A guide for mining the imagination to find powerful new ways to succeed.
We need imagination now more than ever—to find new opportunities, rethink our businesses, and discover paths to growth. Yet too many companies have lost their ability to imagine. What is this mysterious capacity? How does imagination work? And how can organizations keep it alive and harness it in a systematic way?
The Imagination Machine answers these questions and more. Drawing on the experience and insights of CEOs across several industries, as well as lessons from neuroscience, computer science, psychology, and philosophy, Martin Reeves of Boston Consulting Group's Henderson Institute and Jack Fuller, an expert in neuroscience, provide a fascinating look into the mechanics of imagination and lay out a process for creating ideas and bringing them to life:
The Seduction: How to open yourself up to surprises
The Idea: How to generate new ideas
The Collision: How to rethink your idea based on real-world feedback
The Epidemic: How to spread an evolving idea to others
The New Ordinary: How to turn your novel idea into an accepted reality
The Encore: How to repeat the process—again and again.
Imagination is one of the least understood but most crucial ingredients of success. It's what makes the difference between an incremental change and the kinds of pivots and paradigm shifts that are essential to transformation—especially during a crisis.
The Imagination Machine is the guide you need to demystify and operationalize this powerful human capacity, to inject new life into your company, and to head into unknown territory with the right tools at your disposal.
Advance Praise for The Imagination Machine:
"We may not all be artists, but it's high time we started thinking like them. If you want to escape the tyranny of metrics and incrementalism, and if you're serious about confronting uncertainty with courage and creativity, this book is a great place to start." ― Margaret Heffernan, author, Uncharted
"In today's business environment, the capacity to move beyond cookie-cutter models and copies of what others are doing is critical. That requires putting known things together in unforeseen ways; the ability to wonder, to get inspired when things fail or don't work; and to see surprises as sources of ideas. This book fills an important gap in our knowledge about how to systematically apply imagination, creativity, and learning to business strategy." ― Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman, LEGO Brand Group; former President and CEO, LEGO Group
"This book captures essential concepts of nurturing imagination as a sustainable organizational capability. Let's all ask active, open questions—and stay hopeful, as the book suggests." ― Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO, Sinovation Ventures
"Creativity and imagination have increasingly become the key sources of outsized business success. Yet creativity and imagination aren't taught in most business schools, they're not encouraged in most business cultures, and they tend to be stifled by most popular management processes. Reeves and Fuller have written a delightful exploration of the imagination in business that should be read by any leader aiming for long-term success." ― Alan Murray, CEO, Fortune Media
About the Author
Martin Reeves is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at BCG and a globally recognized thought leader in business. He is a coauthor of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy and has also written articles for Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Strategy Science, Nature, and Science. He is Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, BCG's internal think tank, and has led numerous strategy assignments across industries, including consumer goods, high tech, industrial goods, healthcare, extractive industries, and financial services. His current research themes include strategy and AI, organizational stamina, business ecosystems, and a template for the new learning organization. Reeves holds a triple first-class MA in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management. He also studied Japanese at Osaka University and biophysics at the University of Tokyo.
Jack Fuller is a former Special Project Manager at the BCG Henderson Institute and the founder of Casati Health, a company that reimagines mental and physical health. He is the author of numerous business articles on topics including purpose, strategy games, transformation, play, and goal setting. He has also worked with a range of BCG clients, focusing on brand strategy, customer journey mapping, and innovation. Fuller has appeared on UK Channel 4's Sunday Brunch as a guest philosopher, on Australia's Radio National Life Matters, and as a speaker at conferences on the humanities in Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia. He holds a degree in neuroscience from the University of Melbourne, where he contributed to research in Human Brain Mapping and Brain, Behavior and Evolution, as well as a master's degree and a doctorate, both in theology, from the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.
You can find more about Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller on Twitter at twitter.com/MartinKReeves and twitter.com/jackmfuller.