A Handbook of Creative-thinking Techniques

Michael Michalko - Ten Speed Press - 2006


2019 April 08 | by Arduino Mancini Creative thinking

In hindsight, every great idea seems obvious.

But how can you be the person who comes up with those ideas?

Is creativity a gift, or can it be learned, as in many other disciplines?

In this innovative book, creativity expert Michael Michalko reveals life-changing tools that will help you learn thinking techniques that you would attribute to geniuses and that you will be able to use for approaching problems in unconventional ways.

With hundreds of hints, tricks, tips, tales, and puzzles, Thinkertoys will open your mind to a world of innovative solutions to everyday and not-so-everyday problems: through fun and thought-provoking exercises, and you’ll learn how to create original ideas that will improve the quality of your personal life and your business performance.

This book will help you develop creative confidence and will teach you to generate ideas for new businesses, new products, new markets and new sales techniques; it outlines practical methods which can be used by individuals, or in meetings and brainstorming sessions — including cutting-edge information on left brain/right brain thought and overcoming mental blocks to creativity.

You must read it!


Table of Contents



1) Original Spin

2) Mind Pumping

3) Challenges

4) Thinkertoys

Part One: Linear Thinkertoys

Group A

5) False Faces (reversal)

6) Slice and Dice (attribute listing)

7) Cherry Split (fractionation)

8) Think Bubbles (mind mapping)

9) SCAMPER (questions)

Group B

10) Tug-of-War (force-field analysis)

11) Idea Box

12) Idea Grid (FCB grid)

13) Lotus Blossom (diagramming)

14) Phoenix (questions)

15) The great Transpacific Airline and Storm Door Company (matrix)

16) Future Fruit (future scenarios)

Group C

17) Brutethink (random stimulation)

18) Hall of Fame (forced connection)

19) Circle of Opportunity (forced connection)

20) Ideatoons (pattern language)

21) Clever Trevor (talk to a stranger)

Part Two: Intuitive Thinkertoys

22) Chilling Out (relaxation)

23) Blue Roses (intuition)

24) The Three B’s (incubation)

25) Rattlesnakes and Roses (analogies)

26) Stone Soup (fantasy questions)

27) True and False (Janusian thinking)

28) Dreamscape (dreams)

29) Da Vinci’s Technique (drawing)

30) Dali’s Technique (hypnogogic imagery)

31) Not Kansas (imagery)

32) The Shadow (psychosynthesis)

33) The Book of the Dead (hieroglyphics)

Part Three: Spirit of Koinonia

34) Spirit of Koinonia

34) Warming Up

35) Brainstorming

36) Orthodox Brainstorming

37) Raw Brainstorming

Part Four: Endtoys

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Murder Board

Chapter Thirty-Nine: You Are Not a Field of Grass

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:

  • Creative ability in business
  • Creative thinking.
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