Are you a problem-solver? Do you find yourself struggling to come up with creative ideas? Then I recommend you check out Michael Michalko‘s books. I did.
Here’s my video report on his latest book, Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work. (video not displaying? click here).
And, here’s a short summary of some of the keys to creative thinking, as offered up in Michalko’s book:
- conceptual blending; making connections and associations between dissimilar concepts its what the great thinkers have done; e.g., da Vinci, Newton, Einstein
- thought experiments; exercises to stimulate creative thinking, and approach problem-solving in a fresh way
- pattern recognition; our brain is wired to connect, a great pattern recognition tool
- the universal; observe the relationship between objects, see their common essence (as a mediator, this reminded me of the interest-based approach to conflict resolution)
- idea incubation; we are like perennials the value of giving your brain a rest
- perspective; Walt Disney always looked at a new idea from 3 different perspectives, the dreamer, the realist, the critic
- random stimuli; as a trigger to making associations and connections
- 3 human traits of creative thinker; intention/desire, positive approaches, daily habits
- Intention Board; a place to visualize your intention, desire
- be the subject; you want to be the subject, not the object, of your life
This book conveys complex concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand ways (a skill on its own), and you can take what’s in this book and apply it immediately.
If your work depends on effective problem-solving (mine does; e.g., as a mediator and virtual facilitator), then this book will help you get to the next level, and down the road to making creative thinking a habit.
Hat tip to another creative thinker, Linda Naiman, whose mention of this book on Twitter got my attention. And Vern Burkhardt of IdeaConnection, through whom I first heard of Michalko.
How do you apply creative thinking to your problem solving?