If you’re looking for not only a couple of great books on creativity and innovation, but a backstage pass into the business workings of Disney, then these two books are it. The Disney Way, by Bill Capadagli and Lynn Jackson, sometimes reads a bit like a fanboys description of Disney, but there’s enough disparaging thoughts on the Eisner Era to lend it some objectivity. However, it is excellent in its description of how Disney is able to create and maintain an atmosphere of innovation throughout its entire organization. By looking at Disney’s “Dream … Believe … Dare … Do” model for creativity, you’ll be able to pick apart ideas that can be applied to your church or ministry team.

And if you need more specific tools to apply this model, take a look at The Disney Way Fieldbook. It is chock-full of team-building games and exercises that will help people begin thinking outside of their normal confines, to creating a vision statement, to taking risks, etc. Some ideas are excellent, some are fairly trite and lame, but it is still an excellent resource to have on your shelf for that retreat or off-site planning day.

Another excellent book to explore is StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, and works off the premise that if you are able to identify your God-given strengths and base what you do predominately on them, then your performance and enjoyment will increase. The book includes an updated StrengthsFinder assessment as administered by Gallup that was first widely seen in Marcus Buckingham’s Now, Discover Your Strengths. When you purchase the book, you are also purchasing the assessment, which will tell you what your top five strengths are, as well as begin helping you learn how to best live out of these strengths.

I have used this tool with many of my staff and not only found it extremely accurate—uncannily so!—but a great help in making sure people are lined up as well as possible with tasks given to them. Know that this is not a personality assessment, but an assessment of one’s natural abilities only. Both are good books (Now probably has a bit more background info on the premise of the assessment) but I would go with StrengthsFinder 2.0 because it’s updated. You can also check out StrengthsFinder for more information.