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Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas Paperback – May 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
De Bono's term "lateral thinking" (the title of a previous book) refers to problem-solving by apparently illogical methods. In a fertile user's manual to the mind, de Bono, a prolific author and business consultant, tackles creative thought as a skill that can be taught, a systematic process of breaking free of old concepts and finding alternatives. In an informal, discursive style, he presents an arsenal of techniques for cultivating ideas and harvesting the usable onesto avoid mixed metaphor; also, harvest is late stage of agricultural process, so should come after 'nurture' or 'cultivation' . Rooted in his theory that creativity flows out of the way human perception works as a self-organizing information system, these techniques include random word generation, multiple focuses, "provocations" that provide a novel framework through which to look at things, and the "six hats method" encouraging cooperative exploration instead of adversarial thinking. His insights seem broadly applicable to business, education, law and other fields.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If you are serious about creativity, you won't be disappointed!
Don't be fooled to think that it's a matter of reading. You must work hard!
If you take it to heart, it's a before and after book.
Honestly, everything in this book steams from common sense. None of his techniques stem too far outside of putting two things together that don't belong. His made up word Po is interesting and intriguing, and probably the most you'll gain from reading 'Serious Creativity'. All Po is is a link to place two words together that would otherwise be out of context, ie 'Planes Po Landing upside down'.
Is it worth reading the last 18 pages? Yes. Should you buy this book? No.
The book consists of three major parts. In Part One, de Bono writes about the need for creative thinking and shows its theoretical and practical applications. The author leaves no doubt that his approach is not destined for artists and creators, but primarily for business people. Thus, not artistic creativity or inspirational creativity is the main field of application of de Bono’s approach to creativity, but creativity used for developing new and profitable ideas for marketing products and for succeeding in the business world. Accordingly, the style and the language of the book are ideally suited for entrepreneurs and executives, and it provides what the author calls take-away value. Interestingly, and unlike the two predecessors, lateral thinking is now only one element among others within the ten sub-chapters that throw different lights on the important question for every innovative company: how can we find and develop new and successful ideas?
Part Two is a detailed and highly elaborated analysis of the use of lateral thinking in the brainstorming process. The quality and exclusiveness of the material presented here is such that it by far outreaches the competence of a creativity manager or innovation department; but on the other hand, corporate leaders or executive committees will seldom have the time and tranquil setting needed to digest the fantastic ideas and creative tools presented in this book, and to make the utmost profit out of it. It is therefore important to emphasize what de Bono repeatedly suggests in his books, that is, to create special Concept R&D Departments that are to be created in the future for the purpose of providing new organizational concepts for the growth and expansion of any.
The material presented here is so vast that it by far surpasses the space to discuss it in a book review, so much the more as de Bono has included his famous Six Thinking Hats brainstorming technique among sixteen other creative thinking techniques that are worth to be studied and tried out in practice.
The third part of the study is concerned with the practical application of creative thinking. This chapter is indispensable for anyone who wants to setup training seminars or workshops on serious creativity. It is written in an exemplarily clear and practical style. Every suggestion the author made here is useful in the day-to-day running of seminars or company workshops on creativity. Not to forget the Appendixes which are true jewels for the training practitioner:
—Appendix One: Lateral Thinking Techniques;
—Appendix Two: Use of Lateral Thinking Techniques;
—Appendix Three: Harvesting Checklist;
—Appendix Four: Treatment of Ideas Checklist.
To summarize, this book has more practical and direct-to-use value than its two predecessors which however have laid the theoretical foundation so that this book could come to existence. De Bono’s brilliant diction and his smart in presenting highly complex content makes this book, among all others by the same author, a true enrichment of any business library.