An Amazon Best Book of October 2016: For those who think that a spick-and-span desk is an indication of high productivity, Harford’s fascinating investigation of how disorder can spark innovation will open your eyes to all kinds of situations when tidiness is not a virtue. From Brian Eno’s fury-provoking Oblique Strategy cards that wrung a new sound from already talented musicians to how mixing differently talented teams can help them find solutions and keep their eye on the goal, Messy bolsters the theory that disorder creates heightened alertness. That alertness, in turn, fuels creativity, problem solving, better driving, resilience, innovation, and much more. But if the only thing you get out of Messy is peace with the level of disorder at your coworkers’, staff’s, or spouse’s workspace, then that alone is priceless. –Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives celebrates the benefits that messiness has in our lives: why it’s important, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it instead. Using research from neuroscience, psychology, social science, as well as captivating examples of real people doing extraordinary things, Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value – creativity, responsiveness, resilience – are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them.
From the music studio of Brian Eno to the Lincoln Memorial with Martin Luther King, Jr., from the board room to the classroom, messiness lies at the core of how we innovate, how we achieve, how we reach each other – in short, how we succeed.
In Messy, you’ll learn about the unexpected connections between creativity and mess; understand why unexpected changes of plans, unfamiliar people, and unforeseen events can help generate new ideas and opportunities as they make you anxious and angry; and come to appreciate that the human inclination for tidiness – in our personal and professional lives, online, even in children’s play – can mask deep and debilitating fragility that keep us from innovation.
Stimulating and readable as it points exciting ways forward, Messy is an insightful exploration of the real advantages of mess in our lives.
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