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Think Better


Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking
by Tim Hurson

The Productive Thinking model is a framework that will help you think better, think more effectively, and think more powerfully. Many companies use it to generate fresh solutions for tough business problems, and many individuals rely on it to solve pressing personal problems.

In both cases, thinking better can change lives. This book is designed to teach you the productive thinking process. Its principles are straightforward: separate your thinking into creative thinking and critical thinking; stay with the question; strive for the “third third” by generating lots and lots of ideas; and look for unexpected connections.

The model consists of six interlocking steps:

Step 1: What’s Going On? Explore and truly understand the challenge.
Step 2: What’s Success? Envision the ideal outcome and establish success criteria.
Step 3: What’s the Question? Pinpoint the real problem or opportunity.
Step 4: Generate Answers List many possible solutions.
Step 5: Forge the Solution Decide which solution is best. Then make it better.
Step 6: Align Resources Create an action plan.

Tim Hurson starts by explaining how we all build inner barriers to effective thinking. He identifies our habits of thinking that severely limit our behavior, from “monkey mind” to “gator brain.” Then he demonstrates how to overcome these barriers.

More than anything, productive thinking is an attitude that will let you look at problems and convert them into opportunities. At the end of this disciplined brainstorming process, you’ll have a concrete action plan, complete with timelines and deadlines.

The book is filled with many of Hurson’s original brainstorming tools that will empower you to generate, organize, and process ideas. For example, you can identify your best ideas using the five C’s: Cull, Cluster, Combine, Clarify and Choose. And you can transform an embryonic idea into a robust solution with POWER, which stands for Positives, Objections, What else?, Enhancements and Remedies.

To create the future, you must first be able to imagine it. Productive thinking is a way to help you do that.