This is a little beacon in a sea of mediocre books about creativity. The lessons Gompertz has distilled from discussions with artists may not be earth-shattering but I found them enlightening and refreshingly authentic. Gompertz avoids slipping into platitudes, for example about learning from failure, and shares some genuinely insightful lessons about coping when things don’t go according to plan. Where he becomes a bit anodyne is in the final chapter when he tries to apply some of these lessons to organisations. It’s difficult to argue with him about the stultifying effects of hierarchy and the limitations that current approaches to remuneration have on workers’ motivation (indeed – who would wish to argue?) but these issues are hardly revelatory – in fact they have been discussed for decades. Given that Gompertz works for the BBC I’m sure he has countless examples of how organisations can both enable creativity to flourish and crush it through organisational bureaucracy. It would have been interesting to have some first hand accounts of this but I guess he – like all of us – needs to be careful about what he says about his employer! The wonderfully chosen quotes and examples together with his playful sense of humour make this book a real gem.