It’s difficult to find a business that does not want to keep up with the latest trends in its industry and stay ahead of its competitors. A crucial part of staying ahead is creativity. Or rather, creative thinking. That is, dreaming up new and unique ways of doing things.
The past couple of decades companies have come to realize this. A recent study found that 82 percent of companies believe there is a strong connection between creativity and business results. The same study concludes that companies that actively foster creative thinking outperform their rivals in revenue growth, market share and competitive leadership.
So, how to go about it? Before you move into the business realms of innovation theory and similar, you must get creativity nailed down. What is creativity? How do you become creative? How do you apply it?
To help you with all of the above we compiled a must-read list of books on creativity. Happy reading!
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
By Elizabeth Gilbert
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.
Steal Like An Artist
By Austin Kleon
In Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon shows his readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers.
Show Your Work!
By Austin Kleon
In Show Your Work! Austin Kleon has written a follow-up to Steal Like An Artist which is even more forward-thinking and necessary. He shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey – getting known.
The Ecstasy of Influence: A plagiarism
By Jonathan Lethem
In his essay on plagiarism, Jonathan Lethem argues that sharing ideas and getting influences somewhat promote creativeness and generate next movement.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
By Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.
Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
By David Bayles and Ted Orland
Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn’t get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way.
The Creativity Challenge: Design, Experiment, Test, Innovate, Build, Create, Inspire, and Unleash Your Genius
By Tanner Christensen
What’s the best way to become more creative? Just change how you think! This book challenges you to go against your default ways of thinking in order to write, design, and build something extraordinary.
Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind
By Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people.
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life
By Twyla Tharp
Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp. It is the product of preparation and effort, and it’s within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life
Burn After Writing
By Sharon Jones
Burn After Writing is an interactive book that invites you to face life’s big questions – all on your favourite subject: Yourself. In a society where we ‘share’ everything, Burn After Writing goes against the grain and politely asks you to ‘share’ nothing.
The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently
By Rod Judkins
In short and engaging entries, this deceptively simple volume presents examples of creative thinkers from the worlds of writing, music, architecture, painting, technology, and more, shedding light on their process, and showing how each of us can learn from them to improve our lives and our work.
Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity: 10th Anniversary Edition
By David Lynch
In Catching the Big Fish, internationally acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch provides a rare window into his methods as an artist, his personal working style, and the immense creative benefits he has experienced from the practice of meditation.
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
By David Kelley and Tom Kelley
IDEO brothers David and Tom Kelley have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
By Jocelyn K. Glei (ed.)
Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven’t accomplished the most important things on your agenda by the time you leave the office? With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, 99U’s Manage Your Day-to-Day will equip you with pragmatic insights for using your time wisely and making your best work.