I just finished reading “Thinkertoys” by Michael Michalko. As the title hints, this is a handbook on creative thinking techniques.
The techniques described in this book can be applied to any problem small or large. They are divided into two broad categories: linear and intuitive. Linear thinkertoys make use mostly of the left side of the brain. They rely on analysis, patterns etc. These techniques include mind mappings, fractionation, reversal and matrix just to name a few. Intuitive thinkertoys make more use of the right side of the brain. They rely on intuition, imagination etc. These techniques include analogies, relaxation and imagery to name a few.
What makes this book stand out are the depth and breadth in which the abstract topic of thinking is discussed. In addition the author provides numerous concrete examples of situations in which these techniques were employed. This is an addition to the blueprint on how the technique should be applied. That being said, the guidelines leave room for interpretation which is crucial for generating new ideas. Overall a very interesting and unique read thats highly recommended for anyone looking to learn more about thinking in general and creative thinking in particular. It is highly applicable to any individual regardless of business area.
To make the most use out of this book, its advisable to read one or two sections at a time and try to apply the preached techniques to solve one’s every day problems.