Book Review: Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum

12 Aug
Book Review: Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum


Bruce Nussbaum’s book Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect and Inspire is a great read, especially for those in creative fields or those who have in interest in delving into a creative field. Similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s engaging books about how things work in the world, in this book Nussbaum offers up the hows and whys to questions related to creativity, business practices and the economy. Very interesting stuff. I can’t stress enough how much of a good read this was.

Nussbaum offers up five core competencies of what he calls Creative Intelligence (Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making, Pivoting) along with hard data, interviews and anecdotes. He also makes a pretty compelling case as to why it’s a good idea to get a solid liberal arts education. There’s so much interesting stuff in this book! I don’t want to give it all away, but here are a few things that stood out to me:

-In 1928 (1928, son!) Kodak released the Vest Pocket Camera, which came in five different colors. And according to the book, these were the same five colors offered by Apple decades later for the iPod Mini.  Kodak was so ahead of the curve for decades and then just fell off when they didn’t latch on to the digital revolution soon enough. Nussbaum discusses this.

-Direct quote from the book: “Executives were offered millions of stock options to hit stock market targets. Roberto Goizueta, the CEO of Coca-Cola from 1981 to 1997, became the first manager in American to become a billionaire from a company he had neither founded nor taken public.” Attaining true WEALTH from having a straight-up job is very rare.

-Another direct quote: “New companies (those less than five years old) have been responsible for all the net new jobs in the United States for the past three decades.” Innovation is key.

-Nussbaum makes an interesting counter-point to Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory using a Steve Jobs anecdote. Basically, Nussbaum says you don’t have to become an “expert” at something in order for it to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact. The example was a calligraphy class that Steve Jobs took as an undergrad that years later, contributed to Apple’s unique array of font offerings. Good story, good note.

In short, go read it.

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Creativity, Reviews


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