Robert's Reviews > Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking

Think Better by Tim Hurson
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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 number of other methodologies that include the Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS) and Integrated Definition (IDEF).

There seems to be greater emphasis on improving problem solving than on improving any other function of better thinking (e.g. generation, evaluation, and selection of innovative ideas), although the PTM process consists of six interlocking steps that can help to achieve a variety of objectives. Each step includes a variety of tools and techniques that Hurson explains, citing relevant real-world examples throughout his narrative to illustrate how various companies have used the PTM. Hurson devotes a separate chapter to each step.

In the final chapter, he asserts that -- as practiced in much of corporate America -- training "is an astonishing waste of resources" when there is no follow-through on front-end training to embed and then strengthen even more the skills taught. In fact, the word "training" has lost its meaning because it is now more commonly used to refer to information transfer rather than skill development. "Hurson prefers the word "entraining." Why? "In chemistry, to entrain means to trap suspended particles in a solution and carry them along. This concept is an apt metaphor for skill development...Entraining results in a new and different workflow. Keeping those new skill particles suspended in your workflow requires the forging of new synaptic connections, new neural pathways." Hurson concludes his book with a relevant observation by Yogi Berra: "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."


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Finished Reading
August 22, 2008 – Shelved

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