Six Best Books on Creativity: The Classics that Teach the How and Not the Why

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Six Best Books on Creativity: The Classics that Teach the How and Not the Why

If you like creativity and innovation, there are a lot of great books out there that cover just a wide range of topics. So how do you know which ones to get? 

Here are my Top 6 picks:

  1. Think!: Before It’s Too Late by Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono is the inventor of the technique called lateral thinking. This book contains many great stories, jokes, and metaphors. In the book, de Bono introduced the idea of thinking in a reverse direction, which dramatically increases your odds of hitting a valuable idea. 

  1. Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by James Utterback

Utterback was really the first one to identify this idea of disruption. This book does a great job of describing innovation and technology, over time, within specific industries. It talks about how the evolution of the industry will change and transform over time through innovation.

  1. The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms by Margaret Boden

This book is very research-intensive. If you are a creativity geek, and you really want to know the classics, this one is worth reading. It talks about the different myths that are out there around creativity and debunks them. In the book, Margaret reinforces the principle of constraints as a necessary condition for creativity to happen. 

  1. Creative Cognition: Theory, Research and Applications by Ronald Finke, Smith Steve, and Thomas Ward

In the book, they describe the creative process, the moment of generating an idea, and ideas like the pre-inventive form and analog transfer. 

  1. Creativity in Product Innovation by Jacob Goldenberg

This book is a compendium of Goldenberg’s research on the theory of patterns, how patterns can be reapplied, and how patterns were used for thousands of years by innovators. You can harness these patterns which are structures that let you be creative anytime. This was the genesis of the SIT method. The book also introduces this idea that creativity can be thought of as a series of templates. 

  1. The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler

Koestler’s view of creativity is an intersection of two previously unrelated themes. The book also describes the process of humor and humor as a creative act. 

To hear more on these top 6 books on creativity, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 016: Six Best Books on Creativity: The Classics that Teach the How and Not the Why