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Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius [Hardcover]

Michael Michalko
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 1998
In this trailblazing book, internationally renowned business creativity expert Michael Michalko shows how creative people think—and how to put their secrets to work for you. To create this book, Michalko researched and analyzed hundreds of history's greatest thinkers—from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso—and then brought their techniques into the modern home and workplace. The follow-up to the popular THINKERTOYS, which sold over 80,000 copies.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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"Creative-thinking expert Michael Michalko offers a series of idea-inspiring resources and techniques. . . . CRACKING CREATIVITY is peppered with anecdotes and exercises to help push you to your creative limit." — How“Sometimes the craziest ideas are the most inspired. . . . "You don't have to score 1600 on the SATs or build your own computer to approach your craft with genius. . . .[this] book is filled with exercises that illustrate the benefits of looking at problems from different angles." — TheOrlando Sentinel"CRACKING CREATIVITY unveils the secrets of creative genius and brings life-changing creative techniques into everyone's reach. By comparing the thinking strategies of over 100 of history's most creative minds, the book shows readers how to approach problems with new vision and discover a world of innovative solutions to everyday challenges."—New Equipment Digest "CRACKING CREATIVITY delivers an arsenal of powerful creative thinking tools that can be used to tackle virtually any type of technical problem and create new ideas. The closest thing we have to a tactical instruction manual for thinking like a genius." —American Creativity Association

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

MICHAEL MICHALKO is a leading creativity expert who specializes in leading creative thinking workshops, seminars on fostering creativity, and think tanks. His clients range from Fortune 500 corporations such as DuPont, Xerox, Kellogg's, General Electric, Kodak, Microsoft, Exxon, General Motors, Ford, AT&T, WalMart, and Hallmark to governmental agencies. As an officer in the U.S. Army, Michalko organized a team of NATO specialists and international academics in Frankfurt, Germany, to research, collect, and categorize all known inventive thinking methods. After leaving military service, he was contracted by the CIA to facilitate think tanks and brainstorming sessions. Michalko currently works with clients worldwide.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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How do geniuses come up with ideas? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The paradox of "creativity experts" July 3 2001
I'm glad people like Michalko are out there studying creativity and trying to organize their findings in books of this sort. But I am struck by a very odd thing: If these guys have figured out how creative people do their thing, why haven't they figured out how to become creative themselves?
Instead, these "creativity experts" strike me as being like someone who would write a sex advice book without having much sexual experience himself. I would be more impressed by one of these guys if he had turned himself around from lesser to greater creativity through the use of the techniques he describes, as evidenced through patents for commerically successful inventions, or something like that. The whole point of offering self-help advice is that one can demonstrate that he knows what he is talking about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The age of creativity and thinking Feb. 13 2003
Look, when I was growing up one of my math teachers gave a diagnosis to each student. She said "you are an A+ student, you are a C+ student and you are a B- student. You will be that way all your life". Well the thinking then is that we were were genetically patterened to think at certain levels and they could not be expected to change. I actually believed my teacher for many years after that and when I only received B grades I did not expect better. Then comes along reseachers like Michalko who show that being creative is not genetic but a learned skill in itself that everyone may apply to his work and life. "Cracking Creativity" was one of the books I read before I published my own books on learning strategies and being creative. I also use the techniques in the book to train children with learning disabilities like ADHD and dyslexia to empower them to compensate for their problems by actually thinking better. Thanks
The Author of BEING IN CONTROL- Natural Techniques For Increasing Your Potential And Creativity For Success In School. and Creative Painting For The Young Artist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally found the book July 17 2004
By Annie
I've been looking for years for the right book that would provide practical advice that is historically founded. This is it. Michael provides the techniques with the histories of the techniques as to how geniuses have profited from them throughout history. This is, without question, the best book on creative thinking that I have ever read. Bar none.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was taken aback. Dec 18 2001
A 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.
Strategy Six: Looking At The Other Side, is an outstanding section in which paradoxes are shown and analyzed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is all you need for the subject! April 13 2000
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 facinating stories, mind-stretching exercises, inspirating 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 ENCYCLOPAEDIA of creative thinking (TOOLS) while Cracking Creativity will definitely give you the MAGIC RECIPE (IDEA GENERATING PROCESS), which gaurantees creative output every time.
Get yourself a copy, I am sure you will find it ENTERTAINING and practical. I am looking forward to Michalko's third book on the subject. I am sure it will be another great hit!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful
I found out plenty of helpful creativity tips and new ways for solving problems (including personal ones). Read more
Published 1 month ago by marialinda
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible follow-up to a bad book
This is what happens when someone who doesn't know what he is talking about keeps on talking. Buy a used copy so you won't feel ripped off.
Published on July 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Paradigm
Michael Michalko' companion volume to 'Thinkertoys' is highly recommended. The author hosts a guided tour through strategies and tactics designed to challenge, and ultimately... Read more
Published on April 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on creative thinking
I have read many books on creativity and creative thinking techniques. "Cracking Creativity"is not only the best book on creative thinking I have ever read it also has research... Read more
Published on March 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the book
I love this book. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference it has made in my life. I now feel alive and whole for the first time in years.
Published on Feb. 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book has taught me how to focus on information in a different way and how to use different ways to interpret what I'm focusing on. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!!
This is the book that I've searched for my whole teaching career. As a teacher of creative thinking to graduate business students I find this book to be priceless. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!
One of the most stimulating books that I have read. The analogies are so apt. Michael Michalko has revealed a process about creativity that enables anyone to become creative,... Read more
Published on April 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted
This is the book about creativity that changed by beliefs and attitudes about genius and creativity. It has changed the way I think profoundly. Read more
Published on March 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn to Think Like a Genius!
Michalko's premise is that by studying the thinking of geniuses we can learn secrets of creative thinking. His idea works well. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2001 by Karen Oberst
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