Achieve Excellence with Lessons from Stoicism, featuring Massimo Pigliucci

Internationally acclaimed creativity expert Michael Michalko joins me today to discuss his creative thinking techniques that have inspired business thinkers around the world to create the innovative ideas and creative strategies they need to achieve unimaginable success in today’s changing business environment of complexity and uncertainty. He says change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.

If you always think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you always got. The same old, same old ideas over and over again. The future belongs to those thinkers who embrace change, break new ground, forge new paths, and transform the way they think. Discover how to look at the same information as everyone else and see something different by using the creative thinking techniques and strategies that creative geniuses have used throughout history.

Notable items from our conversation were:

  • The importance of generating 10 New Ideas Every Day
  • Why Pattern Recognition is the enemy of creative thought
  • Ants and Big Data
  • Burdock and Velcro
  • How to Know Less and See More
  • Quantum Physics and Business Creativity
  • Using Combinatory Play to Solve an IT Security Problem
  • Our perception depends on our assumptions
  • We see no more than we expect to see!
  • Adversity is necessary for growth
  • You become what you pretend to be.
  • The power of ‘meaning making’ is that we ‘make’ what events ‘mean’ in our life.
  • Our Words and the way we use them matter

There are two books that have been extraordinary learning opportunities for me. They have been the type of books that I could not put down. They are THINKERTOYS A HANDBOOK OF CREATIVE THINKING TECHNIQUES and CREATIVE THINKERING: PUTTING YOUR IMAGINATION TO WORK.

Creative Thinkering by Michael MichalkoThinkerToys by Michael MichalkoMichael Michalko

Learning Opportunities Include

  • Use an Idea Quota @28:20 put your ideas in a bucket….then
  • Use SCAMPER technique
  • How to know less and see more!
  • Pattern recognition vs creativity – @ 20:30 – Understand the limits of pattern recognition
  • Is pattern recognition the enemy of creative thought?
  • Can experts be creative or do they need an ingrained belief validated and confirmed?
  • Quantum physics and creativity
  • Review the observer and observed relationship with creative thought
  • What is Conceptual Blending @ 6:00
  • How to use Combinatory Play to solve problems – connecting dissimilar concepts
  • How to examine the ‘essence’ of a problem? And looking for correlates from other worlds like nature.
  • Ants and Big Data @16:00 – How nature and technology combined
  • Burdock and the invention of Velcro – same nature and innovation
  • Innovative employee suggestion system and New York Stock Exchange
  • The Power of Thinking Patterns
  • Using an Idea Log Notebook as springboard for new ideas. Write every idea in writing.
  • Sleep on it – Let your subconscious combine and recombine ideas for unusual relationships and patterns.
  • @ 30:00 Get inside the problem with your imagination. This helps look at it from multiple perspectives. How would another person (different profession deal with the problem)
  • 10 new ideas per day – need great quality to get good answers
  • Death-bed decision making – Pretend you are 40 years in the future and are about to die. How does your decision look from this perspective?

Conceptual Blending and Combinatory Play in creative thinking@ 6:00

  • Leonardo DaVinci used the concept of ‘connecting the unconnected’. You can’t think about two topics simultaneously without a connection being made.

Example of Pattern Recognition

Can you read this paragraph? All we need is the first and last letters to make sense of this. It is amazing that this mostly scrambled paragraph can be read and understood fast!

Are You Seeing

Are you seeing or is your brain deciding what you should see?
Read the following paragraph:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabridge Uinvervtisy, it doesn’t mttaer in what order the litteers in a word are, the olny iprmoetnt thing is that the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is besauae ocne we laren how to raed we bgien to aargnre the lteerts in our mind to see what we epxcet to see.

Word Patterns

Read aloud the following colors as fast as you can:

Now quickly read aloud the colors of the following words… not the words themselves but the colors in which the words are shown:

Difficult isn’t it? No matter how hard you concentrate, no matter how hard you focus, you will find that it is almost impossible to read the colors aloud without becoming confused. The word patterns have become so strong in your brain that they are activated automatically whether you want them to be or not. This is why if you always think the way you always thought, you’ll always get what you always got.

Michael can be found here


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About Bill Murphy 

Bill Murphy is a world-renowned IT Security Expert dedicated to your success as an IT business leader. 

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