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4.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 October 2013
I have read Tom Kelley's books and am well aware of David Kelley's leadership of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ("") at Stanford University. Individually, each is among the most influential and highly regarded authorities on creative and innovative thinking. What we have in this volume is a unique and compelling collaboration on information, insights, and counsel that can help their reader to "unleash the creative potential within." They insist -- and I agree -- that literally anyone can live a more creative life, at work and elsewhere, in all situations in which they have problems to solve, questions to answer, goals to set, tasks to complete, and relationships to nourish.

The Kelleys challenge all manner of misconceptions, such as the common refrain "I'm just not creative." In fact, they suggest, "As brothers who have worked together for thirty years at the forefront of innovation, we have come to see this set of misconceptions as 'the creativity myth.' It is a myth that far too many people share. This book is about the opposite of that myth. It is about what we call 'creative confidence.' And at its foundation is the belief that we are [begin italics] all [end italics]...Creative confidence is a way of seeing that potential and your place in the world more clearly, unclouded by anxiety and doubt. We hope you'll join us on our quest to embrace creative confidence in our lives. Together, we can all make the world a better place."

Incremental innovation may sometimes be the most effective way to improve one or more aspects of one's life as well as of a company. For example, in 2004, a leadership team led by Jørgen Vig Knudstorp transformed LEGO - "brick by brick" - into one of the world's most innovative as well as most profitable and fastest growing toy companies.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of the Kelleys' coverage.

o Creativity Now (Pages 7-10)
o Three Key Factors to Balance (23-26)
o Design-Driven Innovation (26-28)
o Nurturing Creative Thinkers, and A Growth State of Mind (32-36)
o The Failure Paradox, and Designing for Courage (44-49)
o Permission to Fail (53-57)
o Drawing Confidence (63-67)
o Cultivate a Creative Spark (78-81)
o Empathize with Your End User (89-92)
o Do Observations in the Field (93-98)
o Reframe Challenges (103-105)
o Cultivate Creative Serendipity (109-111)
o The "Do Something" Mindset: Live in the Active Voice (119-122)
o Experiment to Learn (134-136)
o Find Your Sweet Spot (165-167)
o Strategies to Get Started With (253-260)

Here are three of several reasons why I think this is Tom Kelley's most valuable book...thus far...and why I think his collaboration with David Kelley achieves a level of excellence that neither brother could (probably) have achieved alone. First, like world-class musicians in a jazz band, they are playing the same song (let's say "All Blues" with Miles Davis) but with different instruments and with improvisation that enriches rather than detracts from the pure quality of the group's sound. The Kelleys are masters of carefully nurtured spontaneity.

Also, they are passionate advocates, indeed evangelists about helping as many people as possible to think innovatively about how they can [begin italics] live [end italics] more innovatively. The Kelleys know that developing that mindset will require courage to overcome significant -- albeit self-generated -- fear. That is why the ten strategies they recommend near the conclusion of the book take human nature (for better or worse) into full account. Although heaven knows the disruptive innovations for which IDEO is renowned are exciting, the reality is that most people have convinced themselves that they are incapable of generating them, even when in collaboration with others. They lack courage because they lack confidence.

Finally, the Kelleys are committed to being eager and enthusiastic collaborators with their readers as well as with their students, their colleagues and their clients. To those plagued by self-doubts, struggling with self-imposed limits, they have an emotional intelligence that provides a reassurance, anchored in reality rather than delusional PMA, that people really can believe in what is possible for them. First, they have to imagine it and then summon the courage to believe they can achieve it. Any journey of personal discovery is necessarily perilous. Tom Kelley and David Kelley are ideal companions for that journey.
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on 18 March 2014
I loved this book, full of great ideas and encouragement. It's not claiming to make you millions or to show you exactly how to start a business, it's simply trying to help give you back a bit of what you may already have.
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on 3 June 2014
Good intro to ideo and reign thinking and an insight into the minds of the brothers invoked, but was hoping for more detail on design thinking. This is primary about general themes, other books will no doubt provide a more I depth apogee view of design thinking.
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on 18 November 2015
I got this book as a recommendation. To be honest, at the beginning I thought the book was going to be a series hard to relate to case studies, but I could not be more wrong, really great book full of tips and tricks for bringing creativity into your day to day life. Definitely getting a few extra copies to gift friends over the holidays.
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on 3 March 2016
I have heard about this book in one presentation by David Kelley. It was very inspiring and motivation presentation so I decided to buy this book. I expected a lot because the topic "Creative Confindence" is very interesting and it was great to hear a story how it helped an engineer to improve his work. The book is great and it met my expectations.

I have already read many book about creativity, innovations and similar stuff. But this book is quite different. It offers a perspective how to build, keep and improve ideas and build creativity within us. And how to look on the world through lens of creativity, willingness to learn from failures, etc.

One great bonus is that you can find a list of methods which you can use to be more creative and innovative. I had been using the methods before I purchased the book. So it reassured me that it makes sense and provided some useful tips.
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on 25 December 2013
This book was highly inter-active.

I found myself reflecting a lot about how I see problems and the opportunities it presents and immediately saw how powerful a different attitude to such processes could be. In addition, Creative Confidence brings tools that illustrates it's central premise of innovation very well, ultimately helping us on in applying the insights in our unique situations.

My wife has seen me reading this book really slowly, and out of curiosity she's asked to read it. I look forward to discussing the approaches in this book and eventually applying the concepts in our family building.

Thank you Tom, David!
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on 6 February 2014
Really insightful and practical book from someone who has and continues to do this stuff. Easy to read, and if you follow some of the ideas talked about you will unleash some creative potential. How much? It's up to you.
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on 26 February 2014
This book is a great insight into how creativity is within everyone's reach. But more than that, it suggests that the impact of creativity can become a company philosophy and personally liberating. Highly recommended.
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on 16 January 2014
most of the things in this book I have come across before. It's advantage and helpfulness to me is that all these things are now together in one place, and I can rate which ones I need to work on. That last is the reason for my 3 rating. It's a bit hard.....
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on 28 February 2014
Amazing common sense theorization!
Pro-Active reading
Share with the maximum!
Really good book.
Loved it!

(don't wait for the movie :D)
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