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What We're Reading Now

26 April 2011

Rachel read Look at More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth, and Change by Andy Stefanovich. (Here's a hint: when you look at more, you're likely to see more possibilities.)


My friend Andy is a masterful storyteller. He can talk with an audience (of one or many) and use the power of words to move people forward. Some of that is certainly because he's a pretty captivating guy, but it's also because he shares what I call 'stories with reverb.' These are anecdotes that resonate with experience and echo in memory — stories that provoke, that remind, that challenge, that delight. Most of all, though, Andy tells stories that inspire.


In Look at More, Andy breaks the mold of books about creativity. As you might have noticed, I read a lot on the subject and I've found that books in this space tend to fall into one of three categories. Some (like Chic Thompson's classic, What a Great Idea!) serve as how-to manuals for generating ideas. Others (such as Frans Johansson's The Medici Effect) compile case studies and examples of creativity and innovation at work, providing general principles that support creative thinking. Still others (including The Art of Possibility, featured here a few weeks ago) focus on the simple — yet difficult — art of inspiration.

Look at More combines Andy's special sauce of inspiration with plentiful examples, a sound framework, and enough how-to specifics to make sure that you're never left empty-handed when it's your turn to facilitate at the whiteboard. Built on the foundation of LAMSTAIH (or Look at more stuff . . . Think about it harder and pronounced lamb's tie), these 170 pages plus some so-called scientific stuff in the appendix are a one-stop guide to thinking differently in powerful ways.

I had the good fortune to work with Andy and the team at Play (now Prophet) as the 5Ms that provide the book's framework were taking shape, and I can say first-hand that this stuff works. Even with all that up-close-and-personal experience, sometimes I'm tempted to think that creativity is somehow different now, or harder, or more elusive. Some of Andy's stories have the warm, reassuring patina that comes with many retellings, and I know that for my former teammates, new stories unfold daily. And the combination of those two realities, well, that's inspiring.


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