The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work

The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work

by Natalie Nixon
The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work

The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work

by Natalie Nixon


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"Natalie Nixon's new book provides a fresh primer on how to cultivate creativity in the workplace."
—Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable

Too many people associate creativity solely with the arts, even though to be an incredible scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur requires immense creativity. And it's the key to developing breakthrough products and services. Natalie Nixon, a creativity strategist with a background in cultural anthropology, fashion, and service design, says that in the fourth industrial revolution a creativity leap is needed to bridge the gap that exists between the churn of work and the highly sought-after prize called innovation.

Nixon says that since humans are hardwired to be creative, it is a competency anyone can develop. She shows that it balances wonder (awe, audacity, and curiosity) with rigor (discipline, skill-building, and attention to detail), and that inquiry, improvisation, and intuition are the key practices that increase those capacities. Drawing on interviews with fifty-six people from diverse backgrounds—farming, law, plumbing, architecture, perfumery, medicine, education, technology, and more—she offers illuminating examples of how creativity manifests in every kind of work.

Combining creativity tools and techniques with real-world stories of innovative people and businesses, this book is a provocation, an inspiration, and an invitation to unleash the innate creativity that lies within each of us. It offers a more dynamic and integrative way to adapt and innovate, one that allows us the freedom to access our full human selves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523088256
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 06/23/2020
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Natalie Nixon is a creativity strategist and president of Figure 8 Thinking. She advises and emboldens leaders to transform their businesses through creativity and foresight. She is a regular contributor to Inc. and the editor of Strategic Design Thinking. She is a global speaker whose roster includes TEDxPhiladelphia, Cusp conference, the Business Innovation Factory, SEB Group, 360 Possibles, CreativeMornings, the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design, the European Innovation Academy, and the Mayo Clinic's Transform conference. Nixon holds a PhD in design management, an MS in global textile marketing, and a BA (cum laude) in anthropology and Africana studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

What Is a Leap? 1

Why Creativity Leaps Matter 1

Creativity Is a Competency 4

Why I Wrote This Book 6

Who Should Use This Book? 8

Why Me? 9

My Audacious Goal 11

Chapter 1 Create Like Your Life Depends on It 13

Why Creativity Matters 13

Why Do We Dismiss Creativity? 15

Making Creativity Accessible 19

Creativity Is How We Leap Forward 22

Chapter 2 Flow between Wonder and Rigor 25

Wisdom Begins in Wonder 25

Wonder and Creativity 27

Rigor and Rules 28

Rigor and Creativity 30

The Wonder Rigor Paradigm 32

Wonder and Rigor Make Creativity Accessible 36

Chapter 3 Inquire: Ask a Better Friggin' Question 39

Why We Don't Ask Better Questions 39

Inquiry Is the Messy Process of Moving from Why to How 42

Trust Is the Foundation of Inquiry 46

Normalizing Inquiry within Your Organization 51

Inquiry Sparks Discovery 54

Chapter 4 Improvise: Leverage Organized Chaos 57

The Future of Work Is Jazz 57

Designing Improvisational Organizations 61

Life (and Work) Is Chaordic 64

Chapter 5 Intuit: Put Bravery before Mastery 67

The Ins and Outs of Intuition 67

Intuition as a Tool for Strategy 69

Intuition Is a Data Point 70

Intuition and Wicked Problems 73

Intuition Puts Bravery before Mastery 74

Chapter 6 Commune: Come Together to Create 77

Tribes Are the Foundation for Creative Community 77

Why Community Is Essential for Creativity 79

Designing Community for Creativity 80

Zoom In, Zoom Out 82

Chapter 7 Forecast: Amplify What Is Uniquely Human 85

The Future of the World Depends on Creativity 85

Creativity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution 87

Preparing Organizations for the Future 90

Hybrid Thinkers Welcome 95

Chapter 8 Remix, Reframe, Repurpose 97

There Is Nothing New under the Sun 97

Archetypes Are Patterns 98

Think Like a Fashion Designer 100

Use What You Have 105

Chapter 9 Get Out of the Building: Final Thoughts on Increasing Your CQ 107

See Things Differently 107

Be a Translator 110

Play 116

Leap! 121

Appendix 125

21 Questions and Suggestions to Jump-Start Your Creativity 125

WonderRigor Game 128

Glossary 131

Notes 133

Acknowledgments 136

Index 139

About the Author 147

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