The one-sentence summary
You can be more creative if you train yourself to think differently.
- Once you understand the creative process, you can train yourself to listen, look and read with a creative attitude. Techniques include:
- Using the stepping stones of analogy (use normal things to suggest new uses)
- Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange (analyse what you don’t know about something you know well)
- Widen your span of relevance (many inventions were conceived by those working in other fields)
- Be constantly curious
- Practise serendipity (the more you think, the more it appears you are in “the right place at the right time”)
- Making better use of your Depth Mind (trust your sub-conscious to sort things out and generate solutions once you have “briefed it”)
- Learn to tolerate ambiguity
- Suspend judgement
- No one should wait for inspiration –you have to make it happen
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- This rather brilliant short book was originally written in 1990, so it is not riddled with modern jargon or method. It just tells it straight.
- Chance favours the prepared mind. By keeping your eyes open, listening for ideas and keeping a notebook, you can capture stimuli as they occur.
- It is full of inspirational comments from artists, scientists and philosophers:
- “I invent nothing; I rediscover.” Rodin
- “Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again.” Goethe
- “Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Anon
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Nothing. Everyone should read it for life use as well as just creative thinking in business.