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The Houdini Solution: Put Creativity and Innovation to work by thinking inside the box Paperback – October 5, 2006
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From the Back Cover
Don't struggle against limitations. Think like Houdiniand work your magic!
You've heard it a million times: Think outside the box. But what about Harry Houdini? The legendary magician did his best work shackled, handcuffed, and chained inside the smallest of boxes--and yet he managed to find his way out every time. The same is true with creativity. It's the restraints themselves that spark the creative process, inspiring the most ingenious solutions.
That's the secret of The Houdini Solution. Written by Ernie Schenck, the award-winning creative mind behind some of today's hottest advertising campaigns, this eye-opening book smashes through the clichés you've heard about creative thinking and shows you how to use that proverbial "box" to full advantage. You'll learn how to:
- Slip through the loopholes of the professional straightjacket
- Use that last-minute deadline as your chance to dazzle
- Face a wall of resistance and see an opening for success
It's not magic. It's creativity at work. And, inspired by Houdini, it's your golden opportunity to beat the odds, amaze your audience, and come out on top.
About the Author
Ernie Schenck is cofounder of the acclaimed advertising agency Pagano Schenck and Kay and an Emmy Award nominee for his creative work. He's also a columnist and contributing editor for Communication Arts magazine.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Defining your problem and knowing its boundaries and conditions - analyzing - is a very important step in gaining insight in any creative undertaking. But it will never (really never ever)leave you with a formula for solving the problem. Even the tightest conditions leave an infinity of solutions to any problem.
The Houdini Solution chooses to pretend the hardest part in problem solving - generating an idea - does not exist as part of creativity.
It is a shame because the premise "Put Creativity and Innovation to work..." is very interesting, since channeling creativity and innovation towards a well defined goal can be true challenge for many companies.
And then there's the Inside the Box thinking. Every time the book references an Inside the Box example, it really is referring to good old oldfashioned Out of the Box thinking.
What is nice about the book though, is that is presents some rather interesting cases, which, unfortunately, are misinterpreted often as an ingenious Inside-the-Box alternative for addressing creativity as a mean to problem solving.
I so enjoyed the subject, I thought HOUDINI SOLUTION might offer similar insights, but Ernie Schenck is no Doug Rushkoff. Schenck's clumsy metaphor makes a far less cogent argument to get back in the box. HOUDINI SOLUTION argues for us to surrender to the box in order to figure out how to get out of it. But where Rushkoff is holistic, Schenck is obsessed with stretching his Houdini references.
It's almost like Schenck took a few good ideas from Rushkoff and liberally sprinkled them with the magical "don't be it, think it" asininity of THE SECRET, rather than identifying systemic problems in the way our businesses and lives work.
I'm not saying that Schenck copped his book from Rushkoff because if he had, he would have written a better book. If you're really interested in this subject, read GET BACK IN THE BOX instead. Find it here:
Get Back in the Box: How Being Great at What You Do Is Great for Business