Summary and Author Information
With Cracking Creativity, creativity expert and author of the highly-acclaimed Thinkertoys ( A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 90s), Michael Michalko has produced a path-breaking book that characterizes how creative geniuses think and shows how we can apply their thinking strategies to become more creative in our work and in our personal lives.
Through researching and analyzing hundreds of history's greatest thinkers, Michalko has indentified and described the styles of thought and seven common creative-thinking strategies of the Einsteins, Edisons, da Vincis, Darwins, Picassos, Freuds, Feynmanns,Stravinskys,Grahams, Michaelangelos, Galileos and Mozarts of history. By organizing your thinking around these strategies, you will rethink the way you see things and look for different ways to look at problems.
Each creative-thinking strategy includes specific, practical techniques with precise instructions on how to implement the strategy and apply it to your everyday business and personal challenges. Michalko provides numerous enlightening anecdotes and examples of how geniuses used the strategy to produce their breakthrough ideas. He illustrates each strategy with ingenious arguments and exercises that will surprise and shock you with what they reveal about the way you have been taught to think. This book will show you how to think productively and creatively.
The strategies are organized into two parts. The strategies in Part I, "Seeing What No One Else Is Seeing," demonstrate how geniuses generate a rich variety of perspectives by representing their problem in many different ways, and the strategies in Part II, "Thinking What No One Else Is Thinking," demonstrate how geniuses get novel and original ideas by incorporationg chance or randomness into the creative process in order to destabilize their existing their existing patterns of thought so they may reorganize their thoughts in new ways.
Recognizing the common thinking strategies of creative geniuses an! d applying them will make you more creative in your work and personal life. Creative geniuses are geniuses because they taught themselves "how" to think instead of " what" to think. This book is the result of Michalko's lifelong goal to discover "how' geniuses think and how mere mortals can become more creative by learning and applying their thinking strategies. In addition to his own extensive research, he explored and applied the findings and speculations about genius from a diverse cadre of researches including Howard Gruber, Mihalyi Csikszentmilalyi, Albert Rothenberg, David Bohm, Donald Campbell, Harriet Zuckerman, J.P. Guilford, Doris Wallace, David Perkins, Dean Keith Simonton, Arthur Miller, and Howard Gardner.
Whether you are an executive, a salesperson, an advertising copywriter, an engineer, a city planner, a management consultant, a teacher, an inventor, a homemaker, or a midnight novelist, this book will forever change the way you think.
Michael Michalko is a leading creativity expert who specializes in providing creative-thinking workshops, seminars on fostering creativity, and facilitating think tanks for clients who range from Fortune 500 corporations, such as DuPont, Xerox, Kellogg's, General Electric, Kodak, Microsoft, Exxon, General Motors, Ford, USA, AT&T, Wal-Mart and Hallmark to governmental agencies. In addition to his work in the U.S., Michael speaks and provides workshops in countries around the world, including Japan, Germany, Singapore, Peru, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Belgium.
As an officer in the U.S. Army, he 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 these methods to various NATO military and political problems and produced a variety of breakthrough ideas and creative solutions to new and old problems. After leaving military service, he was placed under contract wit! h the CIA to facilitate think tanks and brainstorming sessions using his creative-thinking techniques.
Michael, after leaving government service, 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 that 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.
Michael's creative-thinking techniques that were refined by his government and corporate practice were publised in his highly acclaimed best-seller Thinkertoys ( A Handbook of Business Creativity), which the Wall Streeet Journal reproted " will change the way you think." Women in Business lauded it as "one of the most important business titles of the decade, " Success magazine described it as a "one of the best of the best business books," Executive Directions said ' believe it or not, this wonderful book will have you challenging the seemingly impossible every day," Executive Book Summaries praised it by saying, "What we need is a compendium of ways to solve problems. And that's exactly what you get in Thinkertoys," and Entrepreneur acclaimed it as "required reading for anyone in business." The AMA called it " the most significant book on creativity published in the last twenty years,". 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.