Author Jim Link’s bio reveals that his fascination with ideas began as a child when he would invent new products in his head, then create and record commercials for them on an old tape recorder he found in the basement. His roots firmly planted in creativity, he has spent his entire career growing his personal creative philosophy – one which contends that creativity is not-a-hard to define characteristic of born “creative types,” but, rather, simply a skill-based, process that anyone can execute. In his new book, Idea-Links: The New Creativity, Link says, “This book is about making you steadily more creative over time.”
Although the book mentions the benefits of improved creativity in regard to one’s personal life, Link is clearly focused on increasing creative skills in the context of the work place. Idea-Links is a self-help business book. It’s the kind of book a company might purchase in bulk to develop its middle management employees; typically, it’s the kind of book only the most self-directed, motivated employees would choose to read on their own. For readers who are pro-actively seeking to grow their creative skills, the book has much to offer, particularly if one’s knowledge of the subject is limited.
One of the most appealing aspects of Idea-Links is the author’s clear, concise and easy to follow writing style. The same holds true for Link’s content organization. At the outset, he challenges the commonly held belief that some people are inherently creative and come complete with the traits and behavioral style and appearance that our society attributes to being “creative.” Content is then presented in two parts. Parts one and two explore what Link believes are two core creative concepts: amassing more creative ideas in your brain and what Link calls “creative reframing – restating problems in multiple ways or asking questions to bring into view different idea-links or ideas.” Part three focuses on planning your success through the incorporation of these core concepts into your everyday thinking and behavior.