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Book Review: Creatively Ever After: A Path to Innovation by Alicia Arnold

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Alicia Arnold’s Creatively Ever After: A Path to Innovation is a wonderful book for identifying and resolving your organization’s most difficult problems. Does your organization have a creativity crisis? Learn the simple steps to bring new thinking to even the toughest challenges.

The Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS) is described exhaustively by utilizing a story-telling approach combined with numerous pictures throughout the presentation. The gist of the process is to identify a goal, gather data, clarify the problem, generate ideas, develop a solution and plan action. Similar approaches have been developed in data processing organizations; such as, The Systems Evaluation Approach (SEA) and others.

In addition to methodologies, Alicia Arnold describes how to muster creative groups of people to solve problems. For instance, people who frame questions and problem definitions have Clarifier preferences. Those who enjoy thinking up ideas have Ideator preferences. People who enjoy developing solutions have Developer preferences while some team members may enjoy a combination of traits.

Alicia Arnold provides ample cases of practical situations where engineering developers crafted ingenious solutions to seemingly very problematic conditions. For instance, the Japanese Bullet Train first traveled 120 mph in the mid-sixties. Unfortunately, trains going that fast created loud booms while exiting tunnels.

Eiji Nakatsu studied kingfisher diver birds. These birds plunged hundreds of feet into water to catch fish without making a ripple. Emulating this bird model, Nakatsu designed the front of the train almost identical to the kingfisher’s bill to create a train exiting a tunnel with virtually no boom.

The science behind emulating Mother Nature in engineering processes is called biomimicry. Today, biomimetics is a burgeoning industry that continues to provide ideas for solving a host of industrial challenges, including applied case-based reasoning. Biomimetics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems as models for the design and engineering of materials and machines.

Arnold provides an extensive glossary of technical terms reduced to simple English. There is a considerable bibliography to substantiate the ideas contained in the book. The presentation is easy to read with pictures and short stories throughout. There are team checklists to “get things going” and ensure that the basic elements have been addressed.

Technical teams can encounter many practical difficulties during a complex project. The ideas, systems approaches and methodologies contained in Arnold’s work will help navigate even the most difficult problem solving challenges. As such, Creatively Ever After would be a wise purchase for users in any number of professions.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.