Andrew Razeghi’s book The Riddle, published in January 2009 fo cuses on the innovation process, and particularly idea creation. It is well written, featuring a host of concepts to illustrate the concepts he describes. He also approaches the topic in an interesting way, for example, discussing ideas that failed, such as the Ford Edsel as well as successful ones. The book is reminiscent of Tim Hurson’s book Think Better and many ideas discussed are similar, for example the myth that brainstorm requires a group rather than an individual is debunked, given that group brainstorming may lead to groupthink. Razeghi also emphasizes how good innovation isn’t just the selection of new ideas, given that no idea is truely new, but should focus on the combination of creativity and wisdom. In order to really solve a problem you need both creative ideas and deep context of the problem itself. The book also uses sleep as a good example of when creativity works, sleep enables us to think about a core problem, but also juxtapose it with random ideas, the argument is that if our creative processes more closely resemble sleep, then we are likely to be more successful.
Books such as the Riddle are important for any project manager to understand, because projects, by definition, as somewhat unique events and creativity at the planning stage can deliver tremendous value. Creativity is a process that can be learned and this book is a good introduction to the topic.