From the Archives...

Creative Thinking Guidelines

[Gail and Matt Taylor, AND Workbook, original copyright 1981 Taylor Associates]

Have strong convictions and a flexible mind. See your idea with clarity and know that manifesting your idea will be a discovery process... a searching and waiting for the parts to make a whole.

Know yourself... goals, motives, roots, methods, capabilities. See your life as a continuum... the past, the future and the present as your moment of opportunity

Check alternatives. (zwicky box) Make sure you have good choices and that your are not reacting to limited alternatives.

Know the state of the art. What is the best that has been done with your problem? don't reinvent the wheel. Take it further.

Be objective about idea and self. Don't confuse self with idea. Don't get emotionally involved when others can't "see" your idea; remember, it is not a personal attack.

Think in terms of action. Ideas are cheap. Manifestation o the idea is value. Start where you are and move forward in concrete steps that match your style.

Work from the whole to the parts; then the parts to the whole. Move back and forth between your vision and the present state. Make sure you can go from one point to the other; if not, work with the holes. Don't assume that you can manifest the idea without the steps between.

Define and document goals, progress, etc. Keep a precise record of your process so that you can go back and pick up valuable information. Discovery is eclectic searching. Parts you have discarded may become valuable in later stages.

Learn how to re-set. Know that there will be disappointments in your process. Take them in stride so that they don't interfere with the overall pleasure of your process.

Use metaphor/analogy, i.e., synectics. Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Get inside the problem; feel it, taste it, smell it, see it, hear it... be the problem and the solution.

Make the courageous leap. Go for it. Learning is going where you haven't been before. You have to let go of your old assumptions before you can find new solutions.

Break restraints. Recognize that can'ts are imaginary fences. Discover ways over, around and through them. Do it in a manner that does not infringe on others.

Ask why... why... why... what if... why not... To change something or add to something, you must first understand it in the deepest sense.

Pay the price. TANSTAAFL [there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.] All solutions are trade ups. You must be willing to give to the process of discovery.

Integrate goals to life... live them. Wishes are not separate from what is going on around you. Be sensitive to your environment, to those around you, to where you are in your life process. Watch for personal and social windows. Model success and be ready to accept it when it comes.

Don't waste time. Discovery is eclectic and redundant. There are methods, however, which can lead you to your solutions in efficient manners. Document, be systematic, know where you are in the process of discovery.

Don't give up. Giving up means giving away all the time spent with the project. Go through the guidelines again and again. Know where you are in the process so that you can focus on getting unstuck. Bring discipline and rigor to your work.

Look for patterns. (black box theory). Problems are not isolated from the rest of the world; there are many interconnections. Find the threads, build a context; separate the conditions from the problem.

Ask how was this solved before, what is different now? All invention is an extension of someone else's previous invention.

Organize your environment. Have your tools in order; clear a working space that suits your needs. Arrange your time with others so that it does not interfere with your process.

Expose yourself to diverse stimuli, and know when to stop and walk on the beach, etc. Don't get so far into the problem that you can't get out of it. Let your intuition work with you. Be eclectic and focused in your work. After you have brought clarity to your process, let it go; other facets of your mind can take over.

Think AND. Invention is discovery. Discovery is connection, extension, bridging.

Learn many techniques. Fit them to the problem. Keep your suitcase full of tools. Use them appropriately.

Develop intuition. Learn to use all parts of your brain, separately and as a whole.

copyright 1997, MG Taylor Corporation. All rights reserved
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iteration 3.5