Anyone Can Harness Hidden Creative Powers

Business Book Talk with Tim Zaun and Friends

November’s Featured Book: Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big And Small?

Creativity is often considered the domain of gifted individuals, such as Leonardo da Vinci, engineers like Buckminster Fuller, or musicians and artists alike. Creativity is the bedrock of the arts. But it also critical in business, and offers meaningful applications to everyday life. Could there be a way to automate innovation, so that even the least creatively-inclined individuals can hatch blockbuster ideas? Authors of Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big And Small? seem to think so.

Barry Nalebuff, a professor at Yale School of Management, and Ian Ayres, a lawyer who teaches at Yale Law School, offer over fifty innovative approaches and problem solving techniques to roadblocks and obstacles that impact our lives, particularly in the realm of business. They propose that many innovations are not new at all, sometimes they are meant for one problem, but can be successfully applied to another. Nalebuff and Ayres are advocates for “open source” technology, whereby an unorganized group people can develop solutions, and others can freely tap into their ideas.

In the book, the authors explore cutting-edge creativity tools that can be applied by anyone. One of their principles involves asking “What would Croesus do?” The authors suggest putting oneself in the shoes of a modern day Croesus (a Roman “Bill Gates”) to answer how he would approach a dilemma, such as waiting on hold on a telephone. A very rich person would have a personal assistant doing the waiting, but because we are not that wealthy, we can look to technology to help us. One solution the authors have to waiting on hold is to have a service in conjunction with caller ID that would allow someone to push a button to have the call center call back. Many of their suggestions are simply new ways to apply time-honored solutions, but in non-traditional ways.

Join host Tim Zaun in an animated conversation to discuss the book and the creative techniques contained therein at the Lakewood Public Library on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the new Main Library Auditorium. Mr. Zaun is an entrepreneur, trainer and author, whose engaging passion and insight into business literature makes the Business Book Talk a must-attend event for anyone looking to get ahead in their career. Mr. Zaun also writes a blog chronicling trends in business and environmental topics at Be sure to visit it for insights into global, national and local business happenings.

Business Book Talk with Tim Zaun and Friends will return again to the library on Thursday, January 17 to discuss the book, China, Inc.: How the RIse of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World by Ted C. Fishman.

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Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 9:31 AM, 11.05.2007