I just finished reading The Genius Machine by Gary Sindell. This is the shortest, most simple, useful book on creative thinking that I’ve ever read!
As Gary puts it, his work is to help people think.
This is not a book with yet another creative thinking technique to add to your arsenal, you can get those elsewhere. What this book gives you is an 11 step process to help you think through your ideas and turn them into reality.
A process he calls the Endleofon.
According to Gary, in order to develop our innovations to their highest possible level and to facilitate their acceptance by the people who would benefit most from our creations we need to answer The Endleofon questions which I share with you here.
11 steps that turn raw ideas into brilliance
What do I see? New ideas are the result of perceiving new distinctions.
Who am I? Why are these ideas important to me, and why am I driven to share them with the world? Have I made my identity clear to my audience so they know where I am coming from?
Where do my ideas lead? If what I am saying is true, then what are all the consequences I can imagine?
What am I blind to? Have I imagined how my ideas might impact a variety of situations, places and people? Have I questioned everything about my assumptions? What would prove me wrong? Can I create a model of my work and find precise analogues?
Who else has seen something like this? By asserting that I have something to say, I am entering into the great conversation of ideas that stretches back through the centuries. We cannot know everything that has been said about our area of focus before we began our work, but we must try to be aware of important, precedent thought.
Who needs this knowledge? If what I am saying is so, for whom would this knowledge be valuable? This question forces us out of focusing solely on our own area and may lead us to find the universals in our thinking. Understanding who needs us most will also help us in crafting what we say.
Are there underlying principles? What is the world I’m working in? What are the underlying values expressed here? What are the applicable rules or structures that obtain here? Can I pull these together into a coherent group or body of law?
Is everything here? If the idea or product is valuable for someone, am I giving my audience everything they need for it to be useful? If everything they need is not here, have I explained what other information they will need in order to know enough to take action or teach others?
Who am I addressing? Do I understand my audience’s frame of reference? Am I writing for my readers, speaking to my listener, carefully guiding the experience of my user?
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot hd Where do I want to go? In creating this work I have launched an alter ego that will eventually take on a life of its own. If this development or body of knowledge succeeds in the marketplace of ideas, will it help me fulfill my goals for my life? Are the identities of creators, the creation and the users aligned?
Am I supporting the adoption of my ideas? My thinking stands for me. Now I must stand for what I have created.
Help yourself in developing your breakthrough thinking by reading this book, it’s easy to read and simple to put to use.
You can follow Gary at his blog where he continues the exploration of the Endleofon innovation process.
UPDATE: Listen to this Businessweek podcast with an interview with Gary talking about his book.