This book is based on the original, always sold out, workshop at the Wizard Academy. This workshop is now available to your organization. We bring the workshop to you.
Watch the TV interview about the "Da Vinci and the 40 Answers" book on the popular talk show What's Going On with Angela Bozorth. Click the TV below.
Just released; DaVinci and the 40 Answers.
A Playbook for Creativity and Fresh Ideas - $19.95
Just released; DaVinci and the 40 Answers.
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Fun, practical, and enjoyable, Mark Fox's book deserves a wide audience."
Roger von Oech, Author of "A Whack on the Side of the Head," and the "Creative Whack Pack"
Da Vinci and The 40 Answers
This is not a “_______ for Dummies” book. This book requires you to think. Consider yourself forewarned.
When my wife decides to read, she usually picks up a Daniel Steele novel because, “it doesn’t require any real thought to enjoy it.” That’s the same scoop I get when I ask her why she watches re-runs of “Mayberry R.F.D.” and “Little House on the Prairie” before dinner every night. My wife is extremely intelligent, but after work she likes to give her mind a rest, which of course we all need to do at times.
This is a business book on creativity, innovation, marketing, and advertising. This book is intended to teach you how to run your business and life better, and the pages that follow do require some real thought. The ideas and concepts presented here are intended to make you think about things differently. That requires change, and for most of us, change is hard.
The Start of Something Magical
“The two of us should put a new class together.” Those were Roy’s first words when I answered the phone in the summer of 2006. Roy doesn’t usually call me out of the blue, so I knew this was an important and serious project.
Roy H. Williams is a lifelong student of humanity, and a best-selling author many times over who spent decades asking, "What makes people do the things they do?"
Roy is also the founder of the Wizard Academy, a 21st Century Business School. Wizard Academy is an absolute one-of-a-kind institution. The class Roy was referring to that day, da Vinci and the 40 Answers, was developed at the academy. This course is currently taught both at the academy and at many corporations, organizations, and non-profits like yours.
My default mode is left-brain logical and Roy’s is more right-brain creative. This makes for an interesting mix of personalities and perspectives in a dual-instructed course. Most people’s personality and predominate mode of thinking favors one side of the brain, but both of us enjoy spending time in our other, lesser-used hemisphere. We love to spend time in both worlds, and desire for you to do the same. That is one of the aims of this book: to convince you that you need to find a better state of balance by using both sides of your brain.
The first half of the book will cover the “basics” of creativity and innovation: relearning how to play, being inspired to play, seeing the value in play, and examining the discoveries of people who were able to escape into their right brain and see beyond societal definitions of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ thinking.
We’ll examine right-brain logic through the eyes of several great thinkers: Leonardo da Vinci, Genrich Altshuller, Buckminster Fuller, and Walt Disney. I believe these basics were the foundation for these innovators’ creativity. These men may not have used my exact terms to describe the principles of creativity, or even been conscious they were using them, but I feel strongly that these basics are the common denominator of their great minds. This section should give you a solid starting point to help you understand and practice creativity and innovation.
In the second half of this book, we’ll cover the “tactics”: Real-life solutions to universal problems. At the end of this book, you’ll understand the tactical approach to applying creativity based on the 40 Universal Answers, a series of specific techniques and perspectives. The 40 Universal Answers are founded in principles of TRIZ – the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.
TRIZ began with Genrikh Altshuller. In his study of hundreds of thousands of patents, Altshuller determined there are only about 1,500 basic problems – and each of these problems can be solved by applying one or more of the 40 universal answers.
I have found the principles of TRIZ to be an extremely useful set of tools, but have not been totally satisfied with the way TRIZ is taught to most students and readers. TRIZ is frequently taught from a very technical point of view, which leaves most students feeling overwhelmed. The technical view is simply too complicated for most people.
One of the goals of this book is to explain the 40 Answers, or principles, as “lenses,” tools you can use to view the problem or opportunity from a unique perspective. The lenses are not just beneficial for technical disciplines. The lenses translate just as well as solutions to social, economic, political, and environmental issues, as well as marketing, sales, and operations. The lenses of TRIZ can be used to solve any problem, in any part of your business and life.
My hope is to explain all these concepts with examples that are relatively easy to digest and apply. You will also see many of my own experiences described in this book as examples of times the basics and fundamentals have worked for me.
At the end of many sections, you’ll find “Words of the Wizard,” insights from Wizard Academy founder and one of the top business thinkers of today, Roy H. Williams. In many cases you will realize the immediate association between Words of the Wizard and the correlating section, while in others the association is not so straightforward. This is intentional. In those cases where the connection is not transparent it will require some thought to connect the two ideas, but the connections are always there. These supplemental sections support the concept of duality. Can two different meanings of the same thing both be right? That’s for you to decide.
My hope is that the information within this book inspires you to draw your own connections and conclusions, and come up with creative ideas and thoughts even beyond what I intended. I want you to learn to take your own mind to a higher level of creative thought. This book is designed to give you the ability to “think outside of the box” at the snap of the fingers. In short, you’ll be handed the keys to innovation.
It is my greatest hope that da Vinci and the 40 Answers helps provide a foundation of both basic and tactical ways to apply creativity and innovation in your world. Onward!