Book Review: The Art of Creative Thinking

Jamie Burrell, undergraduate business student at Southampton, give his verdict on Judkin's "The Art of Creative Thinking".
Jamie Burrell, undergraduate business student at Southampton, give his verdict on Judkin’s “The Art of Creative Thinking”.

Some of us list our personality traits with the intention that many are talents, remaining unchanged with age. The Art of Creative Thinking discusses how human creativity isn’t a talent, it’s an art which can be learned and mastered to transform our personalities and the operation of businesses. Rod Judkins, famous for his studies on successful creative thinker’s as well as a lecturer at Central Saint Martins, creates thought probing ideas and techniques challenging readers to identify a new undiscovered creative mindset. Its eye-catching cover emits creativity and exposes the books content without needing to read beyond the title. The correction of typed words in handwriting, suggests the first lesson before reading how great ideas require trial and error. Judkins, encourages disobedience to not read the book chronologically. You’ll start to question, why do we always follow rules? Perhaps it’s when we challenge ideas we discover gaps in markets.

I was immediately intrigued and interested from the first chapter. Judkins theories are intelligent yet obvious at the same time as we forget to consider them when improving our creativity. Each chapter is titled with a detailed lesson of creativity lasting no longer than five pages. For someone that does not enjoy reading, this kept me engaged and wanting to read more. What I found most interesting was how each chapter didn’t correlate to the next but interlinked to various others. If you want to follow the usual cycle of A to B the book still makes sense as reading from B to A. Every chapter ends with a famous quote, my favourite being ‘if I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere’ (p.80.). Summing up both the chapter itself and the theory of the book of challenging the rules.

The mode of address creates relatable situations, providing the ability to connect and understand Judkins point of view. When was the last time you got something new perfect the first time? ‘If you produce 100 ideas, one of them is likely to be great. If you produce five ideas, the chances of one being great are small’ (p.62.). Reading this quote I wonder if Judkins himself used this concept by writing hundreds of chapters and choosing the best for this book. Coming up with ideas I never choose the first idea without analysing it. Brainstorming ideas can spring new ideas or developments, ‘you become rich by spending yourself’ (p.62.). From wireless charging to water resistance, Samsung releases a new Galaxy S model each year developed from the previous. Developments improves and advances the quality of ideas. Spending time and effort on an idea portrays your preparation and determination of self-belief.

Approaching this book, I struggled to understand the meaning of not reading chronologically. It wasn’t until I discovered how following generic guidelines lacks initiative which is key to discovering new ideas. Judkins portrays his theory with the example of Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, Paul Samuelson. Samuelson ‘had such a huge impact because he applied creative thinking to economics where everyone else was applying logic’ (p.56.). Samuelson applied concepts of medicine and physics to economics, suggesting to reduce taxes to boost the economy. The result of Samuelson’s controversial approach saw the economy boom again. Judkins elucidates his theory of challenging old ideas to gain better and improved ideas. This correlates to a previous chapter ‘doubt everything all the time’ he suggests that ‘if we didn’t have doubt, we would not have any new ideas’ (p.40.). Judkins passion for always taking up a challenge helped me gain an understanding of its importance. Challenges can enhance creditability, projecting initiative of an individual. Implementing this in business culture provides a competitive advantage.

Have you ever wondered on how to use your time more wisely? Sitting around waiting for a delayed train? The book inspires you to turn negatives into something that could have a potential positive outcome. Whilst waiting for a delayed train, try analysing the situation or speaking to a random person. That random person could be the potential business partner of a new idea, revolutionising the railway industry. He suggests, creative thinkers never consider time when they are working they just see the end result. A common business term to describe these situations is ‘opportunity cost’, you can sit and daydream or you can sit and brainstorm an innovation. Judkins states, ‘there is no ‘dead time’: we should always be doing something like writing, drawing or just thinking’ (p.70). Some advice on what is considered as ‘dead time’ by many is ‘opportunity time’, a time to relax and contemplate ideas as no time is wasted time.

Reading this book, I started to see a correlation from each chapter containing similarities. The general theme was challenge ideas and never choose your first idea, becoming difficult to read as it seemed repetitive. However, as I continued reading I decided the importance of the repetitiveness. We struggle to learn without being reminded! This is something everyone can sympathize with, reminding yourself to do something but never get round to doing it. Judkins main goal is to implement the basic concepts of creativity into the readers’ mind through repetition. The author motivates readers to be inspired and follow these techniques from lessons of those that have succeeded. He suggests how many people aren’t risk-takers, human minds are motivated when they are given examples of someone else who has taken that risk. Knowing that someone else has failed immediately makes your mind think it’s not a risk worth taking.

The Art of Creative Thinking suggests the segregation of the professionals and creative thinkers. Why do we create a divide labelling academics as more intelligent than creative thinkers when ideally, they construct the perfect formulation of what businesses desire? Judkins helps explain to professionals bringing in a potential asset of creativity into their working environment will improve their competitive advantage. A creative culture can be implemented into every business which lead to new innovations. ‘The key difference in successful creative people is their reaction to negative events’ (p.70). Entrepreneurs could be described as creative thinkers opposed to a managing director. A managing director has been taught of how things should be done. The entrepreneur seeks new ways of doing things to find new innovations to stand out from competition. I have learned that challenging ideas is what makes new ideas a success. The risk of questioning ideas opens the potential to find gaps in markets. Businesses should employ more untrained minds, implementing a ‘Google culture’ surrounds creative personalities with intelligent personalities allowing employees to combine their talents formulating new ideas.

The views in this article represent those of the author. This article is part of the ‘Making Our Work Real’ series.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.4/10 (16 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +8 (from 12 votes)
Book Review: The Art of Creative Thinking, 8.4 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *