Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) is a great book for any entrepreneur looking to grow their business. This book became a necessity when I realized the need for more creativity in my business. Being someone who is always looking to grow and learn, I found this book particularly helpful. The book reveals creative-thinking techniques for approaching and solving problems in unconventional and thought-provoking ways. In addition, it also teaches you to create original ideas to improve both your life and business. I was quite impressed at how useful the exercises in the book proved to be, and I plan on using some of the concepts in the future.
The “Thinkertoys” are the actual techniques described in the book that help you to become an active, creative thinker. The book discusses two types of Thinkertoys: linear and intuitive.
Linear Thinkertoys structure existing information and intuitive Thinkertoys generate new information using insight, imagination and intuition. They both are needed however some are more useful to individuals depending on their style of thinking. I found the intuitive Thinkertoys to be more useful as structuring my ideas was never a problem; however, I needed to learn how to better generate new ideas.
The book discusses how important it is to break down a problem into parts, then find a solution for parts of the problem, the idea being you will then find a solution to the whole problem. The book emphasizes looking at situations from different perspectives, and to always keep striving for more ideas. It pushes you to discover goals and solutions that you didn’t even realize you wanted or could achieve. These techniques can allow you to take information already known to you and apply it in ways that will be ingenious. It can literally help to expand your mind and grow your business with innovative ideas.
Here’s a great quote from the book:
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. If you act like an idea person, you will become one. Just do a little bit at a time and get started. Sometimes assumptions seem so basic that we never think to challenge them. Non-experts do not have enough expertise to draw borders.”
Some of the best takeaways from the book:
1. Think Up New Ideas Daily
Set yourself a goal of 10 new ideas for your business daily. Having a quota will force you to actively generate ideas and alternatives rather than waiting for them to occur to you.
2. Don’t fall into habits
As mentioned in “The Power Of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, don’t fall into habits. Take inventory of all your habits and see which ones serve you well and which don’t then be sure to remove the bad ones.
3. Nourish Your Mind
Creative thinkers read to feed their minds new information and ideas. Always read and always learn.
4. Switch Up Your Environment
If you’re feeling stagnant get outside, get moving, work from a coffee shop, take a vacation or go for a hike. Do something to change your environment, for it will help to expand your mind and let creativity flow.
5. Keep an idea log
Keep a book with you and whenever you have an idea write it down. Sometimes the best ideas come in the middle of the night , have the book handy and ready to go!
Overall this book was useful in helping me to think of creative ways to grow my business. It can be purchased on amazon here : Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)
Until next time…
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