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inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,055 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Imaginative. Innovative. Ingenious. These words describe the visionaries we all respect and admire. And they can describe you, too. Contrary to common belief, creativity is not a gift some of us are born with. It is a skill that all of us can learn. International bestselling author and award-winning Stanford University educator Tina Seelig has worked with some of the busin ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by HarperOne (first published April 10th 2012)
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Heidi The Reader
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
As my mentor pointed out to me a couple years ago, creativity is one of the most important skills to master and develop throughout your career. No matter what you're doing, in your professional or personal life, creativity provides the answers and greases your wheels to whatever goal you desire.

inGenius is Tina Seelig's offering to those interested in learning about creativity. She is a professor at Stanford University and these chapters are like talking points from her class.

Granted, some of th
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This isn't a *bad* book but it does have that feeling of one of those business school books written in almost a self-help tone, with bullet points and diagrams that may or not actually contain meaning. The best thing Seelig does is bring together the ideas of others, although it left me wondering if I would get more from reading those original works.

A few bits I marked, some for teaching and some for leading discussion in my group:

"To stimulate the students' imagination... we asked them to intr
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I feel like I'm being a little stingy with the stars, because this is a good, well researched book about creativity. Here's my issue: this could be called the extroverts guide to creativity. If I was not creative and I read this I would feel like there was even less hope for me because many of the scenarios the author describes would reduce me to a sweaty ball of stress. Open offices with no solid walls. Lots and lots of group discussion. Even one office where coworkers could expect to find thei ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the blurb reviewes for this book calls is a 'groundbreaking work', but this would only be the case if you've been in a coma for the past 50 years, since that;s how old some of the ideas in this book are. Another blurb reviewer says the author has "shattered the misconception that you can't increase creativity" - what misconception? - there are literally hundreds of books devoted specifically to increasing creativity and many of these are more than 50 years old. This particular book has pa ...more
Jeremy Beasley
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: creativity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Tolley
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Flyleaf promises that author provides a set of tools we can use to radically enhance our own ingenuity and that's what attracted me to this book: the tools. Alas, they were not what I expected, or were merely the reiteration of the same I've read in other books on creativity. This is an excellent book for folks new to the subject as it provides many examples of creative thinking and problem solving, but has little new information for those well-read in the topic. ...more
Jim Razinha
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
My son is taking a management class and this is one of the texts assigned. As I have more than a passing interest, I read this and one of the others and though this is flawed, it at least has some good tips top share (I cannot recommend The Innovator's DNA...not a good book on the subject and that it will be taught to collegiate minds is bothersome to me.)

First, there is nothing earth-shattering, groundbreaking here. It's been said before in untold many other books. But there are still lots of
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: creativity
I recommend that you at least skim a copy of inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity by Tina Seelig in which she distills experiences from her popular course on creativity offered at Stanford University's Plattner Institute of Design. Her innovation model consists of 6 elements; the three internal ones are your knowledge, your imagination, and your attitude while the three external elements are resources, habitats (your local environment), and culture. The book is chock full of examples from rese ...more
Murat Aydogdu
Nov 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I am "taking" (i.e. loosely following) this MOOC out of Stanford's Venture Lab called "A Crash Course on Creativity". It is a 10 week course that ends mid-December, 2012. Tina Seelig teaches the course (and she teaches other course at Stanford). This is her book that the course is based on.

I was a little bit skeptical about it as it seemed a bit too "motivational-speaker-y" but the book definitely has some meat in it. I read it fast, and definitely learned some things, for instance, that creati
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars really. I don't care what your job is, applying even just one of her suggestions will improve it. This is quick and insightful and chock-full of great and simple ways to increase your creativity. I've already created and am using a future projects box. ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
At first, I resented this book for not being a down-to-earth, attainable pedagogical model. And then I got over it when I applied the brainstorming principles to my own thinking and have come up with an innovative final exam project. Hooray!!!
Peter Schwarz
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick read for anyone who needs a refresher on creative thinking.
Karen Olive
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nice compilation of generally known ideas on creativity and innovation-- with a business bend. But really nothing new here.
Domrongpon Tanpaibul
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
End up with reading the last paragraph of each chapter. It isn't a bad book but I can't convince myself to read other thing that you do not necessarily need to know. ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. I will use this in class !
Lim Lyn
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book but preferred her earlier book on creativity

Innovation engine consists of internal and external factors
- internal factors are knowledge, attitude , imagination
- External are habitat( community) , resources and culture ( beliefs in the group )
-Each factor feeds of the other the more knowledge you have on a topic the more imaginative you can be to use that knowledge to try something new and solve a problem . You increase your knowledge by tapping into available resources, habita
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nothing revolutionary here.

While I applaud the effort to help people hone in on their creativity - which is quite hard - the book fell somewhat flat for me. There were many platitudes along the lines of "collaboration fosters creativity", "work environment is important", or "you need to view yourself as creative in order to be innovative". While these truisms may be useful for some, I doubt most people could derive any real value from them, especially when practical applications are not suggest
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Tina Seelig has a PhD in Neuroscience and teaches Creativity and Innovation in Stanford University. I didn't like the way book was designed. The chapters didn't seem to flow. So I read the book from wherever I felt like and this worked for me. What I liked were some examples and stories that inspired me to create my own presentation on Creativity.
Couple of my takeaways: (I've added only those appeared new to me).

1. Ideas on how to brainstorm. Teams shouldn't be bigger than that can eat from two
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Es un libro muy interesante, fácil de leer, y motivacional.

Tina explica con ejemplos y conceptos sencillos la relación entre tres variables personales, que toma de Bloom y tres variables del contexto haciendo lo que ella llama la "maquina de innovar". Una cinta de Moebius que contiene estas seis variables que están interrelacionadas entre sí y de a pares para comprender de una forma sencilla el proceso creativo.

Es una perspectiva interesante, y que sale de la estructura de las 4P de la creativid
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It has the tone of one of those conversational, self-help books (if you like that sort of thing), and some of the things suggested or stated in the book seems obvious, like gamifying things and making things fun so you actually complete necessary but mundane tasks, constraints leading to more creative results rather than hindering them, or how the physical layout of our environment can affect our behaviours and thoughts. However, Tina Seelig backs up what we take for ...more
Juan Castro
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Foster your inner creative being:
Combine unrelated ideas to get surprising results.
Reframe the problem you face.
Step outside your constraints.

Don't stick with first ideas - better ones are yet to come.
Brainstorm: 8 people tops. Eliminate hierarchy. Find the right place and time to do it.

Open yourself to inspiration by observing constantly everything around you and your life. Breakout of your daily routines and be aware.

Embrace failures as the next step towards your solution. Iterate and keep imp
Emily Irish
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a good introduction to the core principles of creativity. It provides a pretty quick, easy read while still managing to impart interesting anecdotes and important principles. However, it's very short on applicability. There are few concrete guides forward.

If you're looking for help in becoming more creative, this book can provide a good foundation of thought, but it won't give you an idea of where to go next. It's also largely focused on teams, with very little directly said about f
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
"A crash course on creativity... for extrovers by extroverts." There are great points made about the creative process, especially compounding creativity in a group dynamic. However, that is MOSTLY what this book is about, creativity within a group or cumulative creativity based on other people's creative work and while that's a completely valid creative process, this book doesn't really deal with individual originality. I understand that creativity is a nebulous concept that doesn't have cut and ...more
Richard Angelus
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first encounter with Tina Seelig was gone I searched the internet for talks and documentaries on innovation and creativity. Her TED Talk on the same title amazed me. And her Talks at Google caused me to say, ‘This woman is brilliant!’ She is an international best-selling author and award-winning Stanford University educator and she teaches creativity to students at Stanford and to business leaders around the world. With this credibility, she is the most suitable writer to write on how to be ( ...more
Jeff Bobin
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creativity
This book kept coming up on my recommended reading lists I look at from a number of different disciplines and now I know why. Every organization must be continually reevaluating what they do and how they do it if they want to remain relevant.

I am always looking for something that will help me look at what I am doing and see if there is a better way. One of the interesting parts of this book was that she talks about tools that I have used in creativity exercises but in a different way that I hav
Nassir AlQader
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, it's wonderful!
Tina is a very good writer, and I recommend you to see this TEDx before you read the book:
The key idea of the book is the innovation engine, which has inside factors and outside. The inside factors are knowledge, imagination, and attitude. On the other hand, the three outside parts of the innovation engine are resources, habitat, and culture. All of these need to be activated to make the innovation engine switched
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best book in 2021 by far! Book advises creativity comes natural for everyone. Culture, education, friends and more blunt the creativity. We just need to work much and believe ourself for creativity. Consider Tina's innovation engine!

Here is two motto from book also useful for the main idea,

I've not failed. I've just found 10.000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)
If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solution. (Alb
Tra Pham
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book serves as an inspiration to look at things from different angles and provides real-life innovations that spark curiosity. It'll be good to become a starting point when one needs more creative sparks at work or in life.
One note, if you look for concrete steps to become more creative, this book may not be suitable. I turn to it for reference and fresh perspectives rather than a specific method to increase creativity.
Erika Molyneux
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Took me awhile to get through this one. Started out useful with some suggestions to open your mind. Then it was just examples of thing being put to use. Best take a ways are to reframe the question or challenge if you are struggling to come up with a solution. Practice opening your mind by creating something with two unrelated objects.
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Tina Seelig is the executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University's School of Engineering. STVP is dedicated to accelerating high-technology entrepreneurship education and creating scholarly research on technology-based firms. STVP provides students from all majors with the entrepreneurial skills needed to use innovations ...more

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11 likes · 4 comments
“Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” 2 likes
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” 1 likes
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