Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)

  • ISBN13: 9781580087735
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Rethink the Way You Think
 
In hindsight, every great idea seems obvious. But how can you be the person who comes up with those ideas?
In this revised and expanded edition of his groundbreaking Thinkertoys, creativity expert Michael Michalko reveals life-changing tools that will help you think like a genius. From the linear to the intuitive, this comprehensive handbook details ingenious creative-thinking techniques for approaching problems in unconventional ways. Through fun and thoug

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3 thoughts on “Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)

  1. 90 of 104 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Together with ‘Cracking Creativity’…dynamic duo…consider them among the best in the genre!, July 16, 2006
    By 
    Lee Say Keng “KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURER/TECHNOLOGY… (Ho Chi Minh City/Singapore) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) (Paperback)

    The first time I encountered ‘Thinkertoys’ it was actually the first edition released during the early 90’s, when it was also about the time I began to explore the various options with regard to my mid-life transition. In fact, I had initially spotted an interesting review in the Entrepreneur magazine.

    I managed to trace the publisher & had immediately ordered the first 100 copies for my debut bookstore. It became the best seller in my store for many years. Then came ‘Cracking Creativity’ a few years later as well as the accompanying brainstorming card deck, Thinkpak, to ‘Thinkertoys’.

    What impressed me most is not so much the creativity tools outlined in both books. In fact, the most productive learning experiences I got out of both books are a few very important things, which I would like to share with readers.

    Let’s take a look at Thinkertoys. In the Introduction, the author started off with a visual puzzle: ‘Can you identify the figure below?’

    Only by shifting your focus, you can then see the hidden word within the figure.

    In the author’s own words, “…by changing your perspectives, you can expand your possibilities…”

    Let’s move to ‘Cracking Creativity’. In the Introduction, the author introduced a simple arithmetic equation: What is half of thirteen?

    The subsequent passages as outlined in Part I: Seeing What No One else in Seeing, & Strategy I: Knowing How to See, by the author revealed the secrets to getting many possible answers (or perspectives) to the above equation.

    No creativity tool outlined in the above two books (or elsewhere in the world, for that matter) can help you to become more creative until you fully understand – & appreciate – what the author is trying to drive home in his two books.

    In a nut shell, it basically boils down to one important thing: Use – & enhance – your power of vision! or power of observation!

    The author may not be the first person to postulate this crucial aspect of creativity.

    I would consider Leonardo da Vinci to be the first person to have understood & practised it religiously. He said, among a few other things, LEARN TO SEE THE WORLD. In fact, he put a lot of emphasis on using your senses, especially your sense of sight.

    Edward de Bono had also broached this valuable concept in his groundbreaking series of lateral thinking books, starting with ‘Mechanism of Mind’ in the 70’s.

    I have always believed that you can’t do things differently until you can see things differently.

    Learning to see the world anew & from different perspectives is imperative if one wants to be more creative.

    According to de Bono, creativity starts at the perceptual stage of thinking. He terms it, First Order Thinking. He added very beautifully: “This is where our perceptions & concepts are formed, & this is where they have to be changed. Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.”

    The creativity tools, whether they are from the author’s books or elsewhere, will then automaticlaly fall into place & make more sense when you have first exercised your power of vision or observation.

    Using any tool is a piece of cake, but changing one’s perception – & maintaining fluidity of perception as well as having multiple perceptions – takes concerted efforts.

    It is also important to take note that when things (or tactics) don’t seem to work out as planned, always remember to check out your observations of the world first. Simply ask:

    – what do you CHOOSE to see?
    – where do you DIRECT your attention?

    The second most productive learning experience I got from the above two books is realising that all thoughts are simply feats of association &/or juxtapositions – & the crux of creativity (in fact, also learning) are making associations &/or juxtapositions. [Tom Peters, in his wonderful book, Liberation Management, drives home with this insightful nugget: “The essence of creation – in all endeavours – is chance connections between ideas and facts that are previously segregated. Entrepreneurship is the direct by-product of chance, of convoluted connections among ideas, needs and people.” According to Leonardo da vinci, everything is connected to everything else. My question: CAN YOU SEE IT?] The creativity tools outlined by the author are specifically designed for this purpose.

    The third most productive learning experience for me is understanding the differential between productive & reproductive thinking. To paraphrase the author: “…in productive thinking, one generates as many alternative approaches as one can, considering the least as well as the most likely approaches…in contrast, reproductive thinking fosters rigidity of thought…” More relevant aspects about the significance of & more specific strategies to develop…

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  2. 22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An Essential Guide for Creative Thinking, October 8, 2008
    This review is from: Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
    This book, together with my treasured Roger von Oech books, sit prominently on my bookshelf when working on a variety of problems – software development, film production, creative writing for scripts or novels, and developing opportunities in this mediacentric age. These books break open your mind from the restrictive fences imposed on our thinking by the conventional world that we are surrounded by. These fences need to be torn down. If you are an older person (probably older than 30!), then your thinking will become ossified. Just like using your muscles, you need to rework your brain and your thinking with effort to create opportunities and connections to emerging technologies and new developments.

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  3. 12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Consider this the bible of creaive thinking, July 28, 2009
    By 
    Nigel Collin “Leading Creatives” (Sydney, Australia) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) (Paperback)

    Customer Video Review Length:: 0:47 Mins

    A useful and insightful tool for anyone working with creative people or wanting to think more creatively.
    Nigel Collin
    […]

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