Communication · Life Learner

Circle of Oppertunity

I have to think that I have written about this book before, but the more I read it, the more I just LOVE the creative writing of Michael Michalko.  When I read his books, I’m inspired to not just be a creative-thinker, but to claim purpose for my processes and outcomes.

I’ve been reading pieces of Thinkertoys on-and-off for a while now.  Today, I read the chapter, “Circle of Opportunity”.  In this chapter, he presents the idea that sometimes, prolonged concentration can actually be what chokes creativity, original ideas and insights.  The objective for this type of creative thinking is to create a link between your association and your challenge.

Here’s how:

  1. Draw a circle and number it like a clock, one – twelve.
  2. Assign an “attribute” to each number.  (i.e. useful, durable, mobile, marketing, functional, blue, etc.)
  3. What are you needing a creative idea for, but can’t come up with a creative solution?  Write it down and keep it in mind.
  4. Next, roll a die and associate your idea with the word connected to that number on the circle.  Write down associations between your idea and the attribute.
  5. Repeat [step 4] with another die, another attribute and another set of associations.
  6. Combine your associations, and you may just have the concept, idea or product you have been wishing you could think of!

I love this ideas [and numerous others] in the Thinkertoys book.  Myself, I consider one of my biggest struggles, writing headlines for newsletters. It may seem like a little issue, but just one different word can create a whole new circle of opportunity for a client’s engagement, sales or reputation!

I encourage you to visit the website Creative Thinking.  There, you’ll find books and thought experiments that are perfect for personal or group use!  Also, do you have a favorite book that applies to personal thinking and professional growth?  Please share with me!  I’d love your recommendations.


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