Think Better - Tim Hurson

Think Better - Tim Hurson

Discover Productive Thinking and how it can revolutionize your business, professional and personal life and help you come up with creative solutions faster and more efficiently.

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Who doesn't want to learn how to solve problems more easily and use their mental capacity to facilitate creativity and idea generation? This is the proposal made by the author Tim Hurson in his book "Think Better", with the presentation of Productive Thinking.

He narrates the context in which Productive Thinking was created, going through the principle, ideas and theories, and then exposing the model in practice.

Productive Thinking is a methodology for thinking productively in problem solving, and can help you and your team quickly come up with creative solutions for your business.

Want to know more? So continue reading this PocketBook and understand how to apply this concept in practice in all areas of your life!

About the book "Think Better"

Written by author Tim Hurson, the book "Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking" has 312 pages and is divided into four parts and 14 chapters.

It was published by McGraw-Hill Education in 2007. The hardcover edition of the English book totaled 300 pages.

About the author Tim Hurson

Tim Hurson has always believed that creative thinking was something that could be taught, that people could be trained to think of creative solutions to everyday problems.

Based on this idea and years of study, he developed the PTM (Productive Thinking Model), which is the premise of the book "Think Better".

The author is also an entrepreneur, being a partner-creator of the company thinkX, which conducts training, assistance and consulting on productive thinking and innovation. Hurson was born in 1946 in South Africa and now lives in Canada.

To whom is this book indicated?

"Think Better" is recommended for entrepreneurs, leaders and coordinators who seek to improve the problem solving process of their businesses or teams.

If you believe that you can improve your thinking productively to generate better quality ideas more often in your business, professional and personal life, then this book is for you.

Main ideas of the book "Think Better"

  • Success has less to do with what we know and more with the way we think;
  • Know how to separate creative from critical thinking;
  • Always following the same path may not be the best solution;
  • Creativity can be learned;
  • Thinking takes effort, but it's worth it.

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[Book Summary] Think Better - Tim Hurson

Overview: Context

The author Tim Hurson begins the book, "Think Better", telling the story of an experiment made with the processionary caterpillar. These caterpillars basically follow in a row the trail left by their leader without ever deviating or seeing what is around.

During the experiment, the caterpillars were placed in circles and kept walking around until some died or passed out, preventing others from following in their wake and forcing them to go elsewhere.

Hurson says that Productive Thinking is about the freedom to be able to think on your own and not just follow the bright trail ahead of us as caterpillars do.

Benefits of Productive Thinking

The author Tim Hurson points out that "nothing is perfect", that is, there is nothing in the world that cannot be improved and you can have productive thinking that can help you see solutions to everyday problems more easily.

In the age of the internet, everyone has easy, fast and almost no-cost access to all information. Therefore, knowledge is no longer a major differential in today's world. Hurson says that what sets people apart is not who knows more, but who thinks better.

PTM (Productive Thinking Model) is a method that can be taught and learned, so anyone willing can learn to think differently and increase their competitiveness in the marketplace.

Barriers that keep us from being creative and effective

Deep thinking, that of true concentration, is hard work. Our brain consumes 20% of the oxygen and calories we burn daily just for the basic functions of staying alive.

To save energy the brain uses three devices, either it is scattered, or in reaction, or just follows patterns. All this to avoid really thinking and doing the hard work of thinking.

While the brain's three mechanisms for saving energy or labor are useful for everyday life, they serve as barriers to productive thinking, to creativity.

The example used in the book "Think Better" by the author Tim Hurson is the pen, which does not write-in space for lack of gravity.

While the United States spent a fortune and a lot of time developing a pen that worked, the Soviets were able to solve the problem simply by using pencils.

The solution might be simple, easy, and cheap, but the barrier of creativity and the rule of always trying to develop something with technology prevented Americans from thinking about using pencils as a solution and saving time and money.

Overview: Principle

Productive and Reproductive Thinking Concepts

Quite simply, the author Tim Hurson says that reproductive thinking focuses on refining something that is already known, while productive thinking is focused on generating new things, new answers, new solutions.

Reproductive thinking is the reaction of something already known, the stimulus will always cause the same reaction. They are repetitions, it is to do something because that is how it has always been done. This may be good for a time and basic functions, but in others it may be an opportunity to improve a process.

Productive thinking, in turn, creates something new, thinks of a better, more efficient, and more creative option to respond to stimulus. In the book "Think Better", Hurson says that:

"Reproductive thinking can work and adapt something hopelessly obsolete like the whip. Only productive thinking can imagine a car."

Productive thinking changes the way we view the world, not just dealing with change but creating change. It's using creative thinking, and the critic, more specifically, pushing the two completely apart.

We first use the creative to generate as many ideas and solutions as possible, and then come back to them with critical thinking and evaluate their applicability.

Investigate Problems X Jump to Conclusions

According to the author Tim Hurson, knowing something can be considered as one of the biggest obstacles to productive thinking. When one person already knows how to do something, they can prevent another person from creating a new and more efficient way to solve that problem.

The idea of productive thinking is that even when an answer seems obvious, one keeps questioning, asking, and investigating. Obvious and pre-established answers keep us from thinking.

Good and bad brainstorming

Tim Hurson presents in his book, "Think Better", the idea that there are two types of brainstorming, the good and the bad. The bad is one in which ideas are automatically classified as good or bad and bad are discarded.

In good brainstorming, all ideas are valid and accepted, and posited as possibilities, critical thinking is set aside at this point. The author says that research shows that in a good brainstorming the ideas are divided into three parts that follow chronologically.

The first is the most normal ideas, the second is when the ideas start running away from commonplace and daring a little more and the third and last is when most of the time, the best ideas and the most creative solutions come up.

Overview: Theory

To put the PTM theory together, the author Tim Hurson and his company thinkX created the six steps of productive thinking:

Step 1: What is going on?

This step, according to the book "Think Better", is made of five questions:

  1. What is yearning? - What needs to be fixed or improved;
  2. What is the impact? - How this problem can shake people;
  3. What is the information? - What information do we have about the problem;
  4. Who is involved? - Which stakeholders are involved;
  5. What is the vision? - Focus on what could be.

Step 2: What is a success?

Here, author Tim Hurson states that the focus is on the future. At this stage, it is important to view the problem already solved. What is the support for this solution? What would be a success? Here it is necessary to be able to create a structure for this solution.

Step 3: What is the question?

Continuing the method of productive thinking, the author says that one must be able to identify which questions need to be answered in order for the future of the previous stage to be reached.

Ask what you need to do, have, achieve, create, change, so that in the future the desired answer becomes possible.

Step 4: Generate Responses

Here you seek answers to all the questions raised in the previous step. Author Tim Hurson says it is necessary to select the most promising responses and explore them. Even if the answers still don't look like the final product solution, keep working.

According to the book "Think Better", it is necessary to explore and deepen all the most promising responses in order to be able to define the main supporting parts of your solution.

Step 5: Forge the Solution

Only at this stage, after deepening your answers, is it possible to create a solution to the proposed problem. With the most promising ideas developed in the previous step, a real solution is shaped.

You have to evaluate the potential of ideas by comparing them with the criteria of the second step. Once you have identified the solution that best fits your need to test and refine until you have a solid solution.

Step 6: Align Resources

In this step, what is needed to implement the solution is defined. What resources, actions, measures and changes need to be made for the solution created in the fifth step to be possible.

As explained by author Tim Hurson in his book "Think Better", at the end of the last step, you have a completely realistic action plan for implementing the solution, taking into account all your variables, needs and parties involved.

Overview: Practice

PTM is a method that has been developed based on many studies and, according to Tim Hurson, has worked in many situations. But like every theory, it may not be totally perfect, it is always subject to change and adaptation.

The author compares the method to a disposition, saying that it is not something in a cast that cannot be adapted to the reality of its problems.

Remembering that there can be no rush to generate creative results and finding the wrong answers in a hurry is counterproductive and a waste of time.

Hurson states that PTM is only indicated when new ideas are needed to meet challenges. When a new idea is not needed, the method need not be applied.

Practice makes perfect, and productive thinking and creativity can be trained and perfected.

The author goes back to the starting point of the book "Think Better", in which he says that it is possible to always improve everything and, therefore, it is necessary to be always putting all the steps into practice to improve thinking skills.

"If you can identify an area where your universe could be improved, put productive thinking to the test. The more you use it, the more natural it will become, the finer you will become and the more advantages you can derive from it."

What do other authors say about it?

For Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional Intelligence", strong emotions can interfere with attention and all aspects of clear thinking. Instead of trying to eliminate their feelings, people should strive to find a smart balance between reason and emotion.

In the book "Thinking Fast and Slow: Two Ways of Thinking", author Daniel Kahneman teaches how the human mind works. In addition, he also teaches how to make the best decisions.

Finally, in the book "Mindset", by psychologist Carol S. Dweck, it discusses how our beliefs shape our behavior and growth. Human beings can be taught to respond in different ways, how to face challenges and think differently.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

After discovering all the details of the Productive Thinking Model developed by author Tim Hurson, we have separated some tips that can help you:

  • Learn to identify the times when better solutions can be applied;
  • Don't be afraid to think differently. Finding a better and more efficient solution to a problem may only depend on you;
  • Apply PTM steps whenever you need new ideas to meet challenges;
  • Take your time, creativity cannot be rushed;
  • Know how to differentiate between good and bad brainstorming and always try to get people to the useful side of the activity.

Did you like this summary of the book "Think Better"?

We hope you enjoyed our summary and are able to develop productive thinking following the teachings of author Tim Hurson. Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

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Book 'Think Better”