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Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All Hardcover – October 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

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  • Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
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  • The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
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Editorial Reviews


“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
them most.”
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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have read Tom Kelley's books and am well aware of David Kelley's leadership of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ("d.school") at Stanford University. Individually, each is among the most influential and highly regarded authorities on creative and innovative thinking. What we have in this volume is a unique and compelling collaboration on information, insights, and counsel that can help their reader to "unleash the creative potential within." They insist -- and I agree -- that literally anyone can live a more creative life, at work and elsewhere, in all situations in which they have problems to solve, questions to answer, goals to set, tasks to complete, and relationships to nourish.

The Kelleys challenge all manner of misconceptions, such as the common refrain "I'm just not creative." In fact, they suggest, "As brothers who have worked together for thirty years at the forefront of innovation, we have come to see this set of misconceptions as 'the creativity myth.' It is a myth that far too many people share. This book is about the opposite of that myth. It is about what we call 'creative confidence.' And at its foundation is the belief that we are [begin italics] all [end italics] creative...Creative confidence is a way of seeing that potential and your place in the world more clearly, unclouded by anxiety and doubt. We hope you'll join us on our quest to embrace creative confidence in our lives. Together, we can all make the world a better place."

Incremental innovation may sometimes be the most effective way to improve one or more aspects of one's life as well as of a company.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whenever IDEO publishes a book or some other sort of media, it is important to take attention. IDEO is one of the companies spearheading the revolution to change traditional business models by focusing on human-centered design. IDEO has been around since 1991 but has been thinking this way since its inception and thus is way ahead of the curve. Their approach to human-centered design has shown multiple times to be one of the surefire ways to guarantee customer loyalty and longevity. In Creative Confidence David and Tom show ways for both consumer and creator to keep their humanity in an otherwise leviathan capitalistic system. The end result is a better product and a more enjoyable time creating the product.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly & David Kelly

Score: 6.5/10

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
Inspiration 7/10

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).
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