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Intriguing and reassuring?,
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This review is from: A Technique for Producing Ideas (McGraw-Hill Advertising Classic) (Paperback)
What surprises you first (if you weren't expecting it) is that the book is so very tiny. For £4.99 you don't get many words for your money, and the first ten pages are introductions and a preface. However, once you get into it, its brevity is its charm. I suspect that readers divide into two camps. The ones who think he's right (and probably already follow Young's methods) and the ones who don't (and probably don't). I'm pitching my tent in the first.
As Young said, he's wasn't afraid to give away his secrets because he was certain that hardly anyone would be prepared to put the work into step one. His five step method is simple but not easy. It's a bit like writing a guide to joining an orchestra and giving step one as passing grade eight violin, with distinction. He also suggested that you never stop observing and recording everything you notice in your daily life. The other thing I particularly like, but which isn't part of modern business, is allowing yourself time to do something completely different. Young reckons that you have to give your brain a pleasant distraction while your massed collection of many possible combinations of thoughts unconsiously comes up with the big idea.
You might have your big idea while you're relaxing in the bath, but it won't happen if you haven't studied all the possible options beforehand.
Great thinkers of the past permitted themselves a breathing space to solve problems. Brindley, the Duke of Bridgewater's canal engineer, used to retire to bed to think until he had come up with his solution. Imagine suggesting that to your boss.
While you're using your imagination, picture what might happen when an ambitious business type looking for a fast, wonder-fix comes across a little book that tells them they have to change the way they live in order to become a more creative person. Not such a big hit, perhaps. TO have to time for seriously good ideas, you've got to put down your Blackberry, work reasonable hours, spend time on other interests apart from work, but while you're there dedicate your life to learning more and more about your business or craft.
Get one, and while you're there, get a copy for everyone who demands that you produce an eldless stream of ideas with no time in between to top up your supply of new experiences.