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Posted March 6, 2010
What a Great Idea! 2.0
My name is David Marquet, from Practicum, Inc and we help our customers develop solutions to problems. One thing almost all our customers are interested in is how to be more creative, and how to use groups to solve problems. In doing so, there is invariably a balance between structure, constraints, and expansive thinking.
We don't read What a Great Idea! by Chic Thompson. Instead, we use it more like the toolbox you keep in your garage - with screwdrivers, hammers, and fasteners you pull out for the appropriate job.
Chic presents a coherent structure for unlocking creativity based on the four broad steps progressing from freedom, to expression, to creation, and ultimately to action. For each step, Chic provides the reader with highly usable activities to exercise your mind which we use to good effect with our clients.
These specific tools and techniques are very valuable. However, what creeps up on you, but what is ultimately more powerful, is the irrepressible optimism that permeates the book that EVERYONE can be creative. Creative people can be more creative and people who've been boxed in can break out. It's never too late.
When I talked with Chic about his book, he didn't deny that and went further - "I think there's a connection between overall health and creative health." He opined. He views creativity and lifelong learning not as things that we do to achieve project goals, but processes we apply to living fuller and healthier lives. Oh, and by the way, his optimism and infectious enthusiasm is definitely genuine.
At one point in the book, Chic suggests we be "curious first, critical second." Even, now, it's an approach I wish I embraced more often.