• Lars Christensen

Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelly - 2 minute read



I finished this book in April 2021. I recommend this book 7/10.

This is a great book on why you need some innovation inside your company. There are also some good examples that could be used on team-offsites if you need to stir some innovation into your team.

One of the best messages in the book is about how to weave innovation into your daily work. You can get your copy here.

My notes and thoughts:

  • If you change the question from "how might we reduce customer waiting time?" to "how might we reduce perceived waiting time?" it opens up whole new avenues of possibilities, like using a video display wall to provide an entertaining distraction.

  • "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. "To learn from failure, however, you have to "own" it. You have to figure out what went wrong and what to do better next time. If you don't, you're liable to repeat your errors in the future.

  • How to go from a blank page to insight:

  1. Choose creativity: You have to set it as a mindset.

  2. Think like a traveler: Put some fresh eyes on things. Think if you came from a different culture.

  3. Engage relaxed attention: Allow the mind to be relaxed, and bounce around.

  4. Empathize with your end-user: Understand the needs and context of the people you are solving for.

  5. Do observations in the field: You might discover new opportunities hidden in plain sight.

  6. Ask questions, starting with "Why?": A series of why questions can brush past surface details.

  7. Reframe challenges: Try to start from a different point of view can help to see the problem in a different light.

  8. Build a creative support network: Bring other people into the conversation and bounce ideas off each other.

  • As the American writer Mark Twain said a century ago, "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble, it's what you know for sure that ain't so." Don't be fooled by what you "know for sure" about your customer, yourself, your business, or the world. Seek out opportunities to observe and update your worldview.

  • Reframing techniques:

  1. Step back from obvious solutions

  2. Alter your focus or point of view.

  3. Uncover the real issue.

  4. Look for ways to bypass resistance or mental blocks.

  5. Think about the opposite.

  • The first step toward being creative is often simply to go beyond being a passive observer and to translate thoughts into deeds. With a little creative confidence, we can spark positive action in the world. So the next time you start to say, "Wouldn't it be great if...?" just take a moment, remember John Keefe, and tell yourself, "Maybe I can finish it by the end of the day."

  • No company that falls behind the competition is guilty of standing completely still. But sometimes, our efforts fail because of the level of commitment to change. "I'll try" can become a half-hearted promise of follow-through rather than decisive action.


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