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