Books for creative strategists 3 – Where good ideas come from

So we spend a lot of time looking at reports and research and then applying that to markets and coming up with interesting directions. Then we have a chat with the art directors and content producers and out of that soup come lovely ideas. But where do those ideas really come from?

I recommend you have a look at the book “Where do good ideas come from?” by Steve Johnson. He looks at creative and innovative environments and what unites them and then posits 7 patterns of innovation. And his ideas challenge many of the assumptions about creative genius and creativity in general.

Take for instance the Slow Hunch, the principle that brilliant ideas come out of slow building ideas, slowly developing thoughts and experiences. Often what turns a hunch into a real break through is that two hunches collide, not that a genius sits in a room with a strategic brief and delivers the next Facebook. He points out that creating environments where ideas can collide is all part of maximising the opportunities for great creativity. Well, just think about the coffee houses of the Enlightenment and you’ll see where he’s going with that.

Creativity is so important for our businesses but I have long felt that there is a real danger in designating some people as “creatives” meaning graphic designers and wordsmiths, and some people as “not creatives”.  A chance remark, a different perspective, a great understanding that comes from outside  the “creative team” can be the catalyst that delivers a brilliant new app or process or visual. There are loads more great thought starters in the book and ways that you can create environments to foster creativity. And it’s well written. What’s not to like?



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