This week’s selection is Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques” by Michael Michalko.
When I started my career years ago there was a bit of a progression. At first, I didn’t know how to do anything. Then I learned a few things and became more useful. At some point I knew enough to be busy all the time, and I had to decide which things to do. When I became a manager, my job was to make those kinds of decisions, the “what to dos”, for other people.
This is the eternal question among creatives: what to do?
Sometimes, in spite of tremendous ability, one gets stuck in a rut and you’re incapable of imagining a new approach or activity. There are plenty of techniques for breaking through this creative barrier, and this book is an incredibly useful compendium of many of these methods.
The book contains nearly 400 pages of tips, games, stories and other tales that provide overviews of some of the most powerful creative thinking techniques.
Most of them involve changing the way you think or look at something, which in turn could trigger a creative solution. One of my favorite techniques is to simply go for walk and look at the different patterns in the objects seen on the walk. This, and many others, are covered in Thinkertoys.
You’ll see techniques such as reversal, mind mapping, force-field analysis, diagramming, forced connection, analogies, hypnogogic imagery, janusian thinking, and many more.
It is absolutely certain that the application of several of these approaches will break the creative barrier for you in seeking a solution.
If you’re looking for a creative solution, project or activity, this is a book that can get you there.
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