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Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work Paperback – September 6, 2011


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Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work + Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) + Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; Original edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160868024X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608680245
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Michael Michalko alters thinking, and his books alter actions. Creative Thinkering is amazing in three ways: it’s easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to apply the minute you read it. Every time I read a chapter in a Michael Michalko book I learn something so new, I say, ‘aha!’ So will you.”
— Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Selling

“A gym for your genius and a playground for practicing creative problem solving, Creative Thinkering is equipped with innovative exercises to strengthen your intuition. Michael Michalko’s mind-bending tips and techniques invite fresh perspectives that lead to remarkable results.”
— Jennifer Lee, author of The Right-Brain Business Plan

“Michael Michalko will take you on a delicious ride to the next evolutionary level of understanding why creative thinking is often counterintuitive and what methods work to break stilted thinking. Not a day goes by that I don’t employ several of Michael’s methods. I hope you employ the genius found in Creative Thinkering and carve out a new way of thinking and living that will bring you the fulfillment those methods have brought me.”
— Terry Stickels, puzzle writer and columnist

“In Creative Thinkering, we learn how to tease creativity out of life through the power of intention, letting the subconscious do the rest. The book includes ample exercises, techniques, and puzzles, and is full of ways to engage your brain, a suitable pursuit for anyone who wants to have a little more fun with life — or to avoid senility. Use Mr. Michalko’s tricks to step outside your cone of expectations and intentions the next time you need to develop a fantastic idea.”
The New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Michael Michalko is one of the most acclaimed creativity experts in the world. His bestselling books include Thinkertoys, ThinkPak, and Cracking Creativity. He has given speeches, workshops, and seminars on fostering creative thinking for clients ranging from associations and government agencies to Fortune 500 corporations, such as DuPont, Kellogg’s, General Electric, Kodak, Microsoft, Exxon, General Motors, Ford, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Gillette, and Hallmark. He lives in Rochester, New York.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reading and applying Creative Thinkering brings out our creative potential.
Connie Harryman
Great book with lots of ideas for thinking "outside the box" and for generating new, unique, and clever ideas.
LCL
In Part II, he explains how almost anyone can become a much more creative thinker.
Robert Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Terry H. Stickels on September 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Michael Michalko will take you on a delicious ride to the next evolutionary level of understanding why creative thinking is often counterintuitive and what methods work to break stilted thinking. Not a day goes by that I don't employ several of Michael's methods. I hope you utilize and enjoy the genius found in CREATIVE THINKERING to carve out a new way of thinking and living that will bring you the fulfillment those methods have brought me. Michael Michalko is the only writer on creativity who offers palpable, common sense tools you can put to work on a daily basis. It is beyond me why anyone would not want to have all of Michalko's books. Simple methods, inexpensive, fascinating, fun . . . and they produce results.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Carol Bischoff on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just starting chapter 4 in the kindle version. The book so far is illuminating except it is very hard to read some of the thought-exercise insets as the format does not resize these. This makes me regret buying this book. I don't know if this is a problem particular to this book or a kindle issue. Either way it, is ripe for some 'Creative Thinkering'.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Fraley on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've found a real jewel of a book recently. Let me make a direct statement here: Michael Michalko's new book Creative Thinkering -- is a real gem stone. Just finished reading in one go on a flight across the pond -- and it was a mind-bendingly delightful and informative read - Chicago to London has never gone so quickly.

Thought provoking and interactive, Creative Thinkering, really gets you...thinking...in a fresh way about the meaning and "how to" of invention and breakthrough problem solving. It's packed with information about the nature of creativity. It flows logically, it has lots of juicy real life stories and examples, and it's absolutely loaded with germane and fun visuals. I'd add that it's also emotionally engaging and it has you realising that, yes, I can be more creative. His "thinkering" exercises have you proving it to yourself, it's really creative empowerment.

This book deserves a wide readership -- creative thinking could use a breakthrough book. It's one of the weird things about the field, that is, the people mostly likely to read a creativity book are those that don't need it. Creative Thinkering bridges the perception gap and opens up creative vistas -- even for those who don't believe they have the creative gene. Creative Thinkering de-mystifies the mythology that surrounds creativity, although if anything I finish the book even more awestruck about the power of imagination. Michalko elaborates extensively on the concept of "conceptual blending" which, in essence, is a mash-up in someone's mind of unrelated concepts that has them coming up with fresh, breakthrough ideas. This is a thinking capacity we all have, but one that few of us tap into. This conceptual blending is not an entirely new idea, but it's never been so well explained.
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Format: Paperback
Those who have read any of Michael Michalko's previously published books, notably Cracking Creativity and Thinkertoys, already know that he has a unique talent for explaining the creative process (making something new) and the innovative process (making something better) and does so creatively and innovatively, in ways and to an extent that almost anyone can understand (a) what they are, (b) how they differ, (c) what they share in common, and (d) how to benefit from them.

In his latest book, he explains how and why conceptual blending of dissimilar subjects, ideas, and concepts is the most important factor in creative thinking. It is not only a matter of "connecting the dots," although that skill important; it also involves "connecting the right dots in the right way" and, more importantly, being able to recognize especially important "dots" that others may not see, much less appreciate.

Michalko organizes his material within two Parts: Creative Thinking and The Creative Thinker. Obviously, the first focuses on various techniques, skills, drills, exempla, and exercises that explain what creative thinking is and can do. In Part II, he explains how almost anyone can become a much more creative thinker. More specifically, how to become much more alert for connections (especially between and among what are significantly dissimilar), intentionally thinking more creatively rather than haphazardly, changing the way one speaks in order to change the way one thinks (he devotes all of Chapter 12 to that), and "Becoming What You Pretend to Be," the title of the next chapter. Long ago, Henry Ford observes, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Michalko wholly agrees, noting that just as attitude can influence behavior, behavior can influence attitude.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Knight on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Whether you're a would-be entrepreneur looking for a great idea or just love puzzles and how the mind works, if you want to get the creative juices flowing, this book is for you. It is all about breaking the "logical" patterns of thought we were taught in school that stifled the free imagination of our childhood. Using thought exercises and real life examples, Michalko guides us back to the territory of unfettered "thinkering" where we give our imagination free rein. He shows us how to combine dissimilar or even contradictory subjects and ideas, no matter how far out, in a process he calls "conceptual blending," which he liberally illustrates with examples of how others have done it and guides us how to do it ourselves. This is the most important factor in creative thinking, according to Michalko, one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best sellers Thinkertoys and Cracking Creativity.

Another useful approach is incubation - just letting the idea percolate for a while, especially overnight. This is what he calls, "letting God" put the pieces together. Michalko recommends that we make a practice of keeping notes about our ideas, observations, and creative attempts, and that we collect information about all the ideas, concepts and problems we are working on. You never know what will spark the creative connection and that "aha moment."

One of the things I particularly enjoyed in the book was the abundance of riddles and optical illusions. (He always gives the answers at the end of each chapter.) Aside from being fun, they also illustrate the importance of being willing to change your perspective and look as something in a whole new way. At a time when the façades of so many political, financial and social institutions are crumbling, never has "creative thinkering" been more urgently needed.
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