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Summary

There is a paradox. As children, most of us think we are highly creative; as adults many of us think we are not. What changes as children grow up? Organizations across the globe are competing in a world that is changing faster than ever. They say they need people who can think creatively, who are flexible and quick to adapt. Too often they can't find them. Why not? In this provocative and inspiring book, Ken Robinson addresses three vital questions:

  • Why is it essential to promote creativity? Business leaders, politicians and educators emphasize the vital importance of promoting creativity and innovation. Why does this matter so much?
  • What is the problem? Why do so many people think they're not creative? Young children are buzzing with ideas. What happens as we grow up and go through school to make us think we are not creative?
  • What can be done about it? What is creativity? What can companies, schools and organizations do to develop creativity and innovation in a deliberate and systematic way?

In this extensively revised and updated version of his best-selling classic, Ken Robinson offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding creativity in education and in business. He argues that people and organizations everywhere are dealing with problems that originate in schools and universities and that many people leave education with no idea at all of their real creative abilities. Out of Our Minds is a passionate and powerful call for radically different approaches to leadership, teaching and professional development to help us all to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21st century.

©2011 Ken Robinson (P)2011 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored . . . especially in our educational systems." (John Cleese)

What listeners say about Out of Our Minds

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Should have been narrated by Ken...

This has brought home to me how crucial the choice of narrator is in the production of an audio book. There's a massive amount of good material to go through in this book but I really struggled to get to the end of it. Why? Not because of the writing, but because of the narrator. The writing is often quite humorous and talks from a personal perspective. If Ken had narrated this it would have been an authentic and more enjoyable listen. Also, with all respect to John Lee, his delivery is a bit 'stiff' making any humour fall flat, thereby reducing the impact of the writing.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Jam packed with good stuff

I loved this book. If you think you aren't creative, Ken Robinson can show you how wrong you are. Lots of stories illustrate the main ideas. All of them interesting and well told. John Lee is easy on the ears, although the pace is sometimes a bit breathless. This is an audiobook I'll revisit a couple of times and buy the paperback too so I can make copious notes. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 star is that it is so packed with information I found I had to stop and digest it from time to time. I had to focus & couldn't just have it on while I did other stuff.

3 people found this helpful

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Lacking the humour

What three words best describe John Lee’s voice?

Lacking the humour

Any additional comments?

Overall good, but prefer Ken reading his own books. He has a dry semse of humour, delivered well. The reader of THIS book misses the humour completely. The reader, otherwise is very acceptable.
Other than that, the content is excellent. Ken reads THE ELEMENT, but not OUT OF OUR MINDS. Both good to listen to, many overlaps.

1 person found this helpful

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Searching for the Holy Grail of creativity?

What did you like most about Out of Our Minds?

It does not give you the grail, but analyses what can taker it away what you had born with.
It is a comprehensive guide why education creates a restrictive mindset which needed to be expanded to achieve significant success in life.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I liked the positive examples of good education practices, explaining their approach and methodology. However despite being very informative, had not given a ready cookbook as an entrepreneur, as a parent to go forwards, only the chance of better appreciation and decision capabilities to use.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Ideally would go through such interesting topics over the weekend in 2 maximum 3 parts, however worked pretty well used in daily commute towards office and back home in minimum 1 hour parts.

Any additional comments?

Would welcome bit more great examples outside of the US and Great Britain areas in the next edition.

1 person found this helpful

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inspiring

very insightful. especially during these current times when home schooling. really thought provoking. would highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Liked the book but wish Ken had narrated it

This book is fascinating and laced with the humour I enjoy so much from the author.
It was narrated too fast and the humorous bits were read in the same time as everything else.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Soporific

Learning to be creative? I think not.

It would take considerable creative imagination to consider this to be anything but an overview of the authors opinions on education and industry. Absolutely of no value to me at all, other than as an aid to sleep.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn
  • 03-02-14

Needs a different narrator

Any additional comments?

Am on my second listen and am still struggling to get through this. Sir Ken Robinson's work is fascinating as usual, but I am totally put off by the narrator. The narration is flat and clinical. I find my mind wandering when I listen to this narrator. He reads with all the feeling of the electronic voice in the Atlanta airport trains. I am sure this book has much to offer, but the narration makes it seem more like a text book ... and we all know how fascinating those are. In light of the narration, I would recommend the print edition.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 03-11-15

Draaaaaaaag

I don't write many reviews and I enjoyed watching Ken Robinson's discussion with Eckhart Tolle. His presence was wonderful. This book was mentioned and I decided to download the Audible version. I am into chapter 3 and the ceaseless story of numbers, how powerful computers are and will be, along with the population growth is WAY OVER THE TOP!!!

OK, enough with this nonsense! If it continues much longer I will change my review to ZERO stars and request a refund.

What was his editor thinking?!

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Cat
  • 11-08-17

No practical advice

I expected to get practical advice and insight how to improve creativity.
Instead there was several hours of listening of well-known facts why it's important to be creative

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • husky
  • 09-12-11

Not as creative as expected

I already knew that schools and other institutions discourage creativity. I bought this audiobook to get a better understanding of how this phenomenum works.
His definition of creativiy is not original, and his points can all be found in other books with better explanations to them.
It's OK to listen to this if you have nothing else. He does provide a few jokes and interesting stories.

Oh, and I should mention that I've stopped listening to it an hour from the end.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve H.
  • 07-11-18

Good, but longer than it needed to be.

This was a good book, but longer than it needs to be. If you've seen his TED Talks, you've gotten half of what this book has to offer. If you have the opportunity, get an abridged version instead.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 18-12-16

You can't bore people into creativity

After Sir Ken's Ted talk I had high hopes. Hopes that were dashed by a dull, staccato delivery and bloated content.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Audrey
  • 13-08-14

Great idea, but it stumbles and rambles a lot

Would you try another book from Ken Robinson and/or John Lee?

I find Ken Robinson's TED talks absolutely fascinating. Hoping his books would be the same, I picked up "Out of Our Minds". After some stumbling and a lot of duplicated information in the beginning, it picks up into the meat of the subject about an hour in. I will certainly be listening to more of Robinson, though I hope it gets more streamlined as time goes on.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator completely misses the sense of timing and cadence of speech that makes Ken Robinson so pleasing to listen to. Jokes are recognizable as "supposed to be" funny, but fall completely flat. To his credit, John Lee enunciates well and doesn't let his accent obscure any words.

Was Out of Our Minds worth the listening time?

There is a *lot* of duplication in the first hour or so, and quite a bit of rambling after that. I'm currently about 3 hours in, and feel like I've only gotten about 30 minutes of actual content. If there is ever an abridged version, I would recommend starting there.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 01-11-13

Terribly Disappointed

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, the narrative is dry and hard to follow and does not provide justice to the work

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The words of Sir Ken Robinson

What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

It was extremely monotone and robotic. Sir Ken's work should be engaging. This was not.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • 16-09-13

doesn't live up to it's title.

What would have made Out of Our Minds better?

This book deals more with how education trains students to fear creativity rather than how to actually be creative. I think most readers understand that traditional education teaches more conformity than creativity and this book tends to just reinforce this topic over and over.

Any additional comments?

I was more impressed with "Beyond the Obvious" and how they actually explored real ways to challenge and change your normal process of thinking and creativity.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • pamela
  • 01-07-13

Info was interesting. Narration was annoying.

Would you try another book from Ken Robinson and/or John Lee?

Info in the book was interesting but I had trouble paying attention because the narration was distracting/annoying. Very choppy, up and down intonation that pulled me away from the content.

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator.

1 person found this helpful