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Imagination First. Unlocking the Power of Possibility

  • ID: 2326914
  • Book
  • May 2011
  • Region: Global
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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praise for imagination first

"Drawing from literature, the latest science, and a wide array of real–world examples, Imagination First shines a much–needed lantern into the blackbox of the creative process. For anyone interested in succeeding in today′s imagination economy, this timely book offers an expansive and accessible toolbox." Daniel H. Pink, author, A Whole New Mind and Drive

"Imagination is an indispensible quality in a dancer or choreographer, but it cannot flourish without arduous, passionate practice. And it is a joy to see it taken beyond the world of the arts, to an audience from all walks of life, demystified and accompanied not merely by vague advice on how to be imaginative but by concrete, amazing practices. A book of delightful surprises and assured discovery just like good choreography." Judith Jamison, artistic director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

"Imagination First offers a blueprint for tapping into the power of imagination, which is the core of innovation. Every student should be in a classroom where investigating, questioning, and discovering are inherently part of the curriculum. In today′s economy, these skills are essential for success and continued world leadership in the 21st century." John I. Wilson, executive director, National Education Association

"This is a wonderful book about opening our minds, by two writers who understand well what is likely to close them. Each chapter demonstrates how to break the bonds of unseen assumptions, by ′rinsing out expectations,′ redesigning spaces to support generative conversations, creating new narratives, and much more. Each chapter is just long enough to deliver a mind–popping idea and just short enough to keep us from getting lost in our usual thoughts." Rosamund Zander, coauthor, The Art of Possibility, family therapist, executive coach

"Imagination First unlocks the secrets of the most important aspect of human consciousness and will be a valuable aid to anyone wishing to unfold their potential for creativity." Deepak Chopra, author, The Soul of Leadership

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Lincoln Center Institute.

The Authors.

Part One:The Premise.


What, Why, and How.

Part Two:The Practices.

Practice 1: Make Mist.

Ready, get still, go.

Practice 2: Leave the Campfire.

Know your enemy: it is you, scared.

Practice 3: Flip What′s Foolish.

Make it wise to be foolish, and every fool will generate wisdom.

Practice 4: Make Way for Awe.

Nurture humility and the wonder that comes with it.

Practice 5: Reinvent the Wheel.

Be willing to give back the givens.

Practice 6: Think Inside the Box.

Make greedy, grateful use of limits.

Practice 7: Hoard Bits.

Collect obsessively; sift; trust that the right bits will emerge.

Practice 8: Mix Your Metaphors.

Change the metaphors that frame your reality.

Practice 9: Renew Your Narrative.

Ask whether your story still serves you.

Practice 10: Untie Your Tongue.

Talk about your work with someone who doesn′t understand it.

Practice 11: Swap Bodies.

Lose yourself in a role.

Practice 12: Make a Gap.

Obscure part of the picture.

Practice 12.5: Finish the Story.

Make the ending open–ended.

Practice 13: Chunk It.

Show how small it all starts

Practice 14: Don′t Blink.

Snap in slow motion; see how you get primed for decision.

Practice 15: Cloud Appreciation.

Search out ambiguity and sit with it.

Practice 16: Spotlight Off, Lantern On.

Trade sharp focus for full–field awareness.

Practice 17: Play Telephone.

Engage in meaning–laundering.

Practice 18: Help Out a Boobonian.

Make every task a quest.

Practice 19: Teach Nonzero Math.

Expand the pie before dividing it.

Practice 20: Microexperiment.

Test your hunches playfully.

Practice 21: Rewrite History.

Turn "what would′ve been" into "what could be"

Practice 22: Design for the Hallway.

Let informal spaces thrive.

Practice 23: Routinize Randomness.

Regularly rinse out expectations.

Practice 24: Ride the z–axis.

Find elemental forms, then play with scale.

Practice 25: Challenge Your Challenges.

Find better problems.

Practice 26: Break the Hand.

Unschool yourself periodically.

Practice 27: Yes and . . . .

Never say no to an idea.

Practice 28: Fail Well.

Treat failure like a skill.

Practice X: Make Up Your Own.

Part Three:The Purposes.


For Further Exploration.


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Eric Liu
Scott Noppe–Brandon
Lincoln Center Institute
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