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Turn uncertainty into opportunity


No, the book titled Uncertainty is not about economic uncertainty that is on everyone's mind today. Its about the uncertainty that typically accompanies your effort to create a product, movie, book, art – anything new.

Uncertainty, along with risk of loss and exposure to judgment, has the potential to hurt creative endeavors and sometimes the creators themselves. The book suggests that rather than fear or avoid these three factors, innovators should learn to leverage them because they are integral to actually improving your creative process. For example, filmmaker Erik Proulx had his wife as champion so his creative quest became theirs and "altered the uncertainty and judgment dynamic in a way that allowed him to take risks and create on a level that would have been impossible had he been locked in a battle for support."

Based on interviews with several contemporary innovators including Marie Forleo and Peter Wallace, author Jonathan Fields illustrates how they all converted the dreaded three factors into opportunities. He also draws from his own experience as an entrepreneur and creator.

The techniques recommended in the book are practical and productive – some of them have helped me in my own innovation efforts and there are others that I will use in my future efforts. Are there any recommendations that I would not want to try? Yes, and they are techniques listed under Attentional Training. When it comes to "training" my brain, I would instead stick with good old-fashioned physical exercise (book covers this too)!

Other books on innovation and management have covered these factors (risk, for example) for teams and organizations, but this book covers them at the individual level. Knowledge of the creative process at individual level is obviously important to businesses as well – therefore, besides innovators, corporate innovation leaders and training heads tasked with setting up an innovation culture or fostering creativity will also find this book helpful.


PS: This is the third book on innovation that I've been asked to review. The other two are: The Innovator's DNA and Simplifying Innovation. Hope you find these reviews helpful.

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