As I frequently say, most business books SUCK. But there are some that matriculate to the top and it's my job to keep up on the constant volume of new tomes shoved out into the marketplace and decide who makes the top 5%. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson makes that cut.
I stumbled into this book back in October/November when it was published and just got around to finishing it over the holidays. Candidly, I'm blown away.
First off, I had to read it with my trusty highlighter in hand as each info nugget popped out and provided insight into past or current challenges around creativity and problem solving. It's chock full of great strategies and ideas - this is not a boring 'this is my opinion' self-help book.
Johnson's book is written in an easily accessible style that makes you forget that you are reading theory. It's more like reading a conversation. His ideas are thought-provoking, even for people who don't choose to agree with him. This book helped stimulate a lot of discussion in one of my mastermind groups - likely the tone of the book does this. Rather than being confused about what was being said or what the theories were, it enabled all of us to have a discussion around the ideas and philosophy of the book. A stimulating and refreshing read.
I'd recommend it to anyone who's ever had bursts of inspiration and wondered why they haven't been able to replicate those circumstances, or anyone who wants to innovate at all. Go out and buy this book today.
Finally, here's a great 'RSA Animate' video that gives you the jist of what Mr. Johnson espouses. Enjoy!