One Little Spark

one-little-spark

One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering

by Marty Sklar with introductions by Richard M. Sherman and Glen Keane

Marty Sklar was hired by Walt Disney in 1955, prior to the opening of Disneyland. He rose through the ranks to president of Imagineering, the group responsible for Disney’s theme parks worldwide. He retired in 2009 after a 54-year career with the company.

The first part of the book explains Mickey’s Ten Commandments, guiding principles developed by Sklar in 1983. The second half of the book consists of career advice from 75 Imagineers. The most prominent recurring theme in this book is storytelling. Continue reading “One Little Spark”

A Technique for Producing Ideas

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A Technique for Producing Ideas

by James Webb Young

This concise booklet was first published in the 1940s by James Webb Young, who became vice president of the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson and the first chairman of The Advertising Council. He wrote it in response to the question, “How do you get ideas?”

Before explaining the process, Young presents two principles. Continue reading “A Technique for Producing Ideas”

Steal Like an Artist

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Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon writes, “All advice in autobiographical… This book is me talking to a previous version of myself… These ideas apply to anyone who’s trying to inject some creativity into their life and their work. (That should describe all of us.)” The book is thoughtfully written and designed in a creative six-inch by six-inch format.

The idea behind stealing like an artist is that “nothing is completely original… All creative work builds on what came before… If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.” Continue reading “Steal Like an Artist”

The Myths of Creativity

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The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas

by David Burkus

“Creativity is the starting point for all innovation, and most organizations rely on innovation to create a competitive advantage.” In this interesting book, management professor David Burkus debunks 10 myths of creativity, citing academic research and examples from business. Continue reading “The Myths of Creativity”

Six Thinking Hats

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Six Thinking Hats

by Edward de Bono, M.D.

The Six Thinking Hats offers “an alternative to the argument system, which was never intended to be constructive or creative.” The emphasis is on “how we design a way forward—not on who is right and who is wrong.”

A major benefit is time savings. De Bono claims that ABB reduced their multinational project team discussions from 21 days to two days using the Six Hats method. “In the United States, managers spend nearly 40 percent of their time in meetings… Instead of rambling, ego-driven meetings, meetings are now constructive, productive, and much faster.” Continue reading “Six Thinking Hats”

The Power of Nice

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The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness

by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

You may not be familiar with the authors’ names, but you are probably familiar with their work. They are the founding partners of the advertising agency responsible for the Aflac duck campaign.  One of them wrote the “I want to be a Toys R Us Kid” jingle earlier in her career.

Their message is that being nice (but not phony) in personal and professional encounters builds goodwill, which can lead to big and small rewards.  Many examples are included in the book. Continue reading “The Power of Nice”