Praise for Disciplined Dreaming
"In today′s fiercely competitive global marketplace the most important resource any business has is the creative thinking of its people. In Disciplined Dreaming, Josh Linkner lays out a road map that will guide individuals, teams, and companies to higher levels of creativity. It is a journey that will lead to better ideas and breakthrough thinking and those who take it will also have a lot of fun along the way."
Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company
"Disciplined Dreaming is a road map to new ideas, and helps business leaders at all levels unleash their creativity in order to reach their full potential. This important and thoughtful book is a must–read to compete in the next era of business and life."
Charlene Li, founder, Altimiter Group, and author, Groundswell and Open Leadership
"At Zappos, one of our core values is to be adventurous, creative, and open–minded. Disciplined Dreaming can help spark your creative potential."
Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com, and author, Delivering Happiness
"Josh Linkner is a tremendous business leader who has established a successful and sustainable company, as well as a culture that nurtures employees to help them maximize their potential."
Jennifer M. Granholm, governor, State of Michigan
"There′s a lot business people can learn from jazz musicians. The days of managing by musical score are gone today, victory goes to the improviser. If you are not tinkering with your business every day, sooner or later the markets will begin to tinker with you and it won′t be pleasant. Disciplined Dreaming helps you avoid these pitfalls and provides a systematic approach to becoming that winning improviser."
Keith McFarland, author, The Breakthrough Company and Bounce
"The creativity gap is real and it′s getting worse. Josh Linkner challenges you to become a disruptive force for change, and I hope you will."
1 The Case for Creativity 7
2 Disciplined Dreaming: Your System for Creativity 19
STEP ONE Ask
3 Defining the Creativity Challenge 41
4 Driving Curiosity and Awareness 59
STEP TWO Prepare
5 Gaining the Keys to a Creative Mind and Culture 81
6 Preparing Your Environment to Promote Creative Passion 109
STEP THREE Discover
7 Discovering the Ways of Creativity 125
STEP FOUR Ignite
8 Generating Creative Sparks 143
9 Igniting the Sparks of Creativity: The Eight Most Powerful Techniques 163
STEP FIVE Launch
10 Bringing Your Ideas to Life: The Launch 185
Epilogue: The Power of One 205
Appendix A: The Top Six Creativity Myths (and Truths) 207
Appendix B: Additional Warm–Up Exercises to Jump–Start Creativity 211
About the Author 221
“Organizations today can only survive if they harness and monetize the untapped creativity that thrives beneath the surface,” writes Josh Linkner, Founder and Chairman of ePrize, in DISCIPLINED DREAMING: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity. “Creativity is not just another way for companies to succeed—it is actually a necessity. Without it, organizations may not survive.”
Linkner is a creative powerhouse who has been improvising jazz guitar riffs for audiences since he was 13, and who also created four highly successful high-tech companies over the last 20 years, including GlobalLink New Media, an award-winning web development firm, and ePrize, which has produced over 5,000 industry-leading interactive promotions across 36 countries, for 74 of the Top 100 brands.
DISCIPLINED DREAMING presents a synthesis of techniques that Josh has used and found to be successful in business and in jazz improvisation. These techniques produce a systematic approach to creativity—a virtual machine for idea generation—that allows companies, teams and individuals to develop, manage, and thoughtfully direct their creativity in order to become more nimble, more adept and more competitive. With DISCIPLINED DREAMING, you will learn how to:
- Break free from myths and barriers to unleash creativity
- Tap into the hidden brainpower inside yourself and your company
- Establish an ongoing system to nurture and harvest your team’s best ideas
- Avoid the costly mistakes of flawed idea selection and measurement
- Increase your ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty
- Learn how to adapt more quickly and proactively to changes in the marketplace
- Apply focused creativity to specific business problems of all sizes and shapes
The DISCIPLINED DREAMING system consists of five steps, which Josh explains in detail in the book:
- Step 1: ASK – The first step is to define the creative challenge. Identifying the problem clearly helps to focus the energy of your team and drive curiosity and awareness.
- Step 2: PREPARE – The second step is to prepare the culture, mind, and environment for optimal idea generation.
- Step 3: DISCOVER – The third step is to find inspiration and search for fruitful, surprising sources of ideas. Determining a new and unusual idea-source can catalyze the process of idea generation.
- Step 4: IGNITE – The fourth step is to generate ideas. Here is where we can ignite our creativity and, using powerful new proven techniques, enjoy more and better ideas.
- Step 5: LAUNCH – The fifth step asks the reader to step back and use a framework to evaluate new ideas and put the best ones into action.
Josh has also conducted more than two hundred personal interviews with CEO’s, billionaires, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, educators, and non-profit leaders, asking them how they generate ideas, manage the creative process, nurture creative cultures, and build their own creative abilities. Their collective experience has been synthesized and incorporated into the five steps. At the heart of the book are dozens of fun techniques that can be adopted by the reader and put to use immediately.
The DISCIPLINED DREAMING process works for all types and sizes of organizations, from Fortune 100 multinationals to startups to non-profits and governmental agencies. It can be applied to all types of creative challenges, from startling, disruptive, breakthrough innovations to incremental advances and small improvements. The methodology is simple and backed by proven results.