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A Book Review of Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

SUMMARY


Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All is a book intended to teach the reader to rid themselves of the negative thoughts or feelings they have over their own creativity. The authors attribute this low self-esteem to years of peers, colleagues, and friends, telling them that they are not the creative type. This low self-esteem, in turn, leads people to make everything technically perfect and lacking in any creativity. The story of the clay horse demonstrates this phenomenon quite well (Loc. 743). Creativity is not what the reader usually believes it is before reading this informative book. They define creative confidence as “believing in your ability to create change in the world around you” and that the heart of innovation comes from creativity (Loc. 139).


“Creative energy is one of our most precious resources.” (Loc. 198).

The book is written to anyone that has at any time considered themselves to be missing creative talent. They do so by breaking down the book into eight chapters, each one hoping to give the reader a new outlook on creativity and how to bring it into their daily lives. This review will emphasize its relevance to the field of healthcare as it is becoming a patient experience related sector. The two most relevant chapters are Chapter 1, “FLIP” and Chapter 3, “SPARK” Those will be the focus of the review.


BOOK REVIEW


Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All is a book intended to teach the reader to rid themselves of the negative thoughts or feelings they have over their own creativity. The authors attribute this low self-esteem to years of peers, colleagues, and friends, telling them that they are not the creative type. Repeated critique is leading people to make everything technically perfect and lacking in any creativity. The story of the clay horse demonstrates this phenomenon quite well (Loc. 743). Creativity is not what the reader usually believes it is before reading this informative book.


The authors define creative confidence as “believing in your ability to create change in the world around you” and that the heart of innovation comes from creativity (Loc. 139).

“Creative energy is one of our most precious resources.” (Loc. 198).


The book is written to anyone that has at any time considered themselves to be missing creative talent. They do so by breaking down the book into eight chapters, each one hoping to give the reader a new outlook on creativity and how to bring it into their daily lives. This review will emphasize its relevance to the field of healthcare as that is the field Erik Wikman currently works in. The two most relevant chapters are Chapter 1, “FLIP” and Chapter 3, “SPARK” Those will be the focus of the review.


Creative Confidence is an easy read and should be a requirement for any individual entering the health care field. Its insight into utilizing creativity and empathy to make healthcare a more inviting system to treated in. The book opens with a delightful story regarding Doug Dietz, who was an employee for General Electric and helped to revolutionize the MRI (Kelley & Kelley, 2013).


This short anecdote is a great opening example. It shows how an individual who had no creative requirement in his position was able to change the MRI machine to be more child-friendly. He was able to do so without any changes to the medical device in any way, shape, or form. A simple change in the scenery in the MRI room and the addition of fun adventures were enough to get young kids to willingly go into the MRI machines without hesitation (Loc. 249). As an employee of the healthcare industry, reading this was a very moving story. At a local Bay Area institution, a recent initiative was started. Known as “Ouchless ER,” its goal was to make the emergency room a friendlier place for children (Rooney, 2016). Multiple emergency rooms were painted to look like fun adventures (underwater, jungle, etc…). The facility also implemented pain-free injections, a great selection of Band-Aids, and much more. While this program has just begun, it has already proven to be a huge success.

The focus of the book was not on educating the children to be less afraid. The author suggests an alternative approach. This new approach gave practitioners the ability to reduce the fears children directly experience in the healthcare setting (Weldy, 2016).


In chapter 3 of Creative Confidence titled “SPARK” the reader is taken through the decision to be creative and a short lesson on empathy in the world of big data. First, the “decision” to be creative is described as a must-have trait by Dr. Robert Sternberg. They attribute this decision as to the cornerstone of all creative individuals. They represent these people by use of five observed trends (Loc. 1004; Kelley & Kelley, 2013):

Redefine problems in new ways to seek out solutions.

Take sensible risks and accept failure as part of the innovation process.

Confront the obstacles that arise when challenging the status quo.

Tolerate ambiguity when they are not confident that they are on the right path.

Continue to grow on an intellectual level rather than let their skills or knowledge stagnate.

The second part of this chapter focuses on empathy in this world of big data. This aspect of the book if where one might disagree. The authors attempt to convince the reader that


“there has historically been a split between quantitative market research, and qualitative researchers or ethnographers.” (Loc. 1183).

The authors redeem themselves by later stating that these two worlds can work in unison. As an employee in the healthcare industry, it is one of my job duties to act as a patient advocate and an empathetic presence during their hospitalization. I can do this while utilizing new technology, data entry from my interactions and analysis of the data to reinforce the empathy tools that work and identify ones that do not.


While this book attempts to convince the reader that creativity is possible everywhere, some would disagree; I am on the fence. I agree that I could add more to my daily life to demonstrate my creative capabilities. There are occasions in healthcare that warrant a strictly empathetic personality. The use of creativity outside of the empathetic scope is inappropriate. That being said, this book is a straightforward and enjoyable read that many would benefit from reading. I will be suggesting it as reading for my colleagues, managers, and administrators as a lesson on increasing creativity in healthcare. Doug Dietz was able to do it, so every other healthcare institute could too. The work will not be easy, but it will eventually click.


“It is hard to be ‘best’ right away, so commit to rapid and continuous improvements.” (Loc. 1597)

WORKS CITED


Kelley, T., & Kelley, D. (2013). Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. The Crown Publishing Group.


Rooney, C. (2016, November 9th). ‘Ouchless’ campaign takes the scare out of hospital visits. Marin Scope, p. A2.


Weldy, S. (2016, October 16th). Marin’s mom, hospital, promotes ‘ouchless’ emergency care for kids. Marin Independence Journal(Health).