Summary: Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley, David Kelley
Summary: Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley, David Kelley

Summary: Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley, David Kelley

As young children, we finger-painted with our own hands and found interesting solutions to the problems we faced. As we grow older, life took our crayons away. We stop being creative.

In order to be creative again, you have to give yourself ‘permission to fail’. That means to take more shots on the goal, to knock on more doors and to write more drafts.

Failures that happen early in creative process reveal weaknesses in your ideas. That’s a paradox; success at your first attempt might actually hurt your results in the long run.


8 Ways to Spark Creativity

  1. Choose creativity. Decide to make it happen.
  2. Think like a traveler. Expose yourself to new experiences.
  3. Engage relaxed attention. Allow your mind to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.
  4. Empathize with your end-user. Understand what they want. People don’t want 10-inch drills. They want 10-inch holes.
  5. Observe in the field. Discover new opportunities hidden in plain sight.
  6. Ask Why? Uncover details to core issues.
  7. Reframe challenges. Reframe the questions.
  8. Build a creative support network to bounce ideas off.


Sparking Action

  1. Get help. Share the burden. See what your team comes up with.
  2. Create peer pressure.
  3. Gather an audience.  Encourage listening to get the creative juices flowing.
  4. Do a bad job. Then make adjustments.
  5. Lower the stakes.


Should to Will

Close your knowing-doing gap by changing your mindset from “I know I should do this” to “I will do this”.

When confronted by an intimidating task, say out loud “bird by bird“. Those 3 words remind you no matter how large the chasm, you can narrow knowing-doing gap 1 step at a time.


Creative Constraints

Everyone wants more budget, more time, more people to get things done. But if you create ‘creative constraints’, that means let people perform under limited resources, it’s amazing what ideas people can generate. Being creative doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch – it’s about adding what you can, about making a creative contribution.