Book Reviews

The Power of Creative Intelligence

Thorsons, Copyright Tony Buzan.

What's unique about this book?


It's not much bigger than a CD Jewel case (also available as e-book).

It aims to expand personal growth and includes creative arts.

There are lots of inspiring exercises to get your brain working.


If you read self improvement books, and like intellectual challenges then you will know about Tony Buzan. This follows along the familiar trail of Tony's quest for becoming a genius, and for using Mind-Maps (a registered trade mark of the Buzan group).


The book is small, with only 150 half-sized pages, and a fair amount of white space. This may appeal to those who like a quick leisurely read on the subject. Watch out though, the mental workouts may just make the book last longer than you expect!


Tony includes a series of Mind-Maps for each chapter of the book, which to some extent defeats the purpose of Mind-Maps, since they are much more memorable if you make your own. You might however pick up some mapping tips from the examples.


1. Introduction to Creative Intelligence


You must use both Left and Right brain skills, and have a flexible viewpoint to gain perspective on situations. Association of ideas is key, and Mind-Mapping aids this process. To make the most of expanding your knowledge and thoughts, use all your 5 senses. Creative fluency from historical geniuses has shown that the more ideas you create, the higher is your chance of creating good ideas.


2. Left/Right Brain


By understanding, and using both left and right brain skills you can enhance your life. Build both logical/linear and expansive/dimensional thinking into your life to benefit overall.


3. Mind-Maps


The now standard note-taking technique covered in many other works.


4. You the Artist


Yes you can become a world class artist. Tony explains how the great artists learned by copying, and drawing by visual checks of sizes and proportions of subjects. To get you started there are exercises in doodling, cartooning, and learning to look.


5. You the Musician


Tony asserts that the great historical musicians were created through environment rather than genetics. The conclusion is that everyone has the potential to reach the same heights. There are exercises to get you more exposed, and in tune with, music in everyday life.


6. Creative Productivity


How you produce more, and produce better quality, by creating more. The win-win situation of creative thinking. There are a number of exercises to get your brain in motion. Many examples of great achievers.


7. Flexibility and Originality


Three main ways to increase creative flexibility:


-Using Multiple Viewpoints: To see the world as many others see it.

-Creating by Combining: Seeing a link between things when others haven't.

-Reversal: Mainly going against conventional thinking, doing the opposite.


8. Associative Brain Power


The one key element to all previous chapters is Association. This chapter includes games to play which enhance your ability to associate and link unrelated objects.


9. You the Poet


Yes you can be world class at this too. A very interesting use by Ted Hughes in creating poetry by forcing associations between randomly selected words.


10. Children as the Ultimate Creative Geniuses


Mr Buzan asserts that by behaving like children, you can become more creative. Examples of behaviours include, playing with food, making up stories, and staring at things.