This page contains Dan Keldsen’s half hour audio interview of Michael Michalko. It does not automatically begin playing when the page is loaded and displayed.

The following is a paraphrased version of Dan Keldsen’s introduction to his blog article on the website.

What do such creative geniuses as Walt Disney, Salvador Dali, Albert Einstein, and other famous minds have in common? They were once mere mortals, just like you and I! And if armed with the appropriate tools, you can create and evaluate hundreds more ideas than you currently do… perhaps at the level and quality and with the stubborn attitude of the creative minds of the world… and crack through the creativity barrier that may be preventing you from performing at genius innovator levels. Or at least that is what this interview with Michael Michalko, author of the famous ThinkerToys and Cracking Creativity books, and creator of the ThinkPak card deck, should give you some insight into.

The mind is a tricky beast – but tame it, retrain it, and you may be astonished at what you can accomplish! As you listen to this fantastic, fun interview, you will learn that Michael simply LIVES in a creative mode and is a wonderful teacher. I was lucky enough to pry him away from some vacation time to do this interview, and I believe the research, stories and anecdotes that he provides will be of true value to you if you are interested in improving your own creative problem solving abilities.

Listen! Think! Do! Question the rules and break the habits that are impeding your problem solving, idea generating skills!

Interview conducted by Dan Keldsen, Director of Market Intelligence at AIIM.

Read Dan Keldsen’s “Thinking! The Best Practice” article on

When you are ready to listen, click HERE to begin the interview’s playback.
(or Right Click and Save Link to Download)

Chuck Frey speaks out about Dan Keldsen’s interview of creativity expert Michael Michalko on Friday, August 03, 2007.
Dan Keldsen, host of the BizTechTalk podcast, recently interviewed one of my favorite creativity authors and experts, Michael Michalko. Michael is the author of ThinkerToys and Cracking Creativity, as well as the ThinkPak brainstorming card deck.

The interview starts out with some general background information, and initially lapses into some well-worn creativity platitudes (i.e., “Children start out in school as a question mark, and leave as a period.”), but then it get into some really interesting territory: a comparison of how nature creates variations (through mutation) and uses natural selection to determine what should survive. In the same way, our creative problem solving ought to seek to inject random thoughts and ideas into our problem solving process, to jolt us out of our rutted paths of thinking, force new connections and interpretations in our mind and generate fresh ideas.

Also, as in nature, a large quantity and variation of ideas is preferred. Michael points out that geniuses are unfailingly generative – they always tend to generate a large number of ideas (such as Thomas Edison and his 5,000 attempts to create a workable incandescent light bulb or Leonardo da Vinci’s numerous notebooks, filled with wild, futuristic ideas).

Another interesting topic that Dan and Michael touched on is how to be creative. Michael used the example of Salvador Dali, who was told by a mentor to “pretend” to be someone talented in order to break out of his shyness. He decided to act the part of an eccentric artist, and became one. Even if you don’t become world renowned like Dali, Michael says you’ll be farther ahead than if you did nothing. So if you want to be creative, you need to act the part. Immerse yourself in everything you can learn about creative problem solving and practice it in your daily life, and you’ll “become” creative.

Chuck Frey’s brainchild,, is a new Web site that was designed to help busy executives be more innovative in their businesses. In today’s fast-moving world, the need for fresh ideas and innovative solutions has never been greater.