Books on more innovative and insightful thinking?
February 17, 2019 6:21 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for books or resources which discuss the origins of innovative thinking.

Good insights or innovative thinking into a subject matter come from from personal experience, they come from adjacent areas or disciplines and of course they come from making mistakes. The book "Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson focuses on this area but I find most of the author's examples too scientific and frankly too obscure. But I would love to hear of any other books (or other resources) that provide some mental frameworks for more innovative thinking.
posted by jacobean to Work & Money (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Search for Solutions by Horace Freeland Judson is about creative thinking in science. It's a long time since I read it but it stays on the list of books that opened up new ways of seeing and thinking. IIRC, one amazing breakthrough involved the solution to mysterious isolated outbreaks of cholera in Europe. Spoiler: someone finally connected the pattern to flight maps and the then current method of waste disposal from airplanes.
posted by Botanizer at 7:46 AM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think this a great book on thinking up good ideas.
posted by nickggully at 7:48 AM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Austin Kleon's books are good for this.
posted by limeonaire at 9:16 AM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

A Sense of Dissonance offers in depth case studies where people with dissonant frameworks are all working on the same project. The dissonant frameworks yield different evaluations of important objects crucial to the project. The space between the valuations is a space to innovate. The author, David Stark, explains it much more clearly and better than I just did.
posted by Buddy_Boy at 9:48 AM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

A favorite of mine that’s kind of in this realm is The Creative Habit by choreographer and dancer Tywla Tharp.

She walks through different elements of creativity (I’m using that word interchangeably with innovation), like sourcing other works, how your background plays into the innovative choices you make, etc. It leans for the more artistic, but she’s more direct and prescriptive, and gives plenty of examples and anecdotes. Tone of the book is more approachable, conversational, and has some food-for-thought exercises that I’ve found helpful, if this is approach to innovative thinking you’re looking for.
posted by galleta monster at 9:55 AM on February 17, 2019

Check out Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by David Kelley (IDEO and Stanford founder) and his brother Tom (also from IDEO). Very accessible.
posted by pinochiette at 11:46 AM on February 17, 2019

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