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inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity Hardcover – April 17, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Tina invites us inside her Stanford University course to reveal that we all have creative potential waiting to be unleashed.” (Ori Brafman, coauthor of Sway and Click)

“In a world that’s in constant flux, creativity and innovation are essential qualities for successful executives and industry-leading companies. Tina has shown that we all have the ability to mobilize our creative spirit.” (Chip Conley, Founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and Author of Emotional Equations)

“Who said creativity can’t be taught? It can, and Tina Seelig has done it! She has created a new model, the Innovation Engine, that will change the way you think.” (Steve Blank, entreprenuer and author of The Startup Owners Manual)

In this groundbreaking work, Tina has codified her years of teaching at Stanford and proves that anyone can be creative. (Nancy Duarte, CEO and author of Resonate)

Tina has shattered the misconception that you can’t increase creativity. In this book, she presents breakthrough ideas on how to understand and boost your ability to innovate. (Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple)

Tina Seelig has written a provocative field guide to 21st century creativity, with her energy and enthusiasm bursting through on every page. We all could use a little extra spark of creativity, and this book helps show the way. (Tom Kelley, author of The Art of Innovation)

“Few people have done as much to champion innovative thinking as Tina Seelig.” (David Kelley, Founder IDEO)

“Tina Seelig is one of the most creative and inspiring teachers at Stanford.” (Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and author The No-Asshole Rule)

“Tina is the most inspirational creativity voice I know.” (Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm, Dealing with Darwin)

“Seelig is a sharp observer and a gentle and thoughtful writer.” (Miami Herald)

“Tina Seelig has written a powerful and practical book, jam packed with keen insights for unleashing creativity in yourself and others.” (Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries)

inGenius is a fascinating blueprint for any company that’s serious about creating an environment where new ideas can thrive, and many of Seelig’s students doubtless go on to do precisely that.” (Fortune Magazine)

Seelig demonstrates that creativity and experimentation are both personal mindsets and values in organizations. inGenius acts as a spark plug for managers and entrepreneurs who want to capitalize on the creativity in their organizations. (Library Journal)

“Many of us believe that we’re either born with creativity or we’re not. Tina Seelig, author of inGENIUS: A Crash Course on Creativity, and award-winning educator at Stanford University, says that’s wrong: Creativity can be easily taught and learned.” (USA Weekend)

From the Back Cover

Internationally bestselling author and award-winning Stanford University educator Tina Seelig has taught creativity to the best and brightest students at Stanford and to business leaders around the world. With inGenius she expertly decodes creativity, revealing an approach that everyone can use to enhance their own creative genius.

In today's world, innovation and creative problem solving are more important than ever to succeed. For many of us, however, this process is a mystery. Whether we are attempting to generate fresh ideas or struggling with problems with no solutions in sight, the innovative spark is out of reach. inGenius offers a revolutionary new model, the Innovation Engine, which explains how creativity is generated on the inside and how it is influenced by the outside world. Describing the variables that work together to catalyze or inhibit our creative abilities, Seelig provides a set of tools we can each use right away to radically enhance our own ingenuity as well as that of our colleagues, teams, organizations, and communities.

Seelig's groundbreaking work reveals that creativity is an endless renewable resource we can tap into at any time. It is as natural as breathing, and just as necessary for leading a successful and fulfilling life.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 58454th edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062020706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062020703
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading Tina Seelig's "InGenius" and the best compliment I can pay it is that it has changed me, "supercharged" me and provided me with inspiration, motivation and - best of all - it has helped me find creative answers to specific innovation challenges I had been working on for some time.

Her model of the Innovation Engine with its six components (culture, attitude, imagination, resources, knowledge, habitat) is brilliant. When you think of the process of innovation in this way, you realize how critical each component is. In a proper engine, each part is necessary but not sufficient - take one small valve or bearing out and the engine grinds to a halt. But in most environments that want to foster innovation and creativity, we often see several components that are inadequate or missing altogether - which explains why so many such efforts are unsuccessful.

As she elaborates on the engine model, she covers tools that are probably familiar to people who have an interest in creativity and innovation. However, as she did with the engine model, she analyzes how and why these tools work and, more importantly, how they are often mis-used. Her section on brainstorming is a perfect example. Most people think they understand how to run a brainstorming session, but they really don't; they just collect a random bunch of people in a room (often a room unsuitable for the purpose) and start tossing ideas out in a free-for-all frenzy. Tina summarizes the "rules" of brainstorming clearly and succinctly, and in a way that will probably make you realize that most of the brainstorming sessions in which you have participated were, at best, poor and pale imitation of what really effective and efficient brainstorming should be like.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Tina Seeligs last book "What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20" two years ago, I had to track down her personal email address and thank her for writing such a great book on fostering personal creativity. With this book, she really focuses in how to create an environment and culture that promotes creative an innovative thinking not just for yourself, but among employees and colleagues as well. With her two books, she gives an inside look at what she teaches in her creativity class at Stanford, and the lessons techniques she uses are very powerful!

I found her writing in this book so uniquely valuable for two major reasons:

Focus on creativity: In my own formal and self education, there has been a supreme lack of focus on creativity and imagination. Creativity is a tough metric to quantity and measure, and I'm afraid that most educators (and business managers - myself included) shy away from it for that exact reason! Once grading begins, assignments are tailored to become easily grade-able, via multiple choice tests and the memorization and regurgitation of facts, and our "creative muscle" atrophies. In the workplace, and in plenty of business writing, the major focus is on improving employee productivity on linear tasks. The last creative assignment I was assigned in a classroom was in the 5th grade (and I made one heck of a solar system project!), and I have never once been asked to come up with creative solutions in a workplace! This book has given me the tools (via Tina's techniques on leading brainstorming sessions specifically) to use to really change the attitude and culture of my own office to focus again on creativity, imagination, and innovation, like we all used so naturally when we were children!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To be clear, I am an accidental reader of inGenius: A Crash course on Creativity. I heard a discussion of the book on the radio on the same morning I needed to spend a few more dollars to qualify for free shipping of my Amazon.com order (their plan worked). I have not read Dr. Seelig's prior works. As I make both critical and complementary remarks, please read the whole review or skip to the next one.

The premise of the book seems to be that we can all be more creative than we are. I agree. While I have no doubt that the author is very creative and has inspired many others to be more creative. I am less certain that she has considered the challenges faced outside of her own environment. She teaches in a creative field (design) in a highly selective university (Stanford) where she is able to hand select the students she teaches (150 students competing for 40 seats in the class). She works in a region buzzing with creativity and with people (entrepreneurs, et al) who are already bent toward creativity. This is not reason enough to reject the book. I just suspect that she slightly oversells the ease with which this creative transformation can occur among less inspired, more downtrodden, average folks working in more mundane industries and regions.

Having stated my caveat I can say I enjoyed reading the book. My normal fare is more academic in orientation so the light writing style made it a quick, refreshing read. The exercises she discusses and the anecdotes she shares are useful in evoking ideas on how one might be more creative and/or encourage more creativity in others. The final chapter presents a generalized model, the Innovation Engine, which summarizes the lessons of the book.
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