Book Review: Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum

October 15, 2013
creative intelligence book review

I finished reading the latest business book written by Bruce Nussbaum this weekend. Bruce Nussbaum is a former assistant managing editor for Business Week. He is now Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design.

The first thing that is worth mentioning is that it is a book about being creative every day in the corporate world. Secondly, the book was written by a thinker, not a doer, nor an entrepreneur. This is what caused the weaknesses of this book, in my opinion. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading Creative Intelligence. The chapters about the Makers and the Indie Capitalism were the most inspiring for me because they reaffirmed that I chose the right path when I repositioned my career earlier this year.

The weak link are the tools presented in the book to help companies be more creative. Although a third of the book describes his five competencies of creative intelligence, how you can develop or use these competencies remains theoretical or philosophical. The competencies (Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making and Pivoting) are mostly explained using anecdotes from the life of famous entrepreneurs or the life of the author. I became bored a few times while reading these chapters. The book gets better after that! This is why I feel that a co-author with hands-on experience and tips would have added incredible value to the book.

The chapters about the Makers and the Indie Capitalism were the most inspiring for me.

What’s in it for you?

Creative Intelligence is a business book that reaffirms that the world is changing and that the only way for companies to thrive is to put back innovation at the top of their priority list. The premise is that everyone can be creative. The book encourages us to use our creative skills more often at work.

Like many thinkers right now, Bruce Nussbaum talked about how detrimental it was for companies, for the economy and for consumers, to embrace the financial culture. I could not agree more with this assessment. The business world needs to realize that it is riskier to continue with business as usual and only seek efficiency as the motor of their innovation model rather than embracing true innovative ideas.

Don’t think for a minute that Creative Intelligence is only for managers. There is a section that give tips to inventors, creators and makers on how to fund their ideas and find the right partners to create and grow a business. The book is a good reading for parents who care about how to prepare their kids for the business world of tomorrow. This is where knowing the five competencies of creative intelligence comes more handy for me.

Maybe for you, knowing what are the five competencies will give you a boost to develop them further. The most important step is to figure out how to mix the five competencies together to generate more meaningful ideas, products and services.

+ You can find Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire at Amazon

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