Michael Michalko is one of (if not the) most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world. If you want to know just how impressive he is, click here:
ThinkerToys is an interactive workbook of creative exercises, techniques and tools. This is not a book you sit down to read from cover to cover. It is a manual of creative genius. I have not even begun to tap its potential yet. It really does provide creative inspiration for work, business and life.
After reading just a few pages of the first chapter I was hooked. The book is abundant with brain teasers to help you expand your perception and develop your creative brain. They range from the fairly easy to the downright impossible (in my case!)
The layout is clear and creative in itself. The first section is entitled Initiation. This section introduces you to the author’s ideas and is about how our thoughts define and affect our creativity, and how we can develop new ideas by challenging our perceptions and habitual thoughts. There are so many brilliant exercises in the first few chapters, that I’d be here all day trying to tell you about them. So, I will just home in on a favourite exercise/challenge from each section.
In section One Initiation, one of my favourite exercises is a seemingly simple one, but which has already brought huge results for me. It is called an Idea Quota. The author suggests setting yourself a challenge to come up with five new ideas for a week on a problem/issue or something you are working on. It stretches the mind and forces you to begin thinking of different possibilities.
Part One is entitled ‘Linear ThinkerToys.’ One of my favourite creative tools is in chapter nine which is entitled SCAMPER. SCAMPER is a pneumonic. It is used to question yourself about a challenge or subject to see what new ideas emerge. It stands for:
S – Substitute something
C- Combine it with something else
A – Adapt something to it
M – Modify or Magnify it
P – Put it to some other use
E – Eliminate something
R – Reverse or Rearrange it.
It’s a veritable treasure trove of stimulating your creativity. It’s fun too!
Part Two is called Intuitive ThinkerToys. One of my favourite chapters in this section is entitled Blue Roses. As well as stories about how great thinkers have developed their intuition (and how you can too) there are the two rules of intuition. It must be developed, and it should be incorporated with reason. I was delighted to find ways to expand and develop my intuition. A very simple one being to start looking at how you use your intuition. For example, with choices. Imagine the options you had when you were making a choice. Observe the word, phrase or image that represented that choice. Focus on how you made the choice and what your intuition told you about the choice. It comes down to tuning in.
The final two parts of the book are much shorter. They are called The Spirit of Koinonia and Endtoys. They include warming up activities and creative techniques, as well as a summing up of the essence of creativity. I haven’t got that far yet so can’t talk with any knowledge about the final part of the book.
I am so delighted that Muireann Fitzmaurice recommended this book to us on the Thrive Business Course. I highly recommend this book. If you want creative inspiration or you just want to give your brain a workout, ThinkerToys is beautifully laid out and contains a smorgasbord of creative ideas.