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Imagination First: How to Unlock the Power of Possibility    by Eric Liu & Scot Nopps-Brandon order for
Imagination First
by Eric Liu
Order:  USA  Can
John Wiley & Sons, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This is a dangerous little book because it will change how you view creativity. Explaining the purpose of the book, the authors write that they want to show the reader 'that it's possible to develop and cultivate imagination - at every concentric circle of human endeavor, from personal to global - and to show that we have no choice but to so'.

After defining what they mean by imagination and debunking some of the popular myths about it, such as 'you either have it or you don't', Liu and Nopps-Brandon lay out a set of 28 practices that will spark and stimulate one's imaginative capacities.

These practices will help the individual get past emotional blocks that might curtail the development of imagination and they will also allow one's imagination to expand.

'The good news, then, is that imagination is a muscle: it can be toned and strengthened,' explain the authors, as they discuss the importance of practice. 'The bad news is that imagination is a muscle: neglecting it leads to atrophy and enervation.'

Citing examples from a cross section of society, from scientists to business leaders to artists to politicians, the authors prove that everyone can raise his or her level of imagination. Liu and Noppe-Brandon also make a strong case that now, more than ever before, we must exercise our imaginations if we hope to survive and thrive in the future. The ability to think what if and to open our minds to possibilities are characteristics that will ultimately help us overcome the obstacles that face us today and assist us in creating a better tomorrow.

A quick read, this book offers plenty of food for thought. You may wish to purchase Imagination First for a colleague, but my bet is your copy will be so heavily underlined with comments written in the margins that you won't think of parting with it.

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