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Senin, 30 Juli 2012

Idea-Links: The New Creativity by Jim Link - Book review


The New Creativity

By: Jim Link

Published: February 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1592982751
ISBN-13: 978-1592982752
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press

"We begin our journey by rethinking creativity and seeing how the allure of the fabled eureka moment actually distracts us from focusing on the important work that leads us there", writes consult and teacher of creativity, Jim Link in his demystifying and results oriented book Idea-Links: The New Creativity. The author describes how the most commonly understood theories and practices of creative thinking miss the point that creativity is a skill that can be developed, learned, and applied as a reliable problem solving process.

Jim Link cites a 2010 IBM poll which reported that CEOs considered creativity to be the most important leadership competency. The problem for these CEOs, writes Jim Link, is that they have no idea how to develop creativity within their employees or organizations. As a result, the CEOs simple wait from some magical unleashing, of some supposed creative energy, that never seems to happen. At the same time, countless hours and dollars are spent on creative thinking training sessions, seminars, and books that fail to produce more creativity either. Jim Link presents an alternative approach, where creativity is treated as another skill to be learned by individuals, and a process to be put into place by organizations.

Jim Link (photo left) begins by dispelling the myth that creativity is something that happens at random to supposedly gifted people. He also dispenses with the notion that creativity can be added to a person's skill set overnight, but instead requires hard work at learning and developing the proper disciplines. Jim Link guides the reader through the needed skills and disciplines that lead to enhanced creativity through a complete rethinking of the entire creative process and how it works in practice.Jim Link presents the concept of idea-links that connect what you already know to the problem at hand. With those links in hand, the author then moves to the next step of creatively re-framing what you already know to develop new ideas.

Jim Link presents a series of steps for the making of these all important idea-links. The making of idea-links includes the following:

* Digging deeper to use analysis to create idea-links
* Curiosity through the asking of why questions
* Storing idea-links by banking them for future use
* Finding idea-links for important subject areas
* Finding idea-links for specific projects or problems
* Creatively re-framing to access your already owned idea-links
* Asking the important what if questions
* Planning for success through a shared process and vocabulary

For me, the power of the book is how Jim Link transforms the entire concept of creativity, from one of random chance and supposed eureka moments, to one of a learned and repeatable skill. The author moves beyond the standard books on creative thinking, and presents creativity as a learned skill, that will become a reusable problem solving process. Jim Link demonstrates that creativity is not some random event, but is a discipline that can be learned, practiced, and mastered by anyone.

The author rightly cautions the reader that learning to think creatively requires work and dedication to understanding and employing this new competency effectively. To his credit, Jim Link doesn't posit any get creative quickly approaches, but instead shares the techniques to establish creativity as a core competency, and as an organizational process. Jim Lake adds to the texture of his concepts through real world case studies of the principle of idea-links in action.

I highly recommend the organizational and individual creativity skill development book Idea-Links: The New Creativity by Jim Link, to anyone seeking a realistic, and proven skill building approach to developing their own creativity skills, and those of their entire organization. This book will move you away from thinking that creativity is only an unleashing of a eureka moment away, and will guide you toward learning and practicing an important and valuable new skill.

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