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Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius [Kindle Edition]

Michael Michalko
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $8.00 (40%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In this trailblazing book, internationally renowned business creativity expert Michael Michalko shows how creative people think—and how to put their secrets to work for you. To create this book, Michalko researched and analyzed hundreds of history's greatest thinkers—from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso—and then brought their techniques into the modern home and workplace. The follow-up to the popular THINKERTOYS, which sold over 80,000 copies.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Creative-thinking expert Michael Michalko offers a series of idea-inspiring resources and techniques. . . . CRACKING CREATIVITY is peppered with anecdotes and exercises to help push you to your creative limit." — How“Sometimes the craziest ideas are the most inspired. . . . "You don't have to score 1600 on the SATs or build your own computer to approach your craft with genius. . . .[this] book is filled with exercises that illustrate the benefits of looking at problems from different angles." — TheOrlando Sentinel"CRACKING CREATIVITY unveils the secrets of creative genius and brings life-changing creative techniques into everyone's reach. By comparing the thinking strategies of over 100 of history's most creative minds, the book shows readers how to approach problems with new vision and discover a world of innovative solutions to everyday challenges."—New Equipment Digest "CRACKING CREATIVITY delivers an arsenal of powerful creative thinking tools that can be used to tackle virtually any type of technical problem and create new ideas. The closest thing we have to a tactical instruction manual for thinking like a genius." —American Creativity Association


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

MICHAEL MICHALKO is a leading creativity expert who specializes in leading creative thinking workshops, seminars on fostering creativity, and think tanks. His clients range from Fortune 500 corporations such as DuPont, Xerox, Kellogg's, General Electric, Kodak, Microsoft, Exxon, General Motors, Ford, AT&T, WalMart, and Hallmark to governmental agencies. As an officer in the U.S. Army, Michalko organized a team of NATO specialists and international academics in Frankfurt, Germany, to research, collect, and categorize all known inventive thinking methods. After leaving military service, he was contracted by the CIA to facilitate think tanks and brainstorming sessions. Michalko currently works with clients worldwide.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2035 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; New edition edition (April 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S3H1LQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,600 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
118 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was taken aback. December 18, 2001
Format:Hardcover
A book for inventors, craftsmen, artisans, scientists, businesses, teachers, and most of all us students.
Michael Michalko's book made many areas fall into place for me, not to mention assisting my individual creative landscape, exercising my field of study, and mobilizing my creative engine.
Over the past year, I have been heavily engaged in memory improvement. Busy in such areas as loci mnemonics, peg systems, hypnosis, and many other regions. Cracking Creativity showed how rigid my thinking had become.
For example, pg.42 there is an experiment where students were separated into two groups. The groups were asked to read a passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. One group was asked to simply learn the passage and the other group were asked to read from "multiple perspectives," example: an author's perspective, another person perspective, also including their own perspective. Which group learned more information? Of course, the group that used multiple perspectives outperformed the other group. Furthermore Michael elaborates on this process and places many ideas on the table. He called this subchapter "Da Vinci's Multiple Perspectives," further along the chapter he elaborates "Take on a Different Role," then "Imagine You Are the Problem" and many more areas further along that blend to create a vast pool of creative thinking. I found this particular area very useful. Michael does not simply show problems in creativity without a creative plan-of-action for facilitation. He brings creative solutions to mind and elaborates on them in detail. He gives many examples for looking at a problem or solution, in many different perspectives.
Strategy Six: Looking At The Other Side, is an outstanding section in which paradoxes are shown and analyzed.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is all you need for the subject! April 13, 2000
Format:Hardcover
If you type in the word CREATIVITY in any search engine, you are likely to get a REALLY LONG list of relevant titles and information. How can you tell which title is better? For me the best title would be the one that prompts you to THINK and come up with something ACTIONABLE.
Packed with facinating stories, mind-stretching exercises, inspirating quotes, funny visuals, step-by-step guidelines and checklists, Michalko has successfully written two CLASSICS on the subject of Creativity. The two books give you ALL the powerful tools and techniques you need to generate creative ideas in split second. The tools are so useful that I have copies of the books, both at home and in my office.
I consider Thinkertoys as the ENCYCLOPAEDIA of creative thinking (TOOLS) while Cracking Creativity will definitely give you the MAGIC RECIPE (IDEA GENERATING PROCESS), which gaurantees creative output every time.
Get yourself a copy, I am sure you will find it ENTERTAINING and practical. I am looking forward to Michalko's third book on the subject. I am sure it will be another great hit!
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's In There Somewhere January 5, 2000
Format:Hardcover
According to Michalko, what are the best strategies for "cracking" the barriers to human creativity?

o Knowing how to see
o Making a thought visible
o Thinking fluently
o Making novel combinations
o Connecting the unconnected
o Looking at the other side
o Looking in other worlds
o Finding what you are not looking for
o Awakening the collaborative spirit

The phrases "can activate" and "can enable" correctly suggest potentiality. However, if you are already convinced that you cannot think more creatively, you won't. Henry Ford once observed that those who think they can and those who think they can't are both right.

Cracking Creativity will help you to develop the skills needed to release from within all manner of ideas, perspectives, and insights which (until now) have been suppressed. When we face an especially complicated problem or especially difficult question, he suggests that we ask "What are the alternatives and options? How should each be evaluated? Where are there possible connections? Perhaps synergies?" Of course, after we think outside the box and come up with really cool stuff, we have to figure out how to get it back into the box. Perhaps that is another book Michalko will one day write.

On average, humans use only 15-17% of the cerebral cortex, that portion of the brain where the most important intellectual transactions occur. No guarantees, of course, but chances are that a careful reading of Cracking Creativity will increase the percentage you use. What are you waiting for?
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format: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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting! These principles can really be applied to ...
Really interesting! These principles can really be applied to help solve a problem.
Published 1 month ago by Dustin
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it.
I've been reading this a piece at a time. Seems for me the best way to let its advice sink in.
Enjoyable, encouraging, and has already stimulated several ideas. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William James O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Will take you from Spert to Creative Thinker
What's a Spert? It's the step before expert. There are billions and billions of Sperts in the world but Oh too few experts! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dino DeRacer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Material
Lots of good material but some repetition, hard to avoid with Michalko's Critical Thinkering book. Perhaps you don't need to buy both.
Published 13 months ago by LeeSeeker
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but Not Great
This is good if you're completely inept at thinking outside of conventional ideas. The book is repetitive, the author treats the reader as slightly dumb at times, and a lot of the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alex Rosenfeld
5.0 out of 5 stars great hands on creativity book
I'm not much for text book type reading, but this book is great. easy to read and gets right to the point. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Byron Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Creativity Says it All
A good book. I liked the way the author emphasizes "thinking out of the box," and how most brilliant ideas were really common concepts not usually put together. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Reader 47
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with solid techniques to kick off your creativity
An excellent book full of techniques and tips to get you thinking creatively, coming up with ideas, and generally breaking out of your standard thinking patterns. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Lindsey R Crowe
4.0 out of 5 stars worth reading!
a great read. lots to absorb and think about, i will definately refer to it often. gets you thinking about how you think. Read more
Published on July 7, 2012 by H. Y. khan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I've heard about this book some time ago as very useful especially for people involved in running creative workshops, guiding groups and making research. Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by Marcin Piotrowski
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More About the Author

Michael Michalko is one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world. As an officer in the U.S. Army, Michael organized a team of NATO intelligence specialists and international academics in Frankfurt, Germany, to research, collect, and categorize all known inventive-thinking methods. His team applied the methods to various NATO military, political, and social problems and produced a variety of breakthrough ideas and creative solutions to new and old problems. Michael later applied these creative-thinking techniques to problems in the corporate world with outstanding successes. The companies he worked with were thrilled with the breakthrough results they achieved, and Michael has since been in the business of developing and teaching creative-thinking workshops and seminars for corporate clients around the world.
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He is the author of the best-seller THINKERTOYS: A HANDBOOK OF CREATIVE THINKING TECHNIQUES.

He is also the author of Thinkpak (A Brainstorming Card Set), which is a novel creative-thinking tool that is designed to facilitate brainstorming sessions, and Cracking Creativity (The Secrets of Creative Geniuses)which describes the common thinking strategies creative geniuses have used in the sciences, art, and industry throughout history and shows how we can apply them to become more creative in our business and personal lives.

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