- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Currency; 1 edition (October 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038534936X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385349369
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 258 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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“CREATIVE CONFIDENCE is a myth-busting, muscle-building gem of a book. It shatters the false belief that only some people are creative. Then it provides a smart, practical action plan for boosting your innovative capacities. If you want to be more creative, read the Kelley brothers' words, follow their advice, and then—as they'd tell you—do something!"
Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell is Human
“David Kelley has unleashed the power of design thinking for thousands of Stanford students and hundreds of influential Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In CREATIVE CONFIDENCE, he and his brother, Tom, share their secrets about how each of us can find our creative powers. They describe a way of thinking that will change your professional and personal life.
Charlie Rose, acclaimed interviewer and broadcast journalist
“This book changed me. CREATIVE CONFIDENCE is that rare combination of thought leadership, soulful storytelling, and real-life exercises that inspires you to reclaim your creative passion and courage. I feel braver already. “
Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Daring Greatly
“This is the only book about creativity that you'll ever need.”
Guy Kawasaki, author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur
“A five-star Wow! This wonderful, heartwarming book may literally change the world. Indeed, it must change the world. Don’t just read it. Use it. Now.”
Tom Peters, bestselling author of In Search of Excellence
“An indispensible field guide for creative explorers of all kinds.
This compelling book will help build creative muscles for when you need
Todd Spaletto, President, The North Face
“Creativity is not magic, it's a skill. Get this book and learn the skill from the brothers who have taught it to more people—f rom nurses to bankers to teachers to computer scientists—than anyone else.”
Chip Heath, author of Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive
“A cross between Steve Jobs' commencement speech on creativity and a modern-day What Color is your Parachute?, the Kelley brothers offer simple but effective tools for the "I'm not creative" set—business leaders and professionals seeking the confidence to innovate.”
John Maeda, President & CEO, Rhode Island School of Design
“In hospitality – like in all industries – creativity is the life blood of engaging employees and guests (customers) and it is the capacity that allows you to strengthen your brand with every interaction. This book can help you engage powerfully with employees and customers and keep your brand relevant through changing times.”
Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
“I have long marveled at the Kelley brothers’ ability to innovate in seemingly impenetrable fields (like health care). Now they’ve unfettered that power in all of us, sharing the tools and inspiring the confidence we need to find the very best solutions to complex problems we face at work—and in our personal lives.”
Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., President and CEO, Partners HealthCare System
“David and Tom have written an incredibly insightful book that challenges us all have the courage to break out of our ruts, innovate, and create.”
Tim Koogle, former President & CEO, Yahoo
“Developing both the courage and confidence to create and the ability to cultivate original insight is of enormous practical importance, and this new book is the first place I send people to learn how it is done.”
Richard Miller, President, Olin College
“David and Tom Kelley show us how to effortlessly dance between the creativity of elementary school and the pragmatism of the business world.”
Joe Gebbia, Co-founder, Airbnb
About the Author
TOM KELLEY is a partner at IDEO, and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation.
DAVID KELLEY is the founder of IDEO, one of the world's leading innovation and design firms, as well as the creator of the d.school at Stanford University.
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The Kelley brothers start off the book offering you a dose of confidence right off the bat by saying "everyone is creative". Yes, fair enough, right? People designated as "creatives" don't have a monopoly on creativity and creativity isn't genetically inbred. It can be learned. Yes, some people will have a greater inclination towards creative thought processes and ideas than others but that does not defeat the fact that creativity can still be exercised and strengthened like a muscle.
The book gives a renewed sense of optimism to anyone wishing that they could come up with alternative solutions to problems rather than just copy/pasting from preexisting ideas. Most creative and innovative people fail quite a bit in their lives, its just that their mammoth successes tend to otherwise overshadow many months/years of frustration in the studio/lab.
Great book, I definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to approach their work in a new, more optimistic light and mindset. Refreshing and eye-opening book.
Amount of Content 5/10
Value of Content (Usefulness) 7/10
Originality of Content 7/10
Relevance of Content (To a Product Designer) 8/10
Entertainment Level 6/10
Length of Read 6/10
I’m sitting at gate F10 at the Saint Paul Minneapolis International airport en route to the Los Angeles International Airport. I just finished reading Creative Confidence, by David and Tom Kelly while on my last flight and figured, I should write a book review. The industrial designers out there are likely familiar with David and Tom Kelly, who are known for starting the near-legendary design firm IDEO as well as the Stanford D.School. David and Tom Kelly are brothers as well as respected authorities and advocates of design and innovation.
Creative Confidence is all about exposing the creative potential within all of us. It leaves behind conventional ideas like ‘only artists are creative’ and ‘creativity isn’t for corporate settings’. This book first establishes why and how we all have creativity within and then explains what can happen when that creativity is harnessed and utilized. The authors then explain how to tap into our creativity and share exercises to train our creative muscles.
This book is not written for or to designers, rather to anyone who is employed and wishes to solve meaningful problems with break-through discoveries as a result of creative confidence.
Amount of Content
At 256 pages, this book is neither short nor long. It’s a standard paperback book (roughly 8.5” tall and 5.5” wide). The book is broken into 8 chapters, each of which dives into either a different aspect of creative confidence or a different setting or implementation of creative confidence. There are a few illustrations and some artwork on new chapter pages, but the book is primarily all written copy. I scored it 5/10 because as mentioned before, it didn’t seem terribly full of information, but it certainly wasn’t sparse.
Value of Content
It’s hard to judge a book’s value without actually trying to implement all of the authors’ suggestions and measuring the outcomes. I will say that I perceive the value of this book to be pretty high. This is why I scored it a 7/10. This books is more about big ideas and concepts and the large impacts these ideas have on those who implement them. For example, there are many instances when talented but unfulfilled people found tremendous success and purpose after making drastic career changes thanks to their experiences with finding their creative confidence. There is evidence to support that when a creative and innovative, collaborative approach to problem-solving is set into motion, great things happen in businesses both large and small. David and Tom give plenty of examples in which this happened.
I believe the value to be there but it’s entirely based upon the situation of the individual and how he or she chooses to implement the ideas throughout this book. For those who are familiar with many concepts in this book, the anecdotes and examples are great reminders of what happens when we (designers) practice what we preach.
Originality of Content
Creative Confidence earns a 7/10 for originality. I haven’t read many books that highlight the importance of creative confidence. Furthermore, the success stories highlighted throughout are pretty monumental. To read about real-world results of what IDEO founders believe and teach is a unique piece of insight many designers hunger for. And to those not labeled as a creative professional, I think the ideas in Creative Confidence are big, yet simple enough to grasp to be impactful.
Relevance of Content
This book scores an 8/10 for relevance, specifically to a product designer. There were plenty of principals I was previously familiar with thanks to my formal industrial design education. Since I was fortunate enough to attend a very successful art and design college, I’d learned about the methods highlighted by David and Tom’s book. Since I’ve worked as a professional for the past 4 years since then, I’ve noticed how easy it is to shrug off the habits and skills learned in school while on the job. This book serves as a good reminder and brought me back to thinking about innovation and creativity on a rudimentary level.
Unfortunately, this is where Creative Confidence scored the lowest for me. A 6/10 isn’t bad. It’s not a ‘D’ like a 60% is in school. In this case, it means I felt neutral about it. I wasn’t terribly entertained, but I wasn’t bored with it either. The strongest part of the book was the introduction when David’s experience with cancer brought a sobering sense of clarity to the Kelly brothers’ mission and purpose, which in part, fueled the writing of this book.
Length of Read
Creative Confidence gets a 6/10 for length. The longer it takes me to read a book, the higher it scores in this category. This book is a pretty quick read. I did however put it down for a couple of weeks. I blame the break on it not being as entertaining as it could have been. However, when I did pick it back up, I read large chunks of it quite quickly. I estimate my total time reading this book to be around 6 or 7 hours maximum.
7/10 for inspiration. This is due to the concrete and simple stories supplied by the authors that prove the power of unleashing and harnessing creative confidence. It’s not an abstract phenomena that needs to be ‘willed into existence’, but a tool that’s both fun and challenging to use. I felt inspired to examine and write about numerous ideas as they struck me during my reading of Creative Confidence.
Creative Confidence isn’t for designers, but everyone who wants to learn to think differently and gain an edge over their old way of problem solving or their competition if they’re in a business setting. The authors are no-nonsense creatives who understand the psychology of collaboration and groups in a professional environment and make the benefits of having creative confidence clear. A student in any design discipline or young professional will likely feel inspired to challenge the status quo and workplace conventions after reading this book. Anyone in a managerial role will likely find a nugget or two of useful approaches to the challenges they regularly face.
Buy and read it.
The intention of the book is to dispel the notion that only some of us were born with creativity in our genes, when in fact, we all have the ability to be creative, despite what we might have been told and taught over the years. We can all achieve "audacious goals," just like Steve did, or at least to believe in our own ability to change our world in some way.
It's explained that we came into the world with creativity and fearlessness, but as time passes we encounter others who shake our confidence by saying we're not creative, including schools where we learn to think too constructively -- that there can only be one right answer. So, we unlearn creativity and lose our confidence, fearful of what others might think.
Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk, "Do Schools Kill Creativity" is mentioned as a must-see and as an example of how traditional education has, well, killed creativity.
The book inspires us with examples of people who were overly analytical: accountants, scientists and lawyers who didn't have a bias toward action. Even companies that suffered from inertia; bogged down with data and decisions by committee. But by unleashing their creativity, they have learned to conjure up and consider a myriad of solutions to problems, no matter how absurd, and to learn by doing.
There's also an emphasis on empathy and human-centered design. How important it is to observe customers and end-users when designing solutions and products instead of burying heads into spreadsheets and dreaming up things we think will work.
The authors share the experiences of many students who've attended their d.school at Stanford University. It's a fast-paced, team-based learning environment where students, young and old, and from diverse backgrounds, are asked to find human-centered solutions. A popular project is figuring out how the experience of a daily train commute from San Francisco to Palo Alto can be improved for passengers, from waiting on the platform to disembarking at their destination.
The book not only focuses on inspiring individuals to build their creative confidence, but also delves into the importance of working in teams and provides case studies where entire companies have embraced creative confidence to improve the experience of workers and customers.
Written in a friendly conversational tone and filled with real human stories and experiences, 'Creative Confidence' was a pleasure to read, and having finished it, I've realized I've highlighted so many passages to read again.