Boost Your Creative Intelligence - Harry Alder
Boost Your Creative IntelligenceThis is a rather more considered book than the title might at first suggest. Rather than a five minute tune up for creativity it provides an interesting and comprehensive survey of the topic and doesn’t shy away form admitting that the art of being creative, or even the definition of creativity itself are somewhat elusive.

The author begins by outlining what creativity may be, acknowledging that we find it easier to know where it exists, than to define exactly what causes it to exist.

The authors engaging style means that the constant references to research, often accepted as partial and sometimes confessed as conflicting, doesn’t make the subject too dry. There is lots here to encourage us all to believe that we each possess untapped creative abilities. I’m sure that you will find described here characteristics you recognise present in even the most fleeting of creative moments.

In amongst the research are some very interesting snippets which managers seeking to promote this most elusive of activities may do well to heed. For example the fact that incentives can reduce creativity, whether given as inducements beforehand or as rewards after the event. It seems that creativity is often powered from an inner desire which can be weakened by external rewards.

Also the creative process is often not focussed directly on answers. Creative people seem to redefine the problem rather than think in terms of a solution. Having done this the solution seems easy and obvious, especially to others.

Research also indicates that some creative tasks seem to depend entirely on the mood we are in; a perhaps not surprising fact, but one that doesn’t sit easily with plans and the quaint illusion that work can be apportioned and delivered by the man-hour.

All in all this is a comprehensive, entertaining and insightful exploration of the topic of creativity. Recommended.

Steve Unwin
March 2009