New Book Explains How Creativity Develops; Offers Window into Creative Paths of Luminaries from Virginia Woolf to Tim Berners-Lee
New Haven, Conn., June 19, 2006—
Many think of creativity as being the domain of “creative types” or those who, in a sudden spark of inspiration, are struck with a novel or groundbreaking idea. A provocative new book argues that creativity happens not in a serendipitous flash, but unfolds as a structured, definable process over years or even decades.
In The Nature of Creative Development
(Stanford University Press), innovation and creativity expert Jonathan Feinstein, a professor at the Yale School of Management, presents a new understanding of creativity that centers on creative interests—unique topics that individuals define as their own particular focuses of creative activity. He describes how individuals develop creative interests and how their interests act as stepping stones through which they are led to creative breakthroughs—original ideas, insights, and discoveries.
Feinstein describes how creative interests are conceived and explored, and how creativity grows from them by mapping the creative development of famous figures, from authors and artists to scientists and entrepreneurs, and ordinary individuals he interviewed. He traces the significant creative work of Virginia Woolf, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, John Maynard Keynes, Henri Matisse, Pierre Omidyar, Tim Berners-Lee and others from their origins in an early creative interest through the experiences that triggered a creative break, often many years after their interests formed. Readers learn, for example, how the theory of relativity evolved out of 16-year-old Albert Einstein’s distinctive interest linking physics and philosophy, ultimately tying a physical paradox he had hit upon to the ideas of David Hume; how Walt Disney’s animation began with an interest in, and proclivity for, personifying animals on the family farm of his youth; and that the roots of the McDonald’s franchise began with Ray Kroc’s interest in the modernization of kitchens, kitchen hygiene and workflow efficiency, developed over years as a restaurant supply salesman.
Feinstein also explores how individuals manage their creative development, the struggles they encounter, and approaches for overcoming difficulties at each step in the process.
Through the framework presented in The Nature of Creative Development
, Feinstein illustrates a pattern of creative development that offers valuable insight for anyone engaged in creative endeavors or those who manage them.
Journalists may request a review copy or an interview with Professor Feinstein by contacting Tabitha Wilde at firstname.lastname@example.org