Review of and Notes on The Care and Feeding of Ideas: A Guide to Encouraging Creativity
The Care and Feeding of Ideas: A Guide to Encouraging Creativity is an inaccessible book of applying creative solutions to the workplace. While it namedrops and talks theories, it does not provide enough examples or directions for actual implementation of its ideas, and it is the applications of the ideas that the author considers paramount.
If a reader is willing to slog through plenty of jargon and theories, he or she may be able to glean something from this book, but it will be more work than one expects. At a scant 211 pages, the book does its best to condense information down to its most essential, but that is where it loses much of what it should have.
Instead of providing a crisp explanation, it tends to skip from one subject to the next with no real destination in sight or mind. Creativity is a difficult subject to get a handle on, but readers will need to read other books to have a basis to understand this one.
Notes from The Care and Feeding of Ideas: A Guide to Encouraging Creativity
“Real change is not predictable.” p. xiii
Ch. 1 – “We are all creative, and we all change.” p. 3
“The world is changing in major ways, and we must either change with it or become increasingly frustrated.” p. 5
Creativity helps deal with change and creates more change. Creativity is both motivated and inhibited. Intentional attempts to inhibit creativity may be successful in the short term, but usually result in long term problems (p. 6).
“Implementing ideas is at least as important as generating ideas.” p. 7
Teresa Amabile – intrinsic motivation more creative than extrinsic.
List making exercises increase time spent on the subject and focuses concentration.
Ch. 2 – Thoughts about thinking. The author uses the term unconscious where I would use subconscious.
Conscious thinking – sequential; will complete information
Ch. 5 – Wild ideas are valuable because the normal forces of life will tend to convert them rapidly into practicality. p. 79
Ch. 7 – Define the problem – we assume we know what the problem is and set to work on it. If the problem assumed isn’t the problem, the solution won’t matter. p. 115
Ch. 9 – Humor is extremely positive in situations of creativity and change. Creativity and change are risky (p. 128). Risk should be confronted and rewarded. Humor allows risk taking and decreases tension (p. 135). Intrinsic motivation is best, but extrinsic motivation is needed to keep the wolves at bay.
Ch. 10 – Rewards must meet a need. Monetary rewards meet a need and offset the risk that comes with creativity. Psychological rewards are good.
“Successes build confidence and non-terminal failures lessen the fear of failure.” p. 152
People like trophies and ribbons regardless of age.
“Rewards are plentiful in well-managed organizations where creativity and change are at a high level.” p. 158.
“If you want to be more creative, spend time with creative people.” p. 159.
“Cheerleading is an essential ingredient in motivating and coordinating people in a creative and changing environment.” p. 160.