Author: Michael Michalko
ISBN-10: 1580087736:  ISBN-13: 978-1580087735

Click Here To Purchase Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)

Do you need any new ideas for practical designs?  How about when something is wrong with your business and you cannot put your finger on it?  Did you ever need to brainstorm but not have anyone else around?  Have you ever been stuck with writer’s block and for the life of you could not get back to work?  In other words, have you ever been stuck with any mental problem that you felt that you cannot solve?  If this is the case I think you should have a look at Michael Michalko’s latest book, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques.

Thinkertoys is a great play on words – anyone who grew up in the United States playing with Tinker Toys would not have a hard time remembering the name of this book.  But beyond the title, Michael Michalko has done better than a yeoman’s job of cataloguing tried and true techniques and exercises that work individually and for groups.  Not a left brained person you say?  You don’t need to be.  Not a right brained person?  Again, you don’t need to be.  These tools that Michael Michalko provides puts you in a position that the outcome will be the product of great creative thinking as long as you actually do the thinker work that goes along with the exercise.  The entire book pushes the reader to think outside of his or her comfort zone when solving problems, creating ideas, etc.  Some of these tools I have already been working on and implementing myself.  Let me give you an example…

In addition to my other work, I recently have become a monthly columnist with a magazine where I give advice based upon my knowledge and experience.  But to be a columnist is very difficult in a way because you have to remain fresh – the material much be both focused and new every issue.  Many regular columnists (and bloggers) use different methods to do this.  For instance, Jack Welch actually goes on Twitter and asks followers to send him interesting questions or problems.  As such I turned to Michalko’s book and found an exercise that really helped to generate ideas for the column.  (If you want to know specifically which tool this was contact me through my website and I will give a full explanation).  Because of this tool though I not only found enough ideas, but rather more than enough ideas.  I have now written several columns in advance for the magazine and am pretty much finished with the entire year’s work.  This is the kind of result you can get from sitting down and working with Thinkertoys – I can personally attest! 

Also, Michael Michalko has a related product called Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck.  I went out to my local bookstore and bought this card set.  It is a great companion to Thinkertoys because each card is directly related to a principle or tool in Thinkertoys.  So I carry this card deck with me now along with a list of issues I need to resolve when I travel.  Sometimes I pull this book or these cards out because I have work to do and sometimes I do it because, dammit, it is just a good workout for the old noggin!

Click Here To Purchase Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)