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The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From and How to Have Better Ones

ISBN: 978-0-470-22912-5
256 pages
January 2008, Jossey-Bass
The Riddle: Where Ideas Come From and How to Have Better Ones (0470229128) cover image


While organizations claim to value creativity, they are often at a loss when attempting to conjure up novel ideas, particularly in a world where technology has made information readily available to everyone. As a result, leaders ask, "Where will the next big idea come from?" In response, they allocate significant resources for innovation; however the source of creative inspiration has remained a mystery.

Science has shown that it's possible to create conditions under which the mind is more prepared to have insights, or "a-ha! moments." In this fascinating book, Andrew Razeghi examines the precursors to creative insight and offers clear-cut methods for making "Eureka moments" routine practice rather than lucky accidents. Combining the latest scientific research, interviews with current innovators, and studies of history’s most creative minds, he dissects the creative process and presents a practical approach for inspiring innovation.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Innovation Lament.

1. The Innovation Intent.

2. The Gods Must Be Crazy (Or Is It Just Me?)

3. The Eureka Moment.

4. It Came to Me in a Dream.

5. In the Mood for Innovation.

6. Endlessly Intriguing: Curiosity.

7. Painfully Obvious: Constraints.

8. Distantly Related: Connections.

9. Diametrically Opposed: Conventions.

10. Suddenly Brilliant: Codes.

Epilogue: And So It Is with All Things New.


Further Reading.


The Author.


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Author Information

The Author

Andrew J. Razeghi is adjunct associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an internationally recognized speaker and adviser on growth, strategy, creativity, and innovation. As principal in the firm StrategyLab, Inc., he has consulted with executives from many Fortune 500 companies. He is also the author of Hope:How Triumphant Leaders Create the Future(from Jossey-Bass).

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Voted a Smart Book for 2008 by Fast Company

"Razeghi's self-help text is designed to assist the everyday genius in finding those 'ah-ha' ideas like those Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison came across in the past. Razeghi presents his thoughts in a straightforward, user-friendly manner." --Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2008

“This book provides a very clear insight into the way people have new ideas and suggests practical steps that can be used. The approach is different from the formal tools of lateral thinking but equally valid."
--Dr. Edward de Bono, Originator of Lateral Thinking,
Founder of the World Academy for New ThinkingTM and author of 67 books

“The Riddle is a remarkable gift cleverly wrapped in a “must read” book. Razeghi thoughtfully awakens and emerges us in that “eyes wide open, believing is seeing, blissfully ignorant” state of childhood so desperately needed in our world today. As “innovation” and “creativity” emerge from their awkward adolescence, The Riddle is not just a right of passage surprise party for your brain but a compelling travel guide for your eager neurons and creative juices.”
--Thomas Stat, Relationship Designer, Innovation Alchemist

“Every innovator in the world looks constantly for the Eureka moment. The Riddle is a must read book for every problem solver to understand the creative process and to learn how to provoke Eureka moments continuously.”
--Salvador Alva, President
PepsiCo Foods & Beverages Latin America

“Professor Razeghi has revealed that creativity is not an art, but a science and skill that anyone can learn.  His numerous examples and fascinating anecdotes make this book a must-read for anyone, whether you are a CEO or a stock boy, physicist or phys-ed teacher, who wants to problem-solve more effectively.”
--Jonathan Greenblatt, Founder
Ethos Water and former Vice President of Starbuck’s Coffee Company

“Enlightening! As an entrepreneur, The Riddle gave me a framework to make successful innovation a repeatable process.”
--Chuck Templeton, Founder
OpenTable, Inc.

“Andrew Razeghi's Riddle is an easy to understand, step-by-step guide to improving your creativity. l learned how to approach a problem, how to look for solutions and most importantly how to inspire my very own “Eureka” moments. The book is rich in examples and the best thing of all: it is great fun to read.”
--Urs Eberhard, Executive Vice President
Switzerland Tourism

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