Andy VanGundy: Creativity Thought Leader

May 16, 2009
Andy VanGundy (1946-2009)

Andy VanGundy (1946-2009)

Andy VanGundy (1946-2009) was a pioneering researcher and thought leader into the application of creativity techniques in business and business education

Creativity does not fit easily into the Business School curriculum. Andy vanGundy was one of the few academics who succeeded, working out of the University of Oklahoma where he had been a professor of communications for over three decades.

Co-author Linda Naiman has written a moving piece about Andy in her Creativity at Work blog

Linda cites his Andy’s work including

Techniques of Structured Problem Solving This book is considered by many to be the “bible” of problem solving techniques. It was the first comprehensive book on techniques and still is used as a resource book by practitioners in marketing research, new product development, Research & Development, training and many other fields.
[And their book written collaboratively on] Orchestrating creativity at work: Using music, improv, storytelling and other arts to improve teamwork

Over the years I got to know Andy, initially through his work. We met from time to time and naturally discussed creativity and the application of creative problem-solving techniques in business. Andy carried his encyclopedic knowledge lightly, and was always a delight to be with. When I asked him to write a forward to a book on creativity and the management of change, he agreed. I was surprised (I should not have been) when his contribution arrived, which went far beyond the rather automatic celebrity endorsement I had automatically been expecting.

As a pioneer of creativity in business he was indeed a founding father. Through his gentle and insightful style he reminded me of another great American scholar and teacher, Dan Cougar, again someone who managed to combine deep knowledge and humanity in studies of creativity. Like Dan, Andy will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.

Tudor Rickards
Manchester Business School
University of Manchester

May 2009