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Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Michael Michalko

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8. Juni 2006
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 thought-provoking exercises, you’ll learn how to create original ideas that will improve your personal life and your business life. Michalko’s techniques show you how to look at the same information as everyone else and see something different.
With hundreds of hints, tricks, tips, tales, and puzzles, Thinkertoys will open your mind to a world of innovative solutions to everyday and not-so-everyday problems.

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Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques + Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius: The Secrets of Creative Genius for Business and Beyond + Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work
Preis für alle drei: EUR 40,05

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“Shows you how to expand your imagination.” --Newsweek
“A special find. Period.” --Executive Edge
“A must-have book in any business setting.” --Women in Business


A guide designed to encourage creative thinking in business offers techniques, hints, and tricks for generating ideas and offers dozens of success stories.

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
The first chapter in this section, "Original Spin," will help you overcome your fears, doubts, and uncertainties about creativity. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
Hier reinlesen und suchen:


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  87 Rezensionen
97 von 111 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Together with 'Cracking Creativity'...dynamic duo...consider them among the best in the genre! 17. Juli 2006
Von Lee Say Keng - Veröffentlicht auf
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, " 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: " productive thinking, one generates as many alternative approaches as one can, considering the least as well as the most likely contrast, reproductive thinking fosters rigidity of thought..." More relevant aspects about the significance of & more specific strategies to develop productive thinking are excellently covered by the author in 'Cracking Creativity'.

To end this review, & in the light of what I have written, I would consider the author's two books as the dynamic be among the best in the genre!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An Essential Guide for Creative Thinking 8. Oktober 2008
Von Michael Mandaville - Veröffentlicht auf
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.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Consider this the bible of creaive thinking 29. Juli 2009
Von Nigel Collin - Veröffentlicht auf
A useful and insightful tool for anyone working with creative people or wanting to think more creatively.
Nigel Collin
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Annoyingly good 8. November 2007
Von Stephen Francis - Veröffentlicht auf
I've always thought of myself as highly creative, even iconoclastic (I have a background in avant-garde theater in New York City), so I was a bit miffed that there is a book containing most of the treasured techniques I thought I had invented. I can't say enough good things about this book, I had "Aha!" moments about every second page.

I definitely subscribe to the author's viewpoint that creativity is a talent that we are all born with, even if we don't all know it; further, that there are definable, learnable skills that can help anyone develop their creative faculties. This book is crammed full of thought experiments and exercises that do just that--help you become reliably, even systematically, creative.
102 von 132 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Still waiting for the revelation 13. August 2010
Von Stephen - Veröffentlicht auf
So, about 6 months ago, I was in Barnes and Noble taking a look around through the business/marketing section and stumbled across this book. From the title to the chapter names to the example provided on the back of the book, I just knew this book was for me.

Not so.

I thought I would be met with "hundreds of ... puzzles," but was disappointed to find that out of "hundreds of hints, tricks, tips, tales, and puzzles," the puzzles took a back seat (I shouldn't be surprised, considering they threw "puzzles" on the end of that short list). Instead, I found myself constantly met with psychological and philosophical "tips" on everything from how to transform my negative thoughts so as to view myself in a positive light to rather child-like suggestions for thinking "outside of the box." I suppose my preconceived definition of "Thinker Toys" was a bit too complex. I expected to be mentally challenged, not consulted by Dr. Phil or have it feel assumed that there was NO WAY I could have possibly come up with the answers the author has given for various puzzles (which is how it seems when he explains to you why you couldn't see or think what you "should have" seen or thought).

Not to mention, I was frustrated by particular puzzles in which an over-thinker (such as myself) could have EASILY solved a problem had it not been posited/imaged as it was. One shining example, if you have the book, is on page 29. There's a guy in a room with two ropes extending down from the ceiling. The challenge is to tie the ropes together, but the problem is that they're hanging down far enough apart that you can't grab one while holding on to the other. "The room is bare, and you have only the things with you that you have in your pocket today. How do you solve the problem?"

The authors solution? Tie a small object to one of the ropes and set it in motion so that it will swing to you while you're holding the other rope. Sounds decent, right? Well, not only did I have nothing in my pockets the day I read that puzzle, but the problem here is that the illustrations show the ropes so close to the walls and so far apart from one another that there's no way you could swing one to build up enough momentum to get to you! As soon as it hit the wall, bye-bye momentum. Now, you might say, "well, the illustrations were just that -- illustrations. The question didn't specify that the walls of the room were the same as what you see in the pictures!" Good point! And if that's the case, then what the illustrations ALSO don't show you is the door leading to the staircase OUTSIDE the room where you can go climb up it, get on the roof, pull both ropes up to you one at a time, then stretch them out along the roof and tie them together! Voila!

Now, I realize that may seem petty or downright ludicrous, but breaking "the rules" to solve a problem only creates a new rule. If you're going to present problems and have someone try to envision a particular correct scenario (instead of every POSSIBLE scenario) based on what the problem does and doesn't specify, then please be more accurate in the portrayal of said problem. Here again, petty it may seem, but once I started viewing the author's puzzles in THAT light, the solutions to them were limitless (some, downright ridiculous) and I found myself more frustrated when my answers didn't match up to his because something was not specified or things were assumed.

Frustration aside, the book may well be a great starting point for people with a very rigid train of thought. The one thing to remember, which I suppose the author is trying to promote, is to do away with expecting a set of rules that will define the limitations you're to work within. If you're a logical thinker, then get ready to start thinking that 0 + 1 = 2. How is that possible? Easy! '0' and '1' are numbers. How many numbers do you see in the equation 0 + 1? That's right, 2! The answer is 2!

Now, don't bother telling me how many levels that's wrong on, because it will do you no good. The one all-encompassing caveat which allows the author to get away with similar scenarios is that anything is possible when thinking "outside of the box." Creative, mind-melting stuff that will change your life or pointless exercise in frustration that in no way enriches your approach to problems? You decide.

I am both creative and logical in my world view, so my frustrations have to do with trying to approach this book from both trains of thought. Having said everything that I have up to this point, there is certainly some good material to be found and I can't pretend that I walked away having learned nothing... but life-changing stuff? Not for me. I suppose I'm still waiting for the revelation I initially hoped for when first picking up this book.

Overall, 2-stars for me but 4-stars for thinking of the numerous non-over-thinkers this book could possibly be enjoyable to. Final result? An average of 3-stars... unless, of course, you didn't automatically assume an averaging of the two, in which case your answer may have been 2, 6, or 8 stars! Care to figure out how I came up with those creative numbers? ;)
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