Think Better by Tim Hurson

Building better ideas

Communications theorist Arthur VanGundy once suggested that “Ideas are not solutions; they are the raw material of solutions.” As we struggle for innovative approaches to challenging issues in our local economies, economic developers often fall into traps that block progress. Sometimes it’s the trap of “best practice” where we resort only to imitation. Other times we’re confronted by the economic development equivalent of writer’s block. We imagine that if only we could generate a constant, steady stream of amazing new ideas, our work would be so much easier.

In Think Better, creativity coach Tim Hurson presents an exciting toolkit for idea generation that just may help economic developers achieve the creative breakthrough they need in these challenging times. Hurson begins with a dynamic, entertaining and common sense review of just where good ideas come from, drawing on cutting edge academic research and the practical experience of companies and entrepreneurs around the globe. This section of the book alone is worth the price of admission.

But Hurson goes further, using the second part of his book to lay out a series of tools and mental exercises that will allow even the least creative among us to unleash a wave of creativity and idea building. While employing all of these tools and techniques might be a bit overwhelming, the sheer wealth of approaches and suggestions ensures that everyone will find at least a few tools to free their inner genius. While Hurson doesn’t speak specifically to the economic development space in the book, there is a strong link to the field underlying most of his ideas. And for those looking to connect the dots more completely, he’ll be speaking at the i³ eventpreceding the Economic Developers Council of Ontario Annual Conference on January 31st in Toronto (spaces are still available here).

For those who can’t make that event, the book is an entertaining, useful treasure trove of creative thinking techniques. Pick up a copy of this highly recommended book here.