How To Get To Great Ideas

Have you ever suffered from creative block? Or wished you could come up with better ideas? Do you feel frustrated with the lack of effective innovation in your business, or wondered why your staff come up with the same predictable ideas again and again? Have you ever breathed air, seen daylight, or eaten a sandwich?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” you’re the very person How To Get To Great Ideas was written for.

It’s a practical guide on how people and organizations can have better ideas. It draws on scientific study, academic theory, and decades of personal experience. And much of it runs counter to most people’s understanding of creativity.

It’s divided into four easy-to-digest parts:

* Section 1 gives you a better understanding of creativity
* Section 2 gives you a handy framework to solve any problem
* Section 3 shows you how to have better ideas yourself
* Section 4 shows you how to get better ideas out of an organization

The book is written for anyone at any level, in any role, in any industry, in any organization, as well as for individuals who are bravely plowing their own creative furrow. You’ll find a practical exercise at the end of every chapter. And you won’t find any mention of finding your muse or unlocking your inner Einstein.

I promise.

Read-Along with Dave

Want to get some free samples from How To Get To Great Ideas? Well, look no further.

Here are a few chunks that you can read along with me.  

And now there’s a film of part of the book:

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About Dave Birss

Dave Birss spent 20 years as an advertising creative, coming up with ideas for many of the world’s biggest brands. Along the way, he helped to lead the creative departments of a number of the UK’s top agencies, including Poke, OgilvyOne and McCann Worldgroup, winning many awards along the way.

This experience led to him becoming the Editor at Large for The Drum Magazine. Since then he’s taught at universities and organizations all over the world. He’s the author of A User Guide to the Creative Mind, a handbook for creative thinking that’s recommended reading on many of the world’s top advertising courses. And he’s the co-author of Iconic Advantage, which proposes an approach to innovation that builds brands and generates profit.

He’s also the brains behind RIGHT Thinking, a system for generating effective ideas. He’s currently working with companies around the world to help them use the system to improve their thinking.

The ingredients of Great Ideas

Here are some of the things Dave writes about in How To Get To Great Ideas:

Debunking creativity

We start by shattering 10 common myths about creativity. Before going on to define creativity in a simple way that opens it up for everyone.

The evolution of creative thought

We look at how creative thinking came around and the role it’s played in the development of humanity. As well as its role in our future.

The neuroscience of creativity

We explore how creative thinking happens in the brain to find out how each of us can get into the best state for generating truly surprising ideas.

The power of difference

Difference makes you valuable. We introduce the idea of divergence and look at a number of ways you can differ from those around you.

How to be more driven

People who produce more, improve faster than anyone relaxing in an armchair. We’ll see exactly how to get started and how to keep going.

How to think right

Dave explains his RIGHT Thinking process that takes people from wanting a great idea to having a great idea. This works for any problem, big or small.

Developing the skills

Creativity is not one skill. It’s a collection of several skills that are required at different times. We look at how to develop and improve them.

Developing your own creativity

You’ll be asked to examine yourself to find out what makes you valuable as a thinker. We’ll then look at how to use that to your advantage.

Shaping your mind

It’s habit rather than hacks that make you better at coming up with ideas. We’ll look at how to develop your mind to improve your creative output.

Growing corporate creativity

Most businesses are set up to kill ideas. We’ll look at why that is and explore what companies can do to get better ideas from their workforce.

Managing for ideas

The leadership traits that lead to creatively fertile companies are different from those commonly found at the top of most businesses. We’ll explore the differences.

Making it up as you go

We’ll finish by looking at the most important skill that companies need to develop in their staff if they want great ideas. It’s probably not what you’d expect.

Great reviews for How To Get To Great Ideas

“This book is probably the best creativity manual in the world.”

– Reuben W.

“An insightful and very practical book about creativity. I highly recommend this to individuals and organisations that are wanting to learn more about developing new ideas and implementing those ideas on their journey of growth through business and life.”

– Jürgen S.


“It’s well-written, informative and, despite my initial worries, about the most motivating book I’ve read in quite some time. It’s excellent, and I can thoroughly recommend it.”

– Samuel A.


“Amazing stuff from a true creative superstar!”

– Soon Y.


An absolutely INCREDIBLE book that’s going to help and inspire so many people.”

– Miriam S.


Dave does a really good job in taking a process and breaking it down into smaller, simple steps. He does this with humour, so it’s always fun to read.

– Marc L.


I’ve just got this book from Dave and already got a great idea!

– David R.


If you want to have great ideas you need this book. Dave Birss’s books are one of the reasons I can still put supper on the table by having ideas.

– Annie G.


Dave Birss has just published this cracking book… it’s well worth adding to your collections.

– Pete T.


This isn’t just for art directors or copywriters, it’s for anyone who wants to think better.

– Jeanette J.


I’ve seen Dave Birss talk about creativity and the creative process at several conferences over the years and have always come away feeling inspired. I was hoping his book would be as stimulating, and thankfully it is. And then some. This guy clearly knows his stuff.

– Matt D.


A great read that gives a unique and honest perspective of creativity and how to get the best out of you. A useful tool that I would recommend everyone read, regardless of what field you work in.

– Paul G.


There are a lot of books written about creativity, with most (if not all) of them focused on the wrong things. Dave Birss hasn’t fallen down the same rabbit hole. Instead, he’s managed to condense some really smart thinking on helping anyone – yes, anyone – have better ideas.

– Simon W.


Love this book!

– S A.


Seriously… buy this book, not only is it great, but he’s a seriously nice, inspirational guy.

– Sarah W.


If you’re looking for a range of insights into the art & practice of creative thinking, then “How to Get to Great Ideas: A System for Smart, Extraordinary Thinking” by Dave Birss is what you should read.

– Madanmohan R.


This book should come with a disclaimer. You won’t just learn to see what others don’t and think a little harder to unearth great ideas in your working or professional life. It’ll teach you to see the creative potential in EVERYTHING … Dave’s book is uplifting, intriguing, imaginative and it’s unlocked sections of my brain I haven’t used in ages.

– C. D.


A brilliant resource for our creative teams across the UK. Simple, elegant, intelligent and relevant, ‘How To Get To Great Ideas’ debunks the BS around creativity and will elevate your thinking to produce more potent ideas.

– John-Paul H.


This really is a great book, on how to develop your thinking processes, and develop the skills on getting great ideas.

– Stuart P.


I feel better off having read this and there are parts I’ve marked to read again. I heartily recommend this if you like the thought of expanding your brain function in a painless way. It’s a fun read too so that’s a bonus.

– R. R.


When you finish a book and immediately want to have a conversation with the author, you know you’ve gained something from the reading. In this book Dave Birss shares his at times frank views on creativity and why organisations can’t do it well. I was must struck by the sections where he talked directly from experience and he has plenty of interesting insight I’d like to discuss.

– Tony J.


Really useful and valuable book. It’s also well written and fun to read. Recommended for anyone interested in the topic.

– R. T.


What a knockout book… I recommend it for anyone that’s curious about creativity. How it works, why it’s important and how to apply this fundamental human energy to anything you do!

– Laura J-B.


This is a quirky and very readable book which avoids a a lot of the pitfalls of books in this realm. It’s practical and doesn’t patronise the reader. It’s endearingly simple in places and really does make you think differently. I’d highly recommend this for those who feel they are already creative and for those who feel they aren’t.

– M.


I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in creativity and the creative process, as well as those who are looking for new strategies to create and develop new ideas.

– Louis P.


Must read for all HR managers and people in corporate offices to motivate teams and themselves.

– Madhuri B.


Get Dave Birss’s book. Creativity is in everyone!

– Matt B.


If you’re looking for a range of insights into the art and practice of creative thinking, then ‘How to Get to Great Ideas’ by Dave Birss is what you should read.

– Vevek X.


If you like the thinking process, looking at things differently and a few chuckles along the way this book is for you! Read it , enjoy it and read it again. I guarantee you’ll take something else from it a second time.

– Mrs J.


It’s the most straightforward approach I’ve ever seen to idea generation, and anyone can do it. Which we’ve been doing in our team ever since. Buy the book.

– Helen T.


“The theories make so much sense you’ll wonder why you’re only finding out about them now. It’s fascinating and funny too so you can romp through this book.

– Hannah


“This is a fantastic book and fun read to break down creativity, giving you simple systems to create great ideas. I love his views that a wide and varied input will boost your output and how not to create the same old sh!t as everyone else by looking for nuggets that other people miss.

– Amazon reviewer


“This book dispels a lot of myths about how to ‘get ideas’. There’s no Mind Spheres, Brain Clouds, Cerebrum Cellars or any other creativity buzzwords. It erases the mentality of ‘I’m a creative – look at my see-through framed glasses and avocado skin shoes’, and replaces with ‘everyone has creativity within them’.

– Suz W.


I can’t think of many people better than Dave Birss to unpack creativity – what it is, what is isn’t and how we can understand ourselves, how we best work and how to do better work.

– Andrew B.


I have a new religion. and its all right here in these pages. Now, if I can just get some of my colleagues to buy into the church of Birss…

– Paul R.


Dave Birss is a really inspirational guy and helps break down the creative thinking process – and show that it can actually be quite simple! In this book he offers useful steps to help find great ideas. No one ever needs to say ‘but I am not creative’ ever again!

– Jonathan


Some great and uncomplicated ideas for improving creativity whether as an individual or as a group and it’s written in an approachable manner that is pleasant and easy to get through.

– Amazon reviewer


Dave has the midas touch when it comes to clarifying the complicated process of idea generation. This book is an absolute must-have for anyone who values creativity and wants to unlock the secrets to great ideas. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

– Craig W.


“A magnificifent book of fabulousness. I would really recommend this book.

– Sarah W.


“This is a subversive, radical guide for embracing creativity. Dave teaches us how to go back to basics.

– Martin M.


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