The first part of dealing with a problem is knowing what the problem is. The second step is finding a creative solution. Any Ideas?: Tips and Techniques to Help You Think Creatively was written to help readers understand how to work with ideas on an individual and collaborative level. In the book, Rob Eastaway helps readers push past the confusing maze of mental and social obstacles that we put in place that actually prevent us from engaging with the world in a more creative manner.
What is Any Ideas About?
Dealing with problems and coming up with creative solutions is an important part of doing business. It is so important that many take it for granted. Without reflecting on how to solve problems, you run on autopilot. In a world that is more transparent and more competitive, that can be a serious disadvantage.
Any Ideas? helps readers leverage idea generation into an individual and collective advantage. Unlike the rational problem-solving approach still assumed in most business textbooks, Rob Eastaway’s book argues that the idea generation process is messy. Eastaway emphasizes that problem-solving and innovation doesn’t involve the typical “leave the genius alone until he or she magically gets an answer out of thin air”. It is much more social and much less structured than we think.
According to Any Ideas?, all of us encounter ideas all of the time. Leaders don’t take the time to collect and reflect them because they’re uncomfortable with the messy world of ideas. Because of this, Eastaway insists, leaders prematurely kill their ow ideas and those of others in order to appear “right” rather than making deeper mental connections. In order to break through to a more creative level of problem-solving, the book asserts, leaders must become comfortable with the messiness and chaotic nature of problem-solving so they can create more effective and innovative solutions.
Eastaway was trained in engineering and management and gained attention for introducing the world to the creative thinking in math. He is an author, director of Maths Inspiration, and a dedicated cricket player. A copy of his book on cricket, “What is a Googly”, was presented to President George Bush at Camp David in 1992.
What Was Best About Any Ideas?
Many books focus on creative problem-solving in isolation. They focus on helping a reader figure out a “hack” to be more creative. Any Ideas? is different. It focuses on the dynamics of problem-solving on an individual level and a group level. The focus on group problem-solving (such as the “Ideas Meetings” in the book) is especially noteworthy. Most advice on innovation tells you that people need to work together creatively, but they don’t tell you how to do it. Any Ideas? provides the steps to do this efficiently and more productively.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Any Ideas? does a great job of helping readers understand the dynamics of working creatively on an individual and group level. This focus, however, could use some more detail to make it more effective for businesses who need to balance creativity and limited resources. Specifically, more recommendations on accountability and meeting follow-up will help readers better translate their creativity into better products and services.
Why Read Any Ideas?
Any Ideas? is well-suited for any business in the creative field (art, music, advertising, etc.). For this type of business, Any Ideas? provides a call to embrace the messiness of creativity for a deeper and more meaningful creative output and tips on managing the creative process while working collaboratively. The book can also be appreciated by those in ‘non-creative” fields. For business owners and staff in that group, Any Ideas? offers exercises in lateral thinking and a creative method for introducing more creativity in the workplace on an individual or group level.