Creative Confidence: Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom KelleyCreative Confidence: Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley

Creative Confidence: Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us All

byTom Kelley, David Kelley

Hardcover | October 15, 2013

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IDEO founder and Stanford creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation, have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the "creative types."  But two of the leading experts in innovation, design, and creativity on the planet show us that each and every  one of us is creative.  In an incredibly entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, the Stanford, and with many of the world's top companies, David and Tom Kelley identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, and allow us to innovate in terms of how we approach and solve problems.  It is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers.
TOM KELLEY is a partner at IDEO, and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation.DAVID KELLEY is the founder of IDEO, one of the world's leading innovation and design firms, as well as the creator of the at Stanford University.
Title:Creative Confidence: Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us AllFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.8 × 0.9 inPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:The Crown Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:038534936X

ISBN - 13:9780385349369

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read This books is an enjoyable read. It discusses the many ways in which one can improve the creative work cycle whether for an individual or an entire group of employees in a company or business. It raises important points about what motivates our interactions in the workplace, our creative confidence, and how to boost it through interactive projects. It's a well-recommended read for any entrepreneur or person who already works in a team environment.
Date published: 2017-01-17

Read from the Book

Chapter 1FlipFrom Design Thinking to Creative ConfidenceDoug Dietz is an earnest, soft-spoken Midwesterner with a wry, endearing smile and eyes that are quick to well up with tears at an emotional moment.A twenty-four-year veteran of General Electric, Doug helps lead design and development of high-tech medical imaging systems for GE Healthcare, an $18 billion division of one of the largest companies in the world. His multimillion-dollar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems peer painlessly inside the human body in ways that would have been considered magic just a generation ago.A few years back, Doug wrapped up a project on an MRI machine that he had spent two and a half years working on. When he got the opportunity to see it installed in a hospital's scanning suite, he jumped at the chance. Standing next to his new machine, Doug talked with the technician who was operating it that day. He told her that the MRI scanner had been submitted for an International Design Excellence Award--the "Oscars of design"--and asked her how she liked its new features. "It was a perfect example of bad interviewing technique," Doug says abashedly.Doug was prepared to come away patting himself on the back for a job well done. But then the technician asked him to step out into the hall for a moment because a patient needed to get a scan. When he did, he saw a frail young girl walking toward him, tightly holding her parents' hands. The parents looked worried, and their young daughter was clearly scared, all in anticipation of what lay ahead--Doug's MRI machine. The girl started to sniffle, and Doug himself got choked up telling us her story. As the family passed by, Doug could hear their hushed conversation: "We've talked about this. You can be brave," urged the dad, the strain showing in his own voice.As Doug watched, the little girl's tears rolled down her cheeks. To Doug's alarm, the technician picked up the phone to call for an anesthesiologist. And that was when Doug learned that hospitals routinely sedate pediatric patients for their scans because they are so scared that they can't lie still long enough. As many as 80 percent of pediatric patients have to be sedated. And if an anesthesiologist isn't available, the scan has to be postponed, causing families to go through their cycle of worry all over again.When Doug witnessed the anxiety and fear his machine caused among the most vulnerable patients, the experience triggered a personal crisis for him that forever changed his perspective. Rather than an elegant, sleek piece of technology, worthy of accolades and admiration, he now saw that--through the eyes of a young child--the MRI looked more like a big scary machine you have to go inside. Pride in his design was replaced with feelings of failure for letting down the very patients he was trying to help. Doug could have quit his job, or simply resigned himself to the situation and moved on. But he didn't. He returned home and told his wife that he had to make a change.So Doug sought advice on this deep personal and professional challenge from friends and colleagues. His boss at GE, who had encountered Stanford's while at Procter & Gamble, suggested he try out an executive education class. Searching for a fresh perspective and a different approach to his work, Doug flew to California for a weeklong workshop. He didn't know quite what to expect, but he was eager to embrace any new methodology that would help him in his quest to make MRIs less frightening for young children.The workshop offered Doug new tools that ignited his creative confidence: He learned about a human-centered approach to design and innovation. He observed and talked to users of existing products and services to better understand consumer needs. He collaborated with managers from other companies and industries on crude prototypes of designs to meet those needs. Gaining new perspectives from them, he continued to experiment and iterate his concepts in class, building on the ideas of others. At the end of the week, the cross-pollination of ideas made him feel more creative and more hopeful than he had when he left home. Going through the human-centered design process with people in diverse industries and roles--from management to human resources to finance--struck a chord in him. "I started to imagine how powerful this tool could be if I brought it back and got cross-functional teams to work together."By applying human-centered design methods in his own work, Doug believed he could come up with a better solution for children--and he was determined to make it happen. He returned to Milwaukee knowing what he wanted to do. Without significant resources, funding, or support from his own company, Doug knew he couldn't launch a big R&D project to redesign an MRI machine from scratch. So he focused on redesigning the experience.He started by observing and gaining empathy for young children at a day care center. He talked to child life specialists to understand what pediatric patients went through. He reached out for help from people around him, including a small volunteer team from GE, experts from a local children's museum, and doctors and staff from two hospitals. Next, he created the first prototype of what would become the "Adventure Series" scanner and was able to get it installed as a pilot program in the children's hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.By thinking holistically about how children experienced and interacted with the technology, Doug helped transform the MRI suite into a kid's adventure story, with the patient in a starring role. Making no changes to the complex technology inside the scanner, Doug and his ad hoc team applied colorful decals to the outside of the machine and to every surface in the room, covering the floor, ceilings, walls, and all of the equipment. They also created a script for machine operators so they could lead their young patients through the adventure.One of the prototypes is a pirate ship worthy of an amusement park ride. The ship comes complete with a big wooden captain's wheel that surrounds the round opening of the chamber--a seafaring detail that also makes the small circumference seem less claustrophobic. The operator tells kids that they will be sailing inside the pirate ship and they have to stay completely still while on the boat. After their "voyage," they get to pick a small treasure from the pirate's chest on the other side of the room. In another story, the MRI is a cylindrical spaceship transporting the patient into a space adventure. Just before the whirring and banging of the machine gets louder, the operator encourages young patients to listen closely for the moment that the craft "shifts into hyperdrive." This reframing transforms a normally terrifying "BOOM-BOOM-BOOM" sound into just another part of the adventure. Including the pirate experience and the rocket ship, there are now nine different "adventures."With Doug's new MRI redesign for kids, the number of pediatric patients needing to be sedated was reduced dramatically. The hospital and GE were happy too because less need for anesthesiologists meant more patients could get scanned each day. Meanwhile, patient satisfaction scores went up 90 percent.But the biggest satisfaction for Doug lies not in the numbers, nor in GE Healthcare's improved bottom line (although these were important for gaining internal support). His greatest reward came while talking with a mother whose six-year-old daughter had just been scanned in the MRI "pirate ship." The little girl came over and tugged on her mother's skirt. "Mommy," she asked, "can we come back tomorrow?" That simple question made all his effort worthwhile.Less than a year after his epiphany, Doug's increased creative confidence catapulted him into a new role as a thought leader at GE. Would it be an exaggeration to say that, in the process, Doug also helped change the world a bit? Ask one of those young patients or their parents. They already have the answer.A creative mindset can be a powerful force for looking beyond the status quo. People who use the creative techniques we outline are better able to apply their imagination to painting a picture of the future. They believe they have the ability to improve on existing ideas and positively impact the world around them, whether at work or in their personal lives. Without that belief, Doug wouldn't have been able to take the first step toward his goal. Creative confidence is an inherently optimistic way of looking at what's possible.Doug's story illustrates the way human-centered design can lead to breakthrough innovations. New opportunities for innovation open up when you start the creative problem-solving process with empathy toward your target audience--whether it's kids or colleagues, clients or consumers. While competitors focused on the never-ending battle surrounding technical specifications (like scanning speed, resolution, etc.), Doug found a whole new way to improve the lives of patients and their families. In our experience, approaching challenges from a human perspective can yield some of the richest opportunities for change.In every innovation program we have been involved with, there are always three factors to balance, represented by the three overlapping circles in the diagram below:The first has to do with technical factors, or feasibility. In the early days of our work in Silicon Valley, this is where our clients always started. We've had clients present us with literally thousands of new technologies, from clever new wheel hubs for bicycles to new ways of chilling the human brain from the inside. A new technology--if it truly works--can be extremely valuable, and can provide the basis for a successful new company or a new line of business. Carbon fiber aircraft components, multi-touch interactive displays, and minimally invasive surgical tools all revolutionized their industries. But cool technology alone is not enough. If it were, we'd all be riding Segways and playing with robotic dogs.The second key element is economic viability, or what we sometimes refer to as business factors. Not only does the technology need to work, but it also needs to be produced and distributed in an economically viable way. It needs to fit into a business model that will allow the enterprise to thrive. When we were growing up in the 1950s, Popular Science magazine suggested that twenty-first-century families would have their own personal helicopter in the backyard. So far, no one has come up with a clever business model to make helicopters affordable for ordinary people. The business factors on that concept just never lined up--and maybe never will. Even in nonprofit organizations, business factors can be critical. If you want to launch a program to increase the availability of safe drinking water in India or to build sanitation systems in Ghana, you need to find a way for it to pay for and sustain itself in the long run.The third element involves people, and is sometimes referred to as human factors. It's about deeply understanding human needs. Beyond just observing behaviors, this third aspect of successful innovation programs is about getting at people's motivations and core beliefs. Human factors aren't necessarily more important than the other two. But technical factors are well taught in science and engineering programs around the world, and companies everywhere focus energy on the business factors. So we believe that human factors may offer some of the best opportunities for innovation, which is why we always start there. And Doug did too, because GE's MRI machines already had great technology and business viability. Doug worked to understand how young children perceive MRI machines and what makes them feel safe when introduced to a new experience. Doug's empathy for his young patients led him to a breakthrough idea and ultimately assured his product's success.Being human centered is at the core of our innovation process. Deep empathy for people makes our observations powerful sources of inspiration. We aim to understand why people do what they currently do, with the goal of understanding what they might do in the future. Our first-person experiences help us form personal connections with the people for whom we're innovating. We've washed other people's clothes by hand in their sinks, stayed as guests in housing projects, stood beside surgeons in operating rooms, and calmed agitated passengers in airport security lines--all to build empathy. An empathic approach fuels our process by ensuring we never forget we're designing for real people. And as a result, we uncover insights and opportunities for truly creative solutions. We've collaborated with thousands of clients to leverage the power of empathy, creating everything from easy-to-use lifesaving heart defibrillators to debit cards that help customers save for retirement.We believe successful innovations rely on some element of human-centered design research while balancing the two other elements. Seeking that sweet spot of feasibility, viability, and desirability as you take into account the real needs and desires of your customers is part of what we at IDEO and the call "design thinking." It's our process for creativity and innovation. There's no one-size-fits-all methodology for bringing new ideas to life, but many successful programs include a variation on four steps: inspiration, synthesis, ideation/experimentation, and implementation. In our experience, an innovation or new idea may cycle through many iterations before the process is complete.DESIGN-DRIVEN INNOVATIONHere's an overview of our approach to innovation, as described by IDEO partner Chris Flink. We adapt and evolve our methodologies continuously, so please feel free to make your own variations, as well, fashioning innovation techniques that fit your unique circumstances.1. INSPIRATIONDon't wait for the proverbial apple to fall on your head. Go out in the world and proactively seek experiences that will spark creative thinking. Interact with experts, immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments, and role-play customer scenarios. Inspiration is fueled by a deliberate, planned course of action.To inspire human-centered innovation, empathy is our reliable, go-to resource. We find that connecting with the needs, desires, and motivations of real people helps to inspire and provoke fresh ideas. Observing people's behavior in their natural context can help us better understand the factors at play and trigger new insights to fuel our innovation efforts. We shadow and do interviews with a variety of people out in the field. We speak to "extreme users," for example, discovering how early adopters make clever use of technology. Or, if we are redesigning a kitchen tool like a can opener, we may observe how elderly people use it to look for points of frustration or opportunities for improvement. We look to other industries to see how relevant challenges are addressed. For instance, we may draw parallels between customer service at a restaurant and the patient experience at a hospital in order to improve patient satisfaction.2. SYNTHESISAfter your time in the field, the next step is to begin the complex challenge of "sense-making." You need to recognize patterns, identify themes, and find meaning in all that you've seen, gathered, and observed. We move from concrete observations and individual stories to more abstract truths that span across groups of people. We often organize our observations on an "empathy map" (see Creativity Challenge #4, Chapter 7) or create a matrix to categorize types of solutions.

Editorial Reviews

“CREATIVE CONFIDENCE is a myth-busting, muscle-building gem of a book. It shatters the false belief that only some people are creative. Then it provides a smart, practical action plan for boosting your innovative capacities. If you want to be more creative, read the Kelley brothers' words, follow their advice, and then—as they'd tell you—do something!" Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell is Human   “David Kelley has unleashed the power of design thinking for thousands of Stanford students and hundreds of influential Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In CREATIVE CONFIDENCE, he and his brother, Tom, share their secrets about how each of us can find our creative powers. They describe a way of thinking that will change your professional and personal life. Charlie Rose, acclaimed interviewer and broadcast journalist   “This book changed me. CREATIVE CONFIDENCE is that rare combination of thought leadership, soulful storytelling, and real-life exercises that inspires you to reclaim your creative passion and courage. I feel braver already. “ Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Daring Greatly “This is the only book about creativity that you'll ever need.” Guy Kawasaki, author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur   “A five-star Wow! This wonderful, heartwarming book may literally change the world. Indeed, it must change the world. Don’t just read it. Use it. Now.”  Tom Peters, bestselling author of In Search of Excellence “An indispensible field guide for creative explorers of all kinds. This compelling book will help build creative muscles for when you need them most.” Todd Spaletto, President, The North Face “Creativity is not magic, it's a skill.  Get this book and learn the skill from the brothers who have taught it to more people—f rom nurses to bankers to teachers to computer scientists—than anyone else.” Chip Heath, author of Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive   “A cross between Steve Jobs' commencement speech on creativity and a modern-day What Color is your Parachute?, the Kelley brothers offer simple but effective tools for the "I'm not creative" set—business leaders and professionals seeking the confidence to innovate.” John Maeda, President & CEO, Rhode Island School of Design   “In hospitality – like in all industries – creativity is the life blood of engaging employees and guests (customers) and it is the capacity that allows you to strengthen your brand with every interaction.  This book can help you engage powerfully with employees and customers and keep your brand relevant through changing times.” Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation   “I have long marveled at the Kelley brothers’ ability to innovate in seemingly impenetrable fields (like health care). Now they’ve unfettered that power in all of us, sharing the tools and inspiring the confidence we need to find the very best solutions to complex problems we face at work—and in our personal lives.”   Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., President and CEO, Partners HealthCare System   “David and Tom have written an incredibly insightful book that challenges us all have the courage to break out of our ruts, innovate, and create.” Tim Koogle, former President & CEO, Yahoo   “Developing both the courage and confidence to create and the ability to cultivate original insight is of enormous practical importance, and this new book is the first place I send people to learn how it is done.” Richard Miller, President, Olin College   “David and Tom Kelley show us how to effortlessly dance between the creativity of elementary school and the pragmatism of the business world.” Joe Gebbia, Co-founder, Airbnb