I read Edward de Bono's Serious Creativity after someone was raving about it when we asked people to mention their favorite literature. Some time later, another person said she started reading it too and I became curious. Though I heard about his the six thinking hats before, it seemed a little simple to me.
What I enjoyed about this book was the thorough explanation of the theoretical basis of creative or lateral thinking. Creative thinking as in 'unexpected' and 'change'. Our patterns of perception guide what we see and what we think. Creative thinking is walking 'off the beaten track'. I became very enthousiastic when he linked creativity to humour; in a joke we are also taken on a surprising track. But creative thinking is not yet about crazy ideas, there must be a 'logical link-back' to our beaten track, to make it valuable.
Some misperceptions tackled:
1. Creativity is a natural talent and cannot be taught
2. Creativity comes from the rebels
3. Right brain/left brain concept
4. Art, artists and creativity
I think that happens too when you work across cultures, your 'beaten track' way of thinking gets challenged. If you manage to make the link back to your own way of thinking, you'll have enriched your ideas and you'll have widened your number of thinking tracks for other situations. You'll be able to see more alternatives and will have enlarged your imagination.
The second part of the book deals with tools and techniques. Some sound funny - take a word from the dictonary - but I tried and it works! Some well throught through session are presented mixing individual and group effort for optimum result.
The last part with creativity in organizations. I'm not sure I'd advise an organisation to have a 'concept manager' but I definitely thinking organizations can look at their processes critically and see where some more creative thinking may help move general thinking forward.