Leading Innovation, Creativity & Change

I went to a book launch at The Virgin Money lounge last week, near Piccadilly. I’ve known Peter for some time, but this is the first actual launch of a new title I had got to.  This may be his 10th or 11th  book – mostly all his own work, but one or two collaborations.

Peter Cook & Prof Adrian

Peter Cook, grilled mercifully by Professor Adrian Furnham


What did I learn?  Well, having someone of Adrian Furnham’s standing (Professor of Psychology and University College London)  does help to boost the level of intellectual swashbuckling that peppered the proceedings.  And it did mean the audience could direct their questions to the author or Adrian…but most were polite!

Another business book?  Not really.  Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise   (click to see more), really is a synthesis of theory and practice – as is Peter’s wont and style.  It is about the art of creating great ideas and converting them into profitable innovations in business.

This was one of the core ideas, for me – my own ‘light bulb’ moment.  “There are loads of ideas – too many to count, but the real success key is to do the innovation piece.  Actually making the idea work and making profit from it”,  said Peter.  Creativity is not enough then.  We have to put it into practice too.

Because Peter is also a musician (and many of his books reflect that predilection – e.g. “Sex, Leadership and Rock ‘n’ Roll!” ), we did have a discussion centred on different types of creativity.  Adrian mused on artistic versus scientific.  “Creatives are difficult sometimes”.  He was referring to the Artistic types. They need to be ‘in the flow’ (in the zone?) – to be creative. The scientist types appear more focussed, and not needed the muse so much.  We got more quotes (as you might expect from a book launch?)

Peter Cook spotting the muse decending!

Peter spotting the muse descending?


“How many Psychologists to change a light bulb? Only one – but the light bulb must want to change..” (that was Adrian again)

“If facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts” – Einstein – no, he wasn’t there, just quoted by Peter.

“Bedroom, bath and bar – good places to foster innovative ideas” – yes, for Peter, but others may need different situations and environments to help them?

“We need to move from BBI to BBE – from Brawn Based Industries to Brain Based Enterprises”  (I assume Peter needed the Bar, Bath and Bedroom to think up two new acronyms!)

Did you know there are 70 000 books with ‘Leadership’ in their title in the British Library?  And that of the Big 5 Psychological States, the two that predict everything are Conscientiousness and Neuroticism?  And that 55% of creatives are born not made?

Well, you would have done if you had attended this book launch!

Alternatively, you can get most of this, and have yourself a practical and highly useable manual if you peruse yourself a copy by clicking here – Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise

(And if you ever need a rather special photographer, these were taken by Christina Jansen – click to see more of her work)


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