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Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  502 ratings  ·  36 reviews
There are thousands of books about thinking. But there are very few books that provide clear how-to information that can actually help you think better.

Think Better is about Productive Thinking -- why it's important, how it works, and how to use it at work, at home, and at play. Productive Thinking is a game changer -- a practical, easy-to-learn, repeatable process that he
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published September 26th 2007)
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Richard Gombert
Aug 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, books24x7, audio
Pretty bad. Lots of mumbo jumbo, pseudo science and wishful thinking. Nothing of much of value, more pseudo processes to give the illusion of control and planning.
There were a few good observations scattered about.
The most insightful one: "Training, as practiced in much of corporate America, is an astonishing waste of resources."
Mr. Hurson goes on to explain that a hour, or a day training on a new process, a new skill, etc. With out the ability to use such knowledge once back in the office is MB
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hurson explains that the premise of this book "is that success in our business, professional, and personal lives is less a matter of what we know than of how we think. If we can develop the thinking skills to generate more options and then evaluate those options more effectively, we can all live richer, fuller lives - and so can the people around us." The focus of the this book is on the thinkx Productive Thinking Model (PTM), developed by Hurson and his colleagues after rigorously evaluating a ...more
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Practical tool for improving creativity

Tim Hurson begins with a simple premise: Anyone can learn to “think better” – in other words, more creatively and productively. He says that by applying his methods, anyone can reliably come up with fresh ideas and solutions. If you’ve dipped into the fields of creativity, innovation or brainstorming before, you may find yourself nodding along, since his initial ideas are not surprising. Similarly, some of the techniques Hurson offers and the examples he sh
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book version. It offers good insight into techniques to produce valuable and innovative ideas and solutions. In general I found it good to help bringing us out of the box and stop going with the "same old, same old" type of thinking. But as any book of this kind, it is filled with a considerable amount of self-help-like filler and motivational stories. Some of the cases are quite interesting and fun to try to find a solution, though. For example, the story about a telecom ...more
Ko Matsuo
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book about active thinking. My takeaways:

1. Only by correctly framing problems do we unleash the power to find true solutions. We must fight the temptation to chase after the obvious, ie., no money, time or resources.
2. Early ideas aren't really ideas but regurgitations of patterns that we already have. If we stop at the first 10 ideas, we haven't gotten past the regurgitation.
3. The danger of plans is that they give us an illusion of control. The power of plans is that they force us to be
Bibhu Ashish
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great book which gives a great framework to understand the complex problems and find a suitable solution to the problem. The best takeaway from the book is the suggestion to be with the problem for a longer time rather than jumping to the solution. The more time that is spent in identifying the problem, the better the effect the solution would be. This book also provides some great tools to use for problem solving.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has interest in problem solvin
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not helpful for me because it focuses primarily on creative problem solving in a (corporate) work environment. It's possible it would be helpful for people looking for that sort of guidance, though it seemed to me not particularly original. But I was looking for guidance on creativity, and I chose this book without reading closely. ...more
Mark Dykeman
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent in terms of, as it says, productive thinking. Excellent for business professionals (virtually every type of professional, actually) and it makes a great companion to Scott Belsky's book Making Ideas Happen.

Must read.
Bill Frank
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read on this subject. The careful analysis of the steps needed to expand one's thinking is great. Very practical ideas. I strongly recommend this book. ...more
Shrihari Chakrapani
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it
The first few chapters is really very good. Later chapters are more for reference and should be unused as a checklist to think better.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I think he has the right idea in the book but I thought it could have been condensed significantly.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good content, a concrete plan for the discipline of design thought and ideation, specifically.
Heather Larcombe
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Good processes for getting better ideas out of groups. Not certain it will work as well with individuals, but I'll certainly at least play with it a bit before deciding. ...more
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This process is quite comprehensive. This is not a book you just read, but you use as you read it. Having finished it, I'm still working my way through the a few more iterations of step 5, and have a step 6 brainstorming session scheduled.

What I can say from my experience so far is that there is enormous power in the "Imagined Future" exercise. It is based on some of the earlier steps, but that is the part that has helped me refine and define what success is for me, and to have a vision that I
I can't say that I agree with the quote, "Training, as practiced in much of corporate America, is an astonishing waste of time." (Hurston, 236 & 239.) If that's the case, then it's not being utilized correctly. ...more
Ihsan Hasbullah
Aug 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
a thought process on how to improve yourself / organisation. the challenge is, the process itself may takes valuable time to improve ourselves. hence the word over planning spring to mind.
Darrell Rubel
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the most practical books I've ever read. So impressed that I bought copies for all of our team members at work! Wish I would have read this when I first started working.

We all want to find answers. The problem is, we don't find the right answers until we ask the right questions. Hurson does a brilliant job of laying out key questions and ways to approach problem solving in constructive ways. By simply applying some of these key questions, the quality of the think tank process takes a hug
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
A very solid book that describes a framework how to think productively.
From the articulated methods of understanding the real problems, through the creative process of generating solutions, and how to incubate them to improve them, then finally how to align resources to tackle them, the book leads the reader through the full thinking process.
In general, a great advice for me was the deliberate separation of creative and critical processes, and K enjoyed the good acronyms for the various thinki
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I chose to read this book for a learning requirement at work. Little did I know how intriguing it would become once I started reading it. Hurson is a talented writer. And his ideas are easy to grasp. I enjoyed the book quite a lot. Will I use any of the techniques or concepts in the book? Perhaps. Using his Productive Thinking Model to the fullest would take quite a commitment in the organization. The key for me is determining which of the concepts I could apply.
Muhammad  Shalaby
A very good book, with regard to the concept and tools. It is somewhat business-wise especially when he speaks about planning and assigning resources.
It is very verbose when telling examples and this was somewhat lengthy and distracting.
The naming of the tools and steps was somewhat fabricated to match English words.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Has some good methods on how to generate new ideas (the usual brainstorming information where you generate ideas without judging them until later) and how to evaluate them. I didn't find much new material in here though, most of it seemed familiar, so I wouldn't say this broke any new ground. ...more
Brandon Carlson
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Some good tools in here for improving your thinking processes, breaking out of the grip of Confirmation Bias, etc. Many of these techniques are described in other books and have essentially been organized into a "system". ...more
Harold Taylor
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
First noted in Anu Garg's A Word A Day E-mail it lives up to it's title. Creative thinking is cool.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME book! Bought a copy for my dad
Mark Fallon
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book on taking brainstorming to the next level.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Looking forward to reading this one.. Its on my shelf :)
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended - best business book I have read on how to think outside of the box to see problems in a deeper light. Real world hands on application. I have used it with great success
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved his illustrations.
Andrew Wright
Oct 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Good, especially for those in management, but can apply to many different situations as well.
João Teixeira
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good tips to keep your mind alive..
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163 likes · 11 comments
“In his book How the Mind Works, the linguist Steven Pinker gives a wonderful example of this. Pinker tells a simple three-sentence story: “Janie heard the jingling of the ice cream truck. She ran upstairs to get her piggy bank. She shook it till some money came out.”2 By themselves these three sentences don’t tell you much. But because of your patterns, without consciously thinking about it, you construct a meaning for the story that makes sense. You probably have some idea of how old Janie is. It’s unlikely that you picture her as someone in her thirties; you probably assume she’s 9 or 10. It’s unlikely you think bills came out when she shook her piggy bank; you probably heard coins. And you certainly don’t assume that she wanted the money to invest in Enron. None of this meaning is contained in the original three sentences, but because of your patterns, you impose meaning—your meaning—on the story.” 0 likes
“Ironically, the urge to know may be one of the most challenging obstacles to productive thinking. People who “know” can tell you all the things that can’t be done and why. People who “know” don’t need to learn because they already have the answers. People who “know” are complete—or perhaps just finished. More often than not, people who “know” are also people who “no.” But knowingness is not the same as knowledge. Knowingness is sealed; nothing can get in. Knowledge is open. Knowingness sees challenge as threat. Knowledge sees challenge as opportunity.” 0 likes
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