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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.
Top customer reviews
The message of the book is great - follow your passion, DO rather than think or plan. This book helped me to understand the idea of failing fast and often, which I had thought was dumb. If you are failing forward you aren't failing at all - you are taking action and making progress with successful prototypes (prototypes that you can pick apart to make a better product).
Good book, good message.
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.
The book lays out a design thinking process and supports this process with examples and sample exercises. Clearly not a "one size fits all" model, the diversity of ideas and exercises broke up some of the reading flow for me. Yet, in the end, it's a valuable book that I'll want to revisit frequently in the near future because the Kelleys succeeded in nudging me - I want to think more like a designer because I believe that I can become more creative. And that's a good thing.