Cracking Creativity Reader Reviews
THE SECRETS OF CREATIVE GENIUS
Reader Reviews from Amazon and Barnes & Noble
I WAS TAKEN ABACK
The book for inventors, craftsmen, artisans, scientists, businesses, teachers, and most of all us students. Michael Michalko’s book made many areas fall into place for me, not to mention assisting my individual creative landscape, exercising my field of study, and mobilizing my creative engine.
Over the past year, I have been heavily engaged in memory improvement. Busy in such areas as loci mnemonics, peg systems, hypnosis, and many other regions. Cracking Creativity showed how rigid my thinking had become.
For example, pg.42 there is an experiment where students were separated into two groups. The groups were asked to read a passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. One group was asked to simply learn the passage and the other group were asked to read from “multiple perspectives,” example: an author’s perspective, another person perspective, also including their own perspective. Which group learned more information? Of course, the group that used multiple perspectives outperformed the other group. Furthermore Michael elaborates on this process and places many ideas on the table. He called this subchapter “Da Vinci’s Multiple Perspectives,” further along the chapter he elaborates “Take on a Different Role,” then “Imagine You Are the Problem” and many more areas further along that blend to create a vast pool of creative thinking. I found this particular area very useful. Michael does not simply show problems in creativity without a creative plan-of-action for facilitation. He brings creative solutions to mind and elaborates on them in detail. He gives many examples for looking at a problem or solution, in many different perspectives.
More importantly this book showed MY OWN SELF how to think differently, analyze problems, create solutions, and even create more problems for which my mind now can easily produce solutions.
– J. Reich
If you type in the word CREATIVITY in any search engine, you are likely to get a REALLY LONG list of relevant titles and information. How can you tell which title is better? For me the best title would be the one that prompts you to THINK and come up with something ACTIONABLE.
Packed with fascinating stories, mind-stretching exercises, inspiring quotes, funny visuals, step-by-step guidelines and checklists, Michalko has successfully written two CLASSICS on the subject of Creativity. The two books give you ALL the powerful tools and techniques you need to generate creative ideas in split second. The tools are so useful that I have copies of the books, both at home and in my office. I consider Thinkertoys as the ENCYCLOPEDIA of creative thinking (TOOLS) while Cracking Creativity will definitely give you the MAGIC RECIPE (IDEA GENERATING PROCESS), which guarantees creative output every time.
– Kelvin Y C Fung
CREATIVE THINKING STRATEGIES
According to Michalko, what are the best strategies for “cracking” the barriers to human creativity?
- Knowing how to see
- Making a thought visible
- Thinking fluently
- Making novel combinations
- Connecting the unconnected
- Looking at the other side
- Looking in other worlds
- Finding what you are not looking for
- Awakening the collaborative spirit
The phrases “can activate” and “can enable” correctly suggest potentiality. However, if you are already convinced that you cannot think more creatively, you won’t. Henry Ford once observed that those who think they can and those who think they can’t are both right.
Cracking Creativity will help you to develop the skills needed to release from within all manner of ideas, perspectives, and insights which (until now) have been suppressed. When we face an especially complicated problem or especially difficult question, he suggests that we ask “What are the alternatives and options? How should each be evaluated? Where are there possible connections? Perhaps synergies?” After we think outside the box we come up with really cool stuff.
– Robert Morris
ONE OF BEST BOOKS ON CREATIVITY
When a friend gave me a copy of Michalko’s THINKERTOYS, now considered the bible of the strategy and tactics of creative thinking, I was in awe of how Michalko took me on a journey that had concrete approaches, methods and pragmatic examples of real solutions. I couldn’t imagine what he could do for an encore. I don’t have to wonder anymore because this latest work exceeds any expectations I would have guessed. Written with the clarity and insightfulness that have become his trademark, Michalko takes us on another joyful journey of thinking and creativity, using the masters of thinking skills as our guides. Being a writer of puzzle books, I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and perspectives for creating interesting and challenging puzzles . . . I don’t have to go far to find the tools I need. Mr. Michalko takes pretty good care of me. Thank you once again, sir, for a most pleasurable ride.( P.S. It suddenly dawned on me that Michalko’s books are not only mandatory for businesses, but for you educators, what a wonderful addition his books would make in our nation’s school systems.)
– Terry H. Stickles
FIRST LEARN AND THEN UNLEARN AND LEARN AGAIN
This is something that is tickling my mind, after reading first few chapters of this book, I closed it, stood up, walked around my living room with my hands folded back. I looked outside the window and saw few kids playing in the park and was forced to think something.
We as kids first made to learn lots of new things and are forced to treat those things as basic and important which does not turn out to be true in the long run (refer to Michael’s blog about Thomas Edison’s Greatest Blessings). Later on we discover how things are different in life than the way we know them.
After reading the book Thinkertoys and Creative Thinking, I feel like its not that I have to learn these new concepts straight but there is an entire process involved of first of all unlearning most of the stuffs from past and then learning these new concepts. Also, I feel that we all do feel at times that we might naturally have discovered these methodologies ourselves but sat back as these were not the rules of the books.
And when I say that I have to look at the kids I wonder what they are being taught in their schools, only to find one day that they have to unlearn some of the concepts on which they are spending or rather wasting their time.
Do read Cracking Creativity, as mentioned earlier it makes you smile after every chapter as you discover immense possibilities of what all can be achieved in your day to day life.
– Chris Tucker
PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES TO BOOST CREATIVITY
Author Michael Michalko delivers his best performance to date in this book. The book is filled with information on, and techniques for using, our creative processes. Many of the techniques are easy to learn, requiring only a little bit of practice to get used to them. Most of the book centers around: helping an individual generate many possible ideas about something, which will be critically evaluated at a later time; visualizing the problem and potential solutions; seeing from another’s perspective, even the problem’s in one case (quite effective sometimes); collaboration and creativity. This book already helped me deliver a 5 star essay on a very controversial subject. I followed its advice, producing as many ideas as possible in a short time, without rejecting any at first. Also, visualizing the data, as recommended, formed the basis for my later outline, which was complete enough that a rough draft was no work at all. So, for me, buying this book paid off already. I think anyone buying this will read it for a few minutes and then recognize they have a winner in their hands.
– Nicholas Parimore
ONE OF THE BEST NEW BOOKS ON CREATIVITY
Even though the literature on creativity is quite large, Michael Michalko has succeeded in writing yet another book with a difference. “Cracking Creativity” is absorbingly interesting and fun at the same time because of all the stories he gives of famous creative thinkers, and how they went about thinking and creating. This is one of the most interesting and useful books in the field. I am very practiced in using creative thinking to solve real problems, and I found many interesting stories and approaches which I look forward to using. Charles Prather, Ph.D. Former Manager of The Dupont Center for creativity & Innovation.
– Charles Prather
I’m career military intelligence. Michalko is a legend in intelligence, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out he’s written books about creative thinking.. I read “Thinkertoys,” as soon as I discovered he wrote the book, and have just finished “Cracking Creativity.” Both books are remarkable.
– Jay Carillo
What an amazing book! Like a modern day Prometheus, Michalko has brought the concept of genius down from the mountain-top and offers its secrets in Cracking Creativity. An incredible insight to the thought process of historys geniuses. Michalko has opened the door and the windows on genius and brings the concept to the reader with practical thinking techniques. This book is the ‘on’ switch for the proverbial idea light bulb!
A CEREBAL ORGASM
What common characteristics do most geniuses have? The ability to combine things without prejudices based on previous experiments or laws of a field assumed to be true. Different combinations promote and provoke our minds, leading us to see what no one else is able to. After reading this book, the whole process of learning we acquired as children is turned upside down. Mapping the mind is not a difficult process, if one takes the time to break everything down into individual components and make as many combinations possible with each of these pieces. It may not turn you into a genius but it will help you to diagnose problems and find creative solutions that were always there but never automatically occurred in the thinking process.
– M. Bennett
If there is a single book out there out there for anyone looking for techniques on how to get original ides, this is it. This book provides thorough and comprehensive advice and techniques that is both practical and relevant. I can’t begin to tell you how this book has expanded my thinking. The ideas I’ve come up using these techniques are incredible, and, there is no way, I could have come up with them using my usual way of thinking. I’ve become my company’s creativity guru as a result of this book.
– Neal Booker
I facilitate creative thinking courses for industry and universities. This is one of the best books in the field and I use it as my core book. Another book I consult is his classic “Thinkertoys.” My courses based on his book teach people how to become more creative in their business and personal lives. They are eminently successful and I’m usually signed to long-term deals after one or two sessions. “Excellent” is the only description this book needs.
– Sarah “Creative Thinker”
PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES TO BOOST CREATIVITY
Author Michael Michalko delivers his best performance to date in this book. The book is filled with information on, and techniques for using, our creative processes. Many of the techniques are easy to learn, requiring only a little bit of practice to get used to them. Most of the book centers around: helping an individual generate many possible ideas about something, which will be critically evaluated at a later time; visualizing the problem and potential solutions; seeing from another’s perspective, even the problems in one case (quite effective sometimes); collaboration and creativity. This book already helped me deliver a 5 star essay on a very controversial subject. I followed its advice, producing as many ideas as possible in a short time, without rejecting any at first. Also, visualizing the data, as recommended, formed the basis for my later outline, which was complete enough that a rough draft was no work at all. So, for me, buying this book paid off already. I think anyone buying this will read it for a few minutes and then recognize they have a winner in their hands.
– Nicholas Parimoreon
GREAT CREATIVITY BOOK
I’m not much for text book type reading, but this book is great. easy to read and gets right to the point. Part II in my book has written notes on almost every page from the great ideas I got. Anyone wanting to push some more creativity into their lives will like this book.
– Byron Walker
I’ve heard about this book some time ago as very useful especially for people involved in running creative workshops, guiding groups and making research. I was rather skeptical, because “creativity” seemed to me one of the very few things which can’t be taught. After finishing “Cracking Creativity” I knew, I had been wrong. This book gives exactly what it promises – many, many ways to improving your creativity and opening your mind. In fact on every single page you can find one, two or three inspiring ideas and techniques prepared to implementation (most of them have a kind of “how to” lists). I have noted, that on almost every page I was thinking “wow, this idea is brilliant, I have to use it”. I strongly recommend this book!
– Marcin Pjotrowski
This book is an outstanding read and opens your mind to a ton of creative processes to spur creativity. It should be required reading for all teachers, engineers, marketing people–anybody that needs to understand creativity!
– Steven Sccheuberon
A BOOK FOR LIFE-LONG CREATIVITY
If every person in the world had a copy of this book, the world will be a much better place. Sounds cliche, but that’s the best way to put it.
Whether you’re an aspiring scientist waiting to nail that revolutionary invention, a business tycoon contemplating about a new product or an ordinary person looking for more creative ways to do things in the house – this book is for you. It allows you to unlock the hidden human potential for novel ideas.
A lot of things make this an excellent read – it starts by kicking each chapter off with teasers that try to determine how creatively you would respond to a given scenario. Most of the time, you will fail to come up with a good idea. He then proceeds to break down each concept by introducing you to key principles and real-life examples. If you analyze them thoroughly, the concepts presented in the book seem to boil down to timeless proverbs. However, what makes this book so special is in the way it goes on to give you very concise and detailed instructions on how to implement the principles. These are the things that will extract out your creative juices.
I TOLD YOU SO
This book woke me up from my indifference toward creative thinking. My colleague at work recommended the book, so I bought it and read it expecting nothing much. I assumed creativity was something you were or were not. I can’t believe how creative I’ve become since reading this book. This book has literally changed the way I the way I think and the way I look at the world. When I told my colleague about how I’ve changed, all he said was “I told you so.”
– Ernie Don
PAVES THE WAY
Michael Michalko is an inspiration for others like myself who research and write about creative practices and processes (“IdeaSpotting: How to find your next great idea,” and “Zing! Five steps and 101 tips for creativity on command”). As demonstrated in “Cracking Creativity,” Micalko’s advice is practical, to-the-point and entertaining. He’s the real deal.
– Sam Harrison
Michael Michalko is widely credited with having infused the CIA and the corporate communities with the need for creative thinking in everything they do. Before him intellectuals who researched creative thinking wrote arcane articles in journals and gave the occasional seminar or taught the odd university course. Michael changed all that with his creative thinking techniques and strategies in his seminars and books. Instead of just describing the creative thinking strategies and techniques creative geniuses have used throughout history, his books show how to use the same strategies and techniques to become more creative in our business and personal lives. If you want to know how to create ideas and haven’t read Michalko’s books, you are in for something special when you do.
– Slo Jo