March 2, 2020

Think! by Tina Catling and Mark Davies - Book Review

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

Introduction

A big yellow headline that says Think! followed by the text How often have you said: “What a great idea… how did they think of that?...This book shows you how” really caught my attention when I found the book on my father’s shelf. I knew right then and there that I had to read it. 

Front cover

The book Think! is authored by Tina Catling and Mark Davies with 20+ years experience in marketing and have worked with some of the largest advertising and marketing agencies in the world, including Saatchi and Saatchi and Ogilvy and Mather. 

Think! isn’t just your average how-to book which talks just about the theories and thought processes of creativity. It’s a book of inspiration by combining the usage of thought-provoking text, images, design and color that makes the reader more engaged with each page and acts as a stimuli for the brain.

A page from the book

Not only that—what’s also included in the book is poetry, quotes, art, cartoons and stories of interesting individuals such as Sir Tom Farmer whom I haven’t heard about before. But after reading his story—I can see now what made this person so special when it comes to creativity. 

A page from the book

A Deeper Dive

The book is packed with great content which ticks every creative’s curiosity to dive deeper. With a solid of 8 chapters ranging from how we as creative people can challenge our lazy mind to how the physical state of our body can affect our creative thinking.

It challenges our current way of thinking—when was the time we really thought about our processes, systems or products—could they have been done more effectively to save time for the business? Do we actively think or are we just dwellers of our own lazy mind?

A page from the book

My favorite part of the book

It filled me with so much enthusiasm that I don’t know where to start. There were many parts of the book that I enjoyed. But I’m only going to mention one of them as an appetizer.

It’s a story about the company Outside the Box visiting the entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer as an additional prize for winning the award Investors in People. To make a long story short — in their meeting with Sir Tom Farmer he asked a question after welcoming them and listening intently about their business.

“ What do you think is the most important question in business”? 

And as they were searching for a perfect answer for his question—he replied back with:

“What do you think?—that’s it. That’s the most important question in business”. 

At first I was a bit surprised when I read that part—so I actually went and read it again. His answer was so simple, yet carried a profound meaning. We have to actively think—and learn about what other people think. As Sir Tom also said: “The bigger a company gets the dumber it gets”.

Some big companies can be so restricted and limited to procedures and standards that it might lead into a work culture that hinders creativity, innovation and active thinking—especially if the company's structure and hierarchy is complex.

A page from the book

Main key takeaways

To conclude I will share some of the things I have learned from the book: 

  • Challenge your brain to really think of how you do things in your creative pursuits—Can things be done in a better way?
  • Don’t hold yourself back when it comes to ideas—even the wild ones—let them all come to you. You can always prioritize later what fits the project or not.
  • Absorb everything like a sponge—be open to all kinds of stimulus. Look at everything and be curious to its structure, material, purpose and place.
  • To learn about what other people are thinking—listen generously to their idea. Don’t judge, let the ideas breathe first.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes being creative, but might have a hard time coming up with ideas—especially in a fast-paced environment where you have to produce results constantly. You will find this book valuable and inspirational when it comes to stimulating your brain.

You can buy the book at amazon.co.uk and amazon.com 


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