Innovation Books

Innovation is a complex endeavor that engages and stretches the minds of many to come up with ‘things’ that benefit humanity, the planet, or enjoyment by some people, somewhere.  Here you’ll find some books that may influence you to lift your head from the immediate problem around to consider other viewpoints, other solutions, or something completely different.

Are Your Lights On? – Jerry Weinberg

This book is an entertaining read for anyone trying to grasp the nature of a ‘problem’.  It’s an older, yet timeless, and very amusing book. It would especially help people understand better the difference between a problem and a solution.

Archimedes Bathtub: the Art and Logic of Breakthrough Thinking – David Perkins

A fair amount of puzzle solving here presented so that you can discover these ‘breakthrough’ ways of thinking that will lead to ‘transformative invention’.

Thinkertoys Brainstorming Ideas – Michael Michalko

This set of cards goes along with a book called Thinkertoys. The book covers physical world products. The cards, on the other hand provide a gateway for creative ideation no matter what the topic. Both are useful if you want to find ways of categorizing questions that might lead to innovative thinking.

Facilitation methods

Liberating Structures
Lots of great ideas here for working with groups, even very large groups, to tackle both wicked problems, and less complex ones.  Try TRIZ as a retro format.

CTRL-SHIFT– Mike Bonifer , Jessie Shternshus

This improvisation book has lovely ideas for quick exercises to build your flexibility in the face of ‘the same old’. Written by two improv artists who have helped many agile teams, their craft is well tested, even in the software development community.  Pick one game of the day for your team and give it a try.

Six Thinking Hats – Edward DeBono

Edward DeBono is famous for Lateral Thinking concepts and has written many books on creativity and innovation. Six Thinking Hats is one facilitators can relatively easily apply to ensure themes are addressed from many angles in a structured way.

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