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

Michael Michalko
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 8, 2006 1580087736 978-1580087735 2
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.

Frequently Bought Together

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) + Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck + Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius
Price for all three: $43.06

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

From the Publisher

This new edition contains updated examples, three new Thinkertoys and an entirely new group brainstorming section with five new chapters. Michael 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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 2 edition (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580087736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580087735
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 109 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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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide for Creative Thinking October 8, 2008
Format: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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consider this the bible of creaive thinking July 28, 2009
Format:Paperback
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annoyingly good November 8, 2007
Format:Paperback
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.
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102 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for the revelation August 13, 2010
Format:Paperback
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?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 stars for the ink,5 stars for the content.
The ink smell really really bad (I am not sure if I am the only one who has this problem). The contents are 5 stars though, if you are fine with book that has heavy ink smell then... Read more
Published 12 days ago by BT
5.0 out of 5 stars unique and thought provoking
Very unique and then practical tips on getting your creativity flowing, no matter what your profession. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nathan Heald
5.0 out of 5 stars The best out of box thinking book I can recommend
The best out of box thinking book I can recommend. Sent this one to a good friend. He and his son love the book. I have purchased a total of 7 copies of this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative Ways to View Problems While Chaning Perceptions
This book has short stories used to address potential problems, while applying a different perspective. I great read and future reference material.
Published 4 months ago by T. Woodmore-Udom
5.0 out of 5 stars Just started it.
Just glanced through it. It looks like another of those life-time, pick and choose, books with ideas to apply to all kiinds of situations.
Published 5 months ago by jjat
5.0 out of 5 stars exceeded my expectatios
when I bought it, the description was "excelente conditions" but I honestly was expected something less but gladly it was absolutely true. Read more
Published 5 months ago by pauangel
2.0 out of 5 stars okay, not exactly what was expected
This book is okay. It is not what I expected from the review. May want to recommend to read the first book by author before jumping to this one.
Published 5 months ago by Renee Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had been using this since I started my career
The ideas work. Kind of like a workbook to see what works best for you. It provided immediate impact once I started using some of the concepts. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lawrence English
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and highly effective, great book
The creative techniques are simple and effective. I apply them daily with great results at work and domestic matters.
I highly recommend this book.
Published 6 months ago by Jaime Ritchie
4.0 out of 5 stars It needs more examples
It is an interesting book. Thiis book has some good techniques that are useful to be creative. But I think that it can be improvedputing more examples or practical examples.
Published 7 months ago by Jose
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