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Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 90s by Michael Michalko Review by David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Presentation on theme: "Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 90s by Michael Michalko Review by David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"— Presentation transcript:

1 Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 90s by Michael Michalko Review by David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2 Author & Organization Author: Full time creativity consultant for F500 firms. Categories: –Linear thinkertoys –Intuitive thinkertoys –Group thinkertoys –Endtoys

3 Tick-Tock Based on work of Prescott Lecky. Need for consistency. Tick: negative views. Tock: refutation of negative view Related: –Creative is as creative believes. –Remember successes. –Write what you wish to be true.

4 Mind Pumping Idea quota Getting tone: really paying attention. Dukes of habit: intentionally changing habits. Feed your head: select carefully, outline, take notes. Content analysis: attention to world around you. Brainbanks: clippings in a bucket. Travel junkie Capturing idea birds. Idea log: categories of interest.

5 Challenges Journal of problems Bug list List of benefits Challenge statement –In what ways might I … –Synonyms –Stretch –Decompose, why else, how else?

6 Linear Thinkertoys Reverse assumptions Slice and dice Cherry picking: describe challenge in two words, split attributes. Think bubbles: mind map of related ideas.

7 Scamper Based on Osborn –Substitute –Combine –Adapt –Modify –Put to other uses –Eliminate or minify –Rearrange

8 Tug of War Write challenge Describe best case and worst case List conditions of the situation Note tug of war

9 Idea Box List challenge List parameters List variations Try different combinations

10 Idea Grid FCB Grid by Richard Vaughn, of advertising firm Foote, Cone, & Belding. High-low involvement vs. think & feel. Marketing of products.

11 Toothache Tree Fishbone diagram. State challenge Identify major obstacles

12 Phoenix List List of questions at CIA Steps: –Write your challenge –Ask Phoenix questions –Record answers

13 What is Your Business? Steps: –Ask what is our business? –Define products/services, markets, functions, technologies. –Under each, write keywords –Mix and match to explore new ideas.

14 Future Fruit Steps: –Identify a problem. –State a decision to be made –Identify the forces that impact on decision –Build scenarios based on principal forces –Develop scenarios into narratives –Search for business opportunities in each

15 Brutethink Random stimulation + forced connection Steps: –Bring in a random word (truly random) –Simple and familiar words the best. –Think of variety of things related to the word –Make forced connection to challenge

16 Hall of Fame Inspiration from and forced connection to famous words: Steps: –Make list of people you admire –Choose an advisor and pick a quotation –Ponder the quotation –Choose thought or combo of thought that holds promise –Allow 5-10 minutes to generate ideas

17 Circle of Opportunity Perception changes over time. Steps: –State challenge –Draw circle numbered 1 to 12 like clock –Select 12 attributes specific to challenge –Throw one die to pick first attribute –Throw two dice to pick second attribute –Consider them singly and together –Write down associations as they occur

18 Ideatoons Left-right shift and bridge Steps: –Divide challenges into attributes –Describe each attribute by drawing abstract symbol on separate card (label on back) –Look for ideas to link to your challenge –Add ideatoons as necessary

19 Clevor Trevor Bust blocks of expertise Steps: –Talk to someone outside your field –Seek idea people –Draw out creativity in strangers you meet –Listen

20 Chilling Out Alpha waves promoted by –Quiet environment –Specific technique –Passive attitude –Comfortable position Techniques: body relaxation, meditation, Truman’s foxhole

21 Blue Roses Managers use intuition (Isenberg): –Sense problems –Perform well-learned patterns –Synthesis of pattern –Gutcheck rational answer –Bypass rational answer with quick solution Intuition must be developed and incorporated with reason.

22 Three Bs Great discoveries made in bus, bed, or bath. Need to encourage incubation. Steps: –Identify challenge. –Prepare: collect data –Instruct brain to solve –Incubate: let go –Eureka

23 Rattlesnakes and Roses Analogical reasoning: personal, direct, symbolic, fantasy. Steps: –State challenge –Choose keyword in challenge –Choose parallel or distant field –List images of parallel field, choose rich ones. –Look for similarities and connections between two components of the analogy

24 Stone Soup Radical “What if” leads to radical solutions Steps: –Stipulate challenge –List as many “what if” challenges as possible. –Answer questions posed by challenges

25 Color Bath Steps: –Relaxation –Select basic color –Imagine color as small ball of light –Affirm the color Variations –Talking to an object (money)

26 Dreamscape Use dreams actively to solve problems. Steps: –Formulate question about challenge –Wake up early to record dream –Record dream in dream journal –How were people, places, and events related to query? What is answer from dream?

27 Da Vinci’s Technique Use drawing and thinking to solve problems. Steps: –Review challenge –Relax –Choose format –Draw without conscious direction –Examine drawing –Write down first word that comes to mind –Combine words to form paragraph & relate to challenge

28 Dali’s Technique Hypnogogic imagery Steps: –Think about challenge –Relax –Quiet mind –Quiet eyes –Record experiences immediately –Look for associations

29 Not Kansas Steps –Relax –Ask unconscious for answer –Take guided imagery tour –Accept whatever messages occur

30 Rice Storm Steps (for problem understand or solution): –Leader expresses area of concern –Each person writes facts (one per card) on cards related to concern –Redistribute cards –Leader picks and reads one card. –Others select related facts –Give grouping a name –Continue until all words in name sets.


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