Imagine by Jonah Lehrer – My Takeaways

At the end of each of my book synopsis presentations, I give a few of my takeaways for the books I present.  For Imagine:  How Creativity Works, I had a much longer list than usual – sixteen takeaways.  So, here they are.  If you want to be more creative, then take a good look, and ask, “what do I need to do differently – what changes do I need to make in the way I work?” 

• Sixteen “lessons” (some behaviors to adopt – a longer than usual list of take-aways): 

1)    Paint the walls blue (but hire an accountant wearing red)
2)    Make people interact
3)    Connect more.  Collaborate more.  A lot more.
4)    And, to connect, you need lots of face-to-face interactions.  There is no substitute for face-to-face! (proximity matters a lot!)
5)    If the idea has not come at all, get off task – way off task
• take walks; take showers; have a drink or two…
6)    If the idea has come, get focused – very focused… (until you need another idea – then get off task again)
7)    Embrace – insist on – debate!  (traditional brainstorming, focusing on the positive only, does.not.work!)
8)    Get outside.  Way outside! – and collaborate with outsiders; lots of outsiders.
9)    Play a little (or a lot) – At least, look with new, outsider, child’s eyes…  (familiarity/jargon – these are enemies of creativity)
10)  Only after expertise is developed can you stray from the traditional, and improvise… (think Yo-Yo Ma).  Thus, expertise precedes great breakthroughs…
11) Travel – far away from home… (and pay attention when you travel)
12) And, aim for diversity (and weirdness) in your connections
• embrace the city
13) Walk faster…
14)  Treat breakthrough performers more like athletic superstars
15)  Get much better at your powers of observation
16)  Provide “15 percent time” (or its equivalent) – use your 15 percent time to play around with new ideas……

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