Unlocking Creativity Book Summary - Unlocking Creativity Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Unlocking Creativity summary

Michael Roberto

How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions by Shifting Creative Mindsets

4.3 (281 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'Unlocking Creativity' by Michael Roberto explores the connection between creativity and innovation. It provides practical exercises to help individuals and teams generate and implement new ideas in their personal and professional lives.

Table of Contents

    Unlocking Creativity
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Counteract the linear mind-set by incorporating an iterative approach to product creation.

    Imagine you’re a team leader. Recently, you’ve been having difficulty with a member of your team, a talented but eccentric guy. He’s got a history of failing to meet deadlines, sometimes simply abandoning assignments altogether. A perfectionist, he also iterates obsessively, tinkering with prototypes rather than delivering.

    You like the guy, but it’s just not working out. So you call Leonardo da Vinci into your office and fire him.

    If you’re thinking, “Hold on, I’d never fire one of the most brilliant people of all time,” then pause a moment. Yes, history recognizes Leonardo da Vinci as a genius, but the man who painted the Mona Lisa probably wouldn’t fair too well in the current market landscape. He was a chronic procrastinator, extending deadlines for years, and sometimes never meeting them. 

    Most of today’s leaders would fire Leonardo for a simple reason: he had an iterative mind-set, and they have a linear mind-set, which is the first creativity-blocking mind-set we’ll explore.

    The linear mind-set approaches projects like this: First, you do your research. Then you analyze the data you’ve collected. After that, you make an execution plan based on your analysis. Next you create a budget for the plan. Then, you execute it.

    No one can deny the importance of research and analysis, but there’s no way to make a perfect plan prior to embarking on a project. Unforeseen obstacles will rear their ugly heads. Unimagined problems will arise.

    That’s why it’s better to adopt a less linear approach to production. First, build a working prototype. Then launch it. After that, evaluate its reception. Then adapt based on that evaluation and build again. And then repeat the process.

    Skype’s Director of Design, Peter Skillman, once created a design challenge that made the effectiveness of the iterative approach particularly apparent. Here’s the challenge: using 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, a bit of string, some tape, and a marshmallow, make the tallest structure you can. The twist: the marshmallow must sit atop the completed tower.

    Business school graduates ended up being among the worst at this challenge. They treated the task linearly, devising a concrete plan and then sticking to it. More often than not, their towers toppled when the marshmallow was placed on top.

    Six-year-old children proved to be much better tower builders than the MBA holders. Da Vinci-style, the kids iterated, using the time not to plan, but to experiment.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Unlocking Creativity?

    Key ideas in Unlocking Creativity

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Unlocking Creativity about?

    Unlocking Creativity (2019) is a guide to unleashing creativity in the workplace. Starting with the premise that all people are innately creative, it argues that the best way to unlock employee creativity isn’t to hire all-star creatives or restructure your businesses. Instead, the key is to dismantle the workplace mind-sets that are stifling the creativity of the people already in your midst.  

    Unlocking Creativity Review

    Unlocking Creativity (2019) by Michael Roberto is a captivating exploration of how creative thinking can be fostered and harnessed to drive innovation and success. Here are three reasons why this book stands out:

    • With its practical techniques and insightful case studies, it provides readers with actionable strategies to ignite their creative potential and unlock new possibilities.
    • The book combines research from diverse fields such as psychology, neuroscience, and business, giving readers a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence creativity.
    • Through its engaging storytelling and thought-provoking exercises, the book keeps readers actively engaged, ensuring that the exploration of creativity is anything but boring.

    Who should read Unlocking Creativity?

    • Leaders striving to boost employee creativity 
    • Workers wondering how to become more creative
    • Creatives who want to empower their coworkers

    About the Author

    Michael Roberto is the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Rhode Island. He teaches business strategy, managerial decision-making, and leadership, and is the author of multiple books on those subjects, including Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer


    © Michael Roberto: Unlocking Creativity copyright 2019, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

    Categories with Unlocking Creativity

    Book summaries like Unlocking Creativity

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    30 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Unlocking Creativity FAQs 

    What is the main message of Unlocking Creativity?

    The main message of Unlocking Creativity is that everyone has the ability to unlock their creative potential and generate innovative ideas.

    How long does it take to read Unlocking Creativity?

    The reading time for Unlocking Creativity varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Unlocking Creativity a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Unlocking Creativity is a valuable read for anyone looking to enhance their creative thinking skills. It offers practical strategies and insights to stimulate innovation and generate fresh ideas.

    Who is the author of Unlocking Creativity?

    The author of Unlocking Creativity is Michael Roberto.

    What to read after Unlocking Creativity?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Unlocking Creativity, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Surrounded by Setbacks by Thomas Erikson
    • Shift Into a Higher Gear by Delatorro McNeal II
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Deep Creativity by Deborah Anne Quibell
    • The Great Mental Models by Shane Parrish and Rhiannon Beaubien
    • Activate Your Brain by Scott G. Halford
    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom
    • Mind Shift by Erwin Raphael McManus