I travel and speak a lot, and when I do, there are three books that I recommend over and over and over again:
Creativity, INC.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace To my mind, there is nothing as exciting as being invited behind the scenes into the creative process. What would it be like to catch a glimpse of how Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Up and The Incredibles went from being a wisp of an idea to becoming full-fledged full-color sound-and lights experiences that reach millions of viewers? I love this book for so many reasons, but most of all for its very practical look at how collaboration works and how any workplace can do more to encourage healthy innovation.
Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi His name is unpronounceable and the book is based on an 8-year academic study. Once you get past those two obstacles, you will be amazed at how rich and provocative and practical this book is. Buy it and read just Chapter 14 “Enhancing Personal Creativity.” It will change your life. This book will challenge everything you think you know about how to become more creative every single day.
Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity by Joshua Wolf Shenk I write about the Inklings and how creativity thrives in small groups; Shenk writes about the magic that happens when two people connect: John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak, Larry Bird & Magic Johnson, Pierre & Marie Curie, Lewis & Tolkien, Vincent & Theo van Gogh. Read it and tap into the power of two.
What books have nourished your creative imagination? Leave your suggestions in the comments.