approach.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first discovered Gregg Fraley's new book Jack's Notebook: A business novel about creative problem solving on InBubbleWrap.com. Gregg's diverse background, founding and managing high-flying technology companies to working as a television producer, captured my imagination. I thought, "a man with such an interesting career path must have something compelling share." I was right. Gregg shares the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process in Jack's Notebook that's an essential tool that knowledge workers should learn.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As most people know, this book uses a fictional story to relate the concepts of creativity and how to use brainstorming, lists, reframing and other methods for creative thinking.

The book has an interesting plot that should keep the reader turning the pages through the book, especially through the first 100 pages. The last half of the book veers slightly off track from the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process that Fraley is trying to describe, but it is still an interesting read.

The story follows the main character named "Jack" (surprised?) as he realizes that there is something more to life. Jack meets a mentor who explains the concepts of brainstorming and other creative thinking methods and helps Jack understand what it is that he wants to do in life. The major portion of the book follows a few different stories with the major plot finding Jack falling in love and then having to find ways to keep his new-found love alive (literally).

I would recommend the book to anyone new to the creative thinking world since it brings the concepts of brainstorming and Creative Problem Solving to the reader in a manner that is easy to read and understand.

I would tell people that have had some training in creative thinking to pass on the book if they were looking for deeper understanding of concepts. That said, even if you are knowledgeable in this area, you might still enjoy this book....it does provide a good fictional story that has some intelligence built in.
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