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Creative Change: Why We Resist It . . . How We Can Embrace It Hardcover – January 17, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"This enlightening book not only shows why people reject creativity but provides solutions on how to switch one's thinking and truly welcome it." -Publishers Weekly
"Solid reading for the business set" -- Kirkus Reviews
"We all claim to love creative ideas, but this book reveals why we're so often biased against them—and how we can overcome the barriers that stand in the way of innovation." -Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE
“Jen Mueller makes a telling point: To be most successful, we need both to foster creativity in ourselves and to reduce our resistance to it when it occurs around us. Better still, she provides manageable, scientifically-grounded steps for doing each. Count me sold on this book.”
-- Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and of Pre-Suasion
“If we all crave creativity so much, why do we reject new ideas so often? Jen Mueller’s smart new book unravels this puzzle” – Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New World
"'Playing it safe' has never been riskier—yet truly embracing change has never felt tougher. Jennifer Mueller offers refreshingly creative insights and relentlessly useful advice for unleashing creativity in your company, your career, and your life. Don't just sit there...Read this book—and change something!"
-William C. Taylor, Cofounder, Fast Company and author of Simply Brilliant
“This book completely changed the way I think about creative innovation: the challenge is not coming up with good ideas but training yourself to recognize them. A must read.”
--Cal Newport, Bestselling author of Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You
“We all have a love-hate relationship with creativity. In Creative Change, Jennifer Mueller tells fascinating tales of how we unconsciously undermine our best creative intentions. She reveals the latest psychological science explaining this conflict and offers concrete steps for making creative change happen in our work, our companies, and our world. Whether you’re trying to save the planet or save your business, you need this book.”
--Teresa Amabile, Professor and Director of Research, Harvard Business School, and co-author of The Progress Principle
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(1.) People in positions of authority are not eagerly waiting for the rank and file to generate beneficial ideas despite what they say. They're already overwhelmed - aren't we all?
(2.) Stakeholders will want to change any ideas presented to them about change. That's just natural, to be expected. Therefore great new ideas have to go through a process. Because of this, it's not not usually healthy for any of us to front load our investment in ideas that involve change.
(3.) The "selling" of an idea about change requires a whole lot because it's a complex sale; each set of stakeholders has to be sold based on benefits to them. No one sales presentation will do this.
(4.) Making ideas about change happen requires top-level support. So don't push the issue if that's not there.
(5.) Even when organizations support teams that evaluate ideas about change and then use their resources to implement them, there is an incredible amount of work to be done to make the change happen - no free lunch.
Currently, the reviewer M. Hallisey has one of the spotlight reviews on this book. Take a moment to read it. Hallisey's review is FAR better written and more informative than the first 70 pages or so of "Creative Change". The first 70 pages involve finding sometimes questionable ways to state over and over that people are resistant to change.
We are treated to a protracted analogy that treats the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" as if it were a documentary. There are many statements that those in business world will find themselves mentally arguing with (like this one: "You will never hear any business representative claim, "We don't want creativity here--that's not our job." Yes, I have. Banks. A bank had a whole ad campaign about how boring they were, and how banks SHOULD be boring and utterly predictable. And I agree.). You will read about a study that the author Jennifer Mueller conducted, where subjects were told to assign words like "vomit" and "hell" or "peace" and "cake" to creative ideas while Mueller simulated uncertainty. She concluded people "hate" creativity. Doesn't the author realize by omitting neutral words the subjects were essentially forced to choose between polarities? (I don't know anyone who truly "hates" creativity; we mostly see in ourselves and in others a general spectrum of risk-aversion and nervousness towards change.) There are numerous blanket statements and dubious assertions ("AI can make us smarter, help us live longer--perhaps forever--and provide us with solutions to solve unexpected problems, such as an asteroid set to collide with Earth, or an extreme solar flair." What?)
Any practical application starts on page 82, where the author outlines strategies for helping ourselves and others to accept new ideas. It is, as other reviewers have stated, nothing revolutionary, but you may find some of it helpful. What annoys me is how much we are required to slog through before the practicality starts (at one point Mueller has you rate on a scale of 1 to 7 your frustration with how long she is taking to get to the point. I'm not kidding.). I love the sound of my own writing voice as much as the next person, but making readers read through pages and pages of unnecessary verbiage is disrespectful to the reader, and a good writer stifles the urge to be long-winded (doing what William Faulkner called "killing your darlings.").
I almost rated this book two stars, but then I realized that the desire to do so was a product of accumulative anger, since the last business book I read also took forever to get to the useful portion of the work (a whopping 200 pages in!). Three stars is more fair. I wanted to like this, I thought I was going to, and it wasn't until several dozen pages in I had to admit that it wasn't groundbreaking or even well-written. Not recommended unless you start in the middle and rating:
The book contains eight informative chapters that have proven that one can get passed resistance by awareness. But the question that may be asked, what causes doubt? Mueller suggests fear of the unknown and the argument that the idea will never work without even knowledge of the details. Within every chapter includes examples and scenarios that showed that with every idea that was first rejected, it was later refuted as a possibility, from the basic premise in the first chapter “The Hidden Innovation Barrier” Mueller took the caveman and his discovery of a bone and its usefulness that later became a standard shared by a community. Mueller makes that and several more interesting points throughout the book that may be eye-opening moments to readers that they never imagined when delved much deeper, but once more in the early chapters such as “Our Love-Hate Relationship with Creativity” amidst the fine detail she makes subtle quips. She simply reiterates from the sample of participants that she interviewed and researched such as executives of Fortune 500 company that is not accustomed to creativity on a day to day basis, they are looking for the bottom-line, what is in it for them, i.e. will the product be profitable? Or in an organization, will creativity benefit everyone or create potential and value? The most interesting part about the book is that the examples that Mueller presents takes two sides of the coin of perspectives, pros and cons, and useful outcomes. For books that tend to stress important points, there is no doubt that reminders and repetition are key components as well as comparisons of what was successful and what has potential; a good example in current times, the difference between the films 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars: A New Hope. Before Star Wars ever became the box office success, talk spread of its lack of potential and even descriptions of it being a children’s film compared to Disney. History showed the early commentary was completely debunked, and it is instances such as the Star Wars versus 2001 or IBM versus Apple examples, first impressions are not always the last. And within the last four chapters Mueller takes readers through the step-to-step process of overcoming bias.
Basically, despite in any scenario when creativity is introduced in environments that is not accustomed to sudden change and innovative ideas, there will be resistance. However, key components in addition to awareness, it is possessing the mindset with a broad and out-of-the box perspective, one can cross over the hurdle of resistance to creative change.
Most recent customer reviews
This is neither a new nor novel belief.Read more
We all have natural blocks to REAL change. The first section of the book details them...Read more