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Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius by [Michalko, Michael]
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Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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"Creative-thinking expert Michael Michalko offers a series of idea-inspiring resources and techniques. . . . CRACKING CREATIVITY is peppered with anecdotes and exercises to help push you to your creative limit." -- How"Sometimes the craziest ideas are the most inspired. . . . "You don't have to score 1600 on the SATs or build your own computer to approach your craft with genius. . . .[this] book is filled with exercises that illustrate the benefits of looking at problems from different angles." -- TheOrlando Sentinel"CRACKING CREATIVITY unveils the secrets of creative genius and brings life-changing creative techniques into everyone's reach. By comparing the thinking strategies of over 100 of history's most creative minds, the book shows readers how to approach problems with new vision and discover a world of innovative solutions to everyday challenges."--New Equipment Digest "CRACKING CREATIVITY delivers an arsenal of powerful creative thinking tools that can be used to tackle virtually any type of technical problem and create new ideas. The closest thing we have to a tactical instruction manual for thinking like a genius." --American Creativity Association

From the Publisher

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2314 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Revised ed. edition (13 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S3H1LQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #432,281 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As someone who is passionate about creative thinking, (I use it on a daily basis), I have read a huge number of books on the subject. Most of them, to be quite honest, are either poor or tired rehashes of things Ive come across before. This book is not one of them! I recommend this book to others on a regular basis. It details a wide variety of creative thinking techniques and shows you how to apply them in a practical way. I believe that this book is suitable for anyone. I could see how people with a casual interest might be put off by the size and depth of this book but they could still get a massive amount from it. Every time I read it I find something new. What I like most about it is the way in which it is written. Very businesslike and professional with no fluff or fuzzy thinking - something that seems prevalent in a lot of other so-called creative thinking books!
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By A Customer on 4 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book brings order to a very disorderly field. It not only is a fascinating study on how geniuses got their breakthrough ideas, but also offers several techniques on how the reader can use these thinking strategies in their everyday life.
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Format: Hardcover
My usual test of a worthwhile book is to look back and see how many pages I dogeared. This one is full of them. Cracking Creativity by Michael Michalko provides the reader with examples and techniques that serve as catalyst for idea generation. Thanks Michael for another great book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides valuable and unique insights of how creativity works and how you can use it to solve your own problems from the simple to the most complex. The methods that the most creative people in history have used makes for entertaining reading, but is quite likely to trigger that sudden insight; "Aha - I can use that method to solve this problem that has been bothering me for weeks!" This happened for me several time while reading the book. Thanks Michael!
The book has also inspired me to do a special web page with supplementary material related to the theme of the book: "Creative Problem Solving - Guidelines and Lessons from History".
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Format: Paperback
I thought the book would give me insight on how to develop my creativity, instead it gave me a set of recipes to create new things. It's not so bad after all and most are quite interesting but not what I was looking for.
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Format: Paperback
Having aproximately 60 books of self improvement, this is on of the best, I compound my creativity with this one. This is one of the starts in my collection, simple, practical , with theory and exercises what else can we ask? Well presented, organized and simple to understand. This book help me to understand creativity. Without doubt has being the cornerstone for me to understand and start by myself, I have few great ideas now, some of them funny others of great potential, others already changed my life. This book Will change your life as well?
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