Be More Attentive; Be More Creative; Be More Productive – A few thoughts from some recent reading

I’ve just read the sample pages of the book Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results by Drew inside-the-box-9781451659290_hr-1Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg. The premise: there are templates, “inside the box” templates, to help come up with creative breakthroughs.

I’ve just re-read portions of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, including the foreword by James Fallows to the latest edition (Fallows is a terrific, substantive writer/essayist for The Atlantic).

I’m well into The Third Wave by Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL.

And, of course, I read one business book each month to prepare a thorough synopsis of the book for the First Friday Book Synopsis.

Here are some thoughts clarified by my recent reading:

#1 – Be more attentive, because… The word keeps changing, significantly because of – global interconnectedness, and technology progression (think Moore’s Law, which marches on and on and on). Though book after book warns against the power of “the status quo,” in the big picture, throughout our modern world, the times, the businesses, “they are a changin’.” Being attentive to the changing world is a much-needed practice and skill in this ever-changing era.

#2 – Be more creative, because… We keep wanting and needing creative breakthroughs, which rely on genuine creativity. We all need to be more creative!

In Bob Morris’ review of Inside the Box, (this is from his Amazon page review), he wrote:

Within the last several years, I have probably read and reviewed more than one hundred books that discuss one or more aspects of creativity. Opinions are divided — sometimes sharply divided — among authorities in terms of what creativity is and isn’t, how ideas can be generated, within which workplace environment creative thinking is most likely to thrive, whether or not it is better to solve problems inside or outside (the) “box,” whether or not there is a box, etc.

Is the five-dimensional approach that Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg propose the best? For some who adopt and adapt it, yes, but the more important point is that any methodology is better than having none.

He reminds me of the old saying “I like the way I’m doing it better than the way you’re not doing it.”

There may be more than one path to creative breakthroughs, but the idea of not pursuing some path to such creativity, in a regular, book_creative_thumbsystemic way, is a real dumb idea in this era.

(And, an aside – years ago I read, and deeply appreciated The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. I still think it should be the first book to read to get your creative juices flowing. But there are plenty of other good books to help you boom more creative — if you do what they recommend!…).

200px-Getting_Things_Done#3 – Be more productive  because… We’ve all got to be more productive, to waste less time, and to get more done.

Yep! This is the on-going struggle, isn’t it? It is easy to be unproductive – it happens much too easily and naturally. You have to work to be more productive. And there are good books, like Getting Things Done, to help you do just that.

These are just a few thoughts from my reading this week.


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