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Best New Thinking Winner 2010

Bookshop – Brainstorming Books


Ten Steps to Innovation Heaven, Howard Wright Marshall Cavendish March 2007
I was introduced to this book when I was invited by Hall and Partners to a breakfast where you could meet the author. After doing so I persuaded Howard Wright to accompany me to one of Russell's coffee mornings. This is yet another book about innovation. So why read this one? Because Howard has earned his spurs as a facilitator who has learned the hard way how to get new ideas and implement them in large organisations. It isn't obvious from the book which organisation it is. Well I'll tell you. Its the Royal Mail. The 10 steps are his very practical way of ensuring that you have decent ideas in the first place and have an fighting chance of bringing them to market. I liked this book a lot. Largely because of Howard's frankness. He is very open about the blind alleys and also the high failure rate of most innovation initiatiaives. It is a signal reminder that a lot of innvation books contrive to conceal. His approach is bottom up. I stole the core idea of one of his chapters for a blog posting called Waggle Dance. Which for me is a powerful concept. Its not for management to make new ideas work. It has to be embedded in the grass roots and grow out of there. If you run the occasional brainstorm then this book isn't for you. But I've found myself referring to it several times in the last couple of months when thinking about how to bring organisational change.
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Participatory Workshops, Robert Chambers 2002 Earthscan
I dip into this one quite a lot. It looks dowdy but is full of practical advice - you get a lot for your money
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Instant Creativity, Brian Clegg Paul Birch 1999 Kogan Page
Inspiration for small internal meetings - very practical
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Games Trainers Play, John Newstrom Edward Scannell 1980 McGraw Hill
There are a whole library of follow up books here. But these exercises have been used over and over - worth a look
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A Wack on the side of the Head, Roger van Oech 1992 Atlantic
This has been out for ages and is very usable in workshops. You can also find a Wack Pack cardset on the Amazon Website as well.
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Whatif! How to start a creative revolution at work, Dave Allan Matt Kingdon Kris Murrin Das Rudkin 1999 Capstone
Get more creativity into your office. Buy the book or download the whole thing from here. Yes really!
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The Facilitators Pocketbook, John Townsend Paul Donovan 1999 Management Pocketbooks
Has been on my shelf for 4 years now and I take it down before every workshop I run because it is very helpful on doing the critical set up at the start of the session to get everyone understanding why they are there and pointing in the same direction. You can find it in the Knowledge Creation area of the bookshop but you can click through at the top here and go to Amazon to order it. The pocketbook series are well worth a look. I've also got the Learner's pocketbook, the Self-managed Development Pocketbook and the all important Managing Cashflow!
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