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inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity Paperback – April 7, 2015
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“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)
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.
Whether we are attempting to generate fresh ideas or struggling with problems that have no solutions in sight, Seelig 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 use right away to radically enhance our own ingenuity as well as that of our colleagues, organizations, and communities.
Seelig's groundbreaking work reveals that creativity is an endlessly 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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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.
I could tell you more, but I don't want to spoil the pleasure and insights you'll get by reading "InGenius" yourself.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, "InGenius" changed and energized me. I read it over two mornings and, while reading, I found myself taking many notes and furiously writing down ideas. When a book permanently and substantively changes the way you view things - your long-term perspective - while giving you immediately applicable insights, advice and tools, you can't ask for more. "InGenius" is such a book. Highly-recommended. Thank you Tina!
This book showed me that the imagination that I had when I was younger can be used to boost productivity through innovation. It also emphasized the importance of experimentation in even more than just science. On top of this, it helped me learn more ways to expand my creativity. The very first chapter taught people how to shift their perspective to see the world differently than from their own point of view. This point would reverberate throughout the entire book to make even the act of practicing this book’s advice of expanding creativity feel like a creative venture.
The book’s use of perspective revealed a lot about how the use of different people’s ideas can meld into an innovation. It is because of these varying ideas that people are able to come together, focus, and overcome failure in order to achieve the creative venture. It presents solutions to gain inspiration to escape creativity barriers like writers block, and encourages the use of unusual thinking to move forward. The book also gives a plethora of examples that gives readers many ways to better understand how to use their creativity. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to create anything.