When Chicago creativity consultant Gregg Fraley set out to write a book about creative problem solving, he decided that this book category needed…well, innovation. Not content to publish yet another me-too tome about creative problem solving (CPS) techniques, Fraley instead wrote Jack’s Notebook, an inspiring business fable that illuminates one person’s creative journey.
Jack’s Notebook tells the story of a twenty-something in a dead-end job named Jack Huber, whose life desparately needs to change for the better. He meets a creative mentor named Manny Gibran, a creativity expert who teaches him the practices of CPS. Interwoven in all of this is Jack’s relationship with a young lady, who helps him work through each CPS exercise, and in the process becomes his love interest.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher, and am now several chapters into it. I think it works well as a business fable. It’s clear that Fraley is a good writer. But I must confess that I’m not the biggest fan of these types of books. I prefer the more direct “here’s the technique and how to use it” approach to business reading. But there’s still something intriguing about Jack’s Notebook that I find compelling, and I can’t wait to delve deeper into Jack’s creative journey.
I admire Fraley’s unique and innovative approach, which will undoubtedly appeal to many readers, in the same way that Eliyahu Goldratt’s popular book The Goal and Patrick Lencioni’s fable The Five Dysfunctions of a Team have helped to bring principles of business leadership to life. Fraley has found a gap in the world of CPS publishing, and has created a unique title to fill it. I wish him much luck with Jack’s Notebook!