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The Creative Thinker's Toolkit

Narrated by: Gerard Puccio
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

According to the latest scientific research, anyone can be creative. You just have to know how to think creatively, which involves taking a more imaginative approach to the challenges we all face. Learn how to wield the same research-based tools that today's creative people use and tap into your inner creative thinker with Professor Puccio's engaging 24-lecture series that takes you step-by-step through the creative-thinking process.

You'll get a solid introduction to the four major stages of creative problem solving, one of the most effective methods used in creativity training around the world. Just like today's creative geniuses, you'll learn how to approach professional and personal challenges by clarifying your obstacles, ideating potential solutions, developing the ones that are workable, and implementing them in the real world.

You'll also learn how to wield the tools of the creative trade with the aid of simple exercises, in-studio demonstrations, hypothetical scenarios, and more. These powerful tools include everything from tapping into the power of brainwriting (an alternative take on brainstorming) to the effective use of How-How diagrams (which help you develop concrete action steps).

Whether you want to overcome writer's block, solve a complex business problem, or figure out the best way to resolve a tense argument, this series will give you everything you need so that when other people are dodging challenges, you're uncovering the hidden opportunities they'll have missed.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • D. Wri
  • 03-02-15

Amazing Read.

Would you listen to The Creative Thinker's Toolkit again? Why?

Yes i would. There was a lot of good material covered in making creativity a strategic habit and not just something you stumble upon in this book, so much that i feel it would be beneficial to let the concepts set in then revisit.

What did you like best about this story?

The repetition and explanation. To most this is the thing they dislike the most but for me the repetition seems to drive home the concepts and their importance in the process. The examples giving with repetition i feel is more for the subconscious mind and only aids in helping the reader get the most out of the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

His explanation of the fundamentals strengths of creative people i found most memorable. Everyone is strong in one of these it seems and he points out that you should use the tools to aid you in the areas your not strong in to compliment the strength.

What did you learn from The Creative Thinker's Toolkit that you would use in your daily life?

I've been reading Creativity books for a while and i would say i learned that you can develop your creativity with enough effort. Like most books, they point out that with enough work you can be good at anything. Well this books aids the business minded individuals with tools to use in developing techniques to become more creative. I love how the Professors primary focus is to keep you thinking Laterally instead of vertically which is something i would use in my daily life.

Any additional comments?

It's a good book. I can see why most would disapprove of the format of the lectures and even the delivery of examples. Only thing i can say in addition is that remember this is just one of the many approaches to creativity. I wouldn't discount it because of the presentation of the content but the quality of the content in relationship to your goals.

39 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer M
  • 28-09-14

Really enjoyed it!

Where does The Creative Thinker's Toolkit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my top 25 and I've listened to hundreds.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the approach, structure, and content of this series of lectures and I've continued to think about and apply many of the lectures well after I've listened. Several times I stopped and took notes while listening. There were some odd pauses in the narration, but that's OK because the content was so great!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Christina Martin
  • 29-05-18

Focused on Creative Problem Solving

I will start by saying my primary creative activities are in visual art. In that sense, the book wasn't as helpful as I had hoped; however, it had a lot of fresh insights for anyone, whether in a creative role or not. The focus was definitely on the workplace, but the insights and skills he offered could be useful for anyone. Some of the skills he explained (how do do them, not just what to do) included using various kinds of logic, brain storming, self questioning, and letting go of blocks.

One of the highlights for me was the explanation of different kinds of creativity. There are creators and there are fixers. A creator might come up with a whole new business project idea, for example, while a fixer might find a newer and more efficient way of doing something already being done. (I don't remember what language he used to describe this, but this is the concept he explained.) I shared a lot of this with my husband as I listened, and slowly he realized that even though he doesn't consider himself creative, he is. He's the fixer type.

Everything in the book was very well explained, and the reader/speaker did an excellent job of drawing in people with example situations to work on before moving on. The only thing that, bothered me was the sole focus on the workplace. While most of the skills he teaches are useful in other areas, I wish that there had been a broader application of examples and situations presented.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 19-02-17

Everyone in the world should listen to this

I learn something from every lecture. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I gave this five stars because it is one of the best audio books I have had the pleasure of listening to you and I have tons of really good audiobooks. This is absolutely a must have

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Howard_a
  • 04-07-17

One of the best courses from TGC

This is a great listen, There are lots of ideas to increase your creativity. Very actionable. This will help anyone who thinks that can't be creative. Very good for both individuals and groups. Love it! #Inspiring #SelfDevelopment #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 02-03-14

Some fascinating stories but a tad repetitive?

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Gerard Puccio?

The Great Courses is a pretty neat series, however the clapping at the start and end of every chapter drives me nuts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None in particular as it was a non-fiction rather than story book.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked quite a few of the stories told in the audio book, he uses examples well and I think overall the chapters with examples and stories drew me in a lot more. They'd all be my favourite.

Was The Creative Thinker's Toolkit worth the listening time?

I felt it did drag on a bit but I did gain some useful insights into directing my creativity better.

Any additional comments?

Gotta say, Professor Gerard Puccio's voice sounded like I was listening to Vince Vaughn mixed with a bit of Barack Obama teach me about creativity :P

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-07-15

Great information, highly recommend

Great course, great material, well-researched, just listen to it on 1.5 speed to keep your sanity since the soaker pauses frequently during times that don't require it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Chad H
  • 25-08-17

Great for Anyone

This lecture series applies to any work. Creative thinking is essential in both professional and personal lives and this book presents many practices that can be extremely helpful. Best great course I have listened to this far. May come back to this one. PDF available too

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Baldwin, CA
  • 22-01-17

Good tips

There are several helpful exercises, and this is definately a course that will be revisited.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric Loden
  • 02-12-16

I'm going to have to listen to this again

This title was filled with many great exercises and ideas it definitely got my creative juices flowing I'm going to have to listen to it again and again and make sure I get all the content

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Simonk
  • 13-07-17

Excellent

The book itself is a real idea generator. Worth 6 stars if I could give it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Claudiu Muntean
  • 29-10-18

Best spent 12 hours ever

If there is any creative aspect to your personal or professional life this is the best 12 hours you will ever spend. It taught me new things and it helped me understand things that I was already doing. I enjoyed the examples, the structure, the pace and the additional resources. I recommend It to anyone 100%.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom STO
  • 23-08-18

Another great TTC Course

I've completed a number of TTC courses now. They're all good, but for me, some are great. This is one of the great ones. I think I'm generally creative, but this taught me some new tools and good ideas of ways to be creative in a more methodical way. There were plenty of examples to illustrate the point, and only once or twice did I need to refer to the PDF companion to understand what the professor was talking about. My only criticisms were that the parts on evaluation/implementation were disappointing. I'm someone who struggles to make decisions and gets overloaded, and I wasn't satisfied with the evaluation tools we were given here (they seemed to be: list the criteria, prioritise the criteria, compare your solutions against them, evaluate, and there you go: make your decision). All in all, another fantastic listen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Srjane
  • 04-11-18

Helpful in every area of your life

I cannot praise this course enough. There are exercises, examples, Philosophy and tools, all of which can be picked up and used in various situations. I only wish I could remember them all and I will be keeping this book open for using in future. One of the best courses I have encountered. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Demetri
  • 06-02-17

Great Course - very wide range of applications

This is a fantastic course. Very good advice which applies across all aspects of life. Strongly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Oz
  • 07-11-19

These lectures are for everyone!

If you think that you are not a 'creative' person because you cannot draw or write well, if you think there are people born to create and those who are not, then listen to these lectures and think again. If you ARE an artist, musician, writer, or consider yourself creative in any other ways, then listen to these lectures and grow! These lectures are for everyone, and follow the belief that EVERYONE can be creative, as long as you practice creativity. It will not teach you have to have those skills such as an artist or musician will have, but it will help you unlock your thinking in more of a creative way. I have found these lectures truly fascinating and insightful. I have always considered myself creative - an animator by trade - but found that animating alone hasn't satisfied my creative itch. Through these lectures, I have begun to explore the habits of creative thinkers, changing my own concepts and mindsets in order to develop in this way. The work is not yet completed, however, and I know that over the next few years I will be listening to this series of lectures again and again, slowly gaining further insights as I do so.

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  • Sheila B
  • 29-07-19

love it

loved this book, gave a new perspective to creativity. will be listening again to find more useful tips.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-01-17

Wonder Audiobook

Second time listening, actually studied the material with notes, it's a great course filled with wonderful creative techniques.

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  • Santiago
  • 14-12-18

Shallow techniques

This audiobook is a step by step guide to come up with ideas WITHOUT actually fostering your creativity all that much.

Well put together and organized like most of the Great Courses content, however the approach to creativity recommended seemed shallow and sterile.

It lacked the subtlety of the muse, of mindful fearlessness, of letting go, of the "sacred fountain of creation" inside us... I'm no mystic, but this is the best I can express creativity. I had hoped this book would express it better!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith Cresswell
  • 15-08-15

Monotonous reading and American pron... oh dear

What did you like best about The Creative Thinker's Toolkit? What did you like least?

I found the Prof's voice very samey ( if there is such a word.. ) The 'Bawston' accent maybe.. and also the pronunciation of creative as 'crative'.. I will persevere as I'm sure there is loads of great content.

2 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Engineer
  • 17-06-19

interesting information but quite business focused

Strong start and a lot of useful information, but breaking for being individual centric to business centric made for a few dull chapters.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-17

outstanding experience

exciting, innovative information that will inspire creativity in those prepared to embrace the process .