The Four Most Powerful Types of Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking by Phil Sampson

Creative Thinking by Phil Sampson

I recently went through one of Mark McGuinness’s Creative Pathfinders courses on, “The Four Most Powerful Types of Creative Thinking.” Mark mentions he is usually skeptical about creative thinking techniques but he does apply some to his life and creative process. This is what Mark says,

A lot of ‘creative thinking techniques’ leave me cold. Brainstorminglateral thinking and (shudder) thinking outside the box have always felt a bit corporate and contrived to me. I’ve never really used them myself, and after working with hundreds of artists and creatives over the last 14 years, I’ve come across plenty of other creative professionals who don’t use them. I don’t think you can reduce creative thinking to a set of techniques. And I don’t think the process is as conscious and deliberate as these approaches imply.


Having said that, here are four types of creative thinking that I use myself and which I know for a fact are used extensively by high-level creators. Only one of them (reframing) is under conscious control. Another (mind mapping) works via associative rather than rational thinking. And the other two require us to let go of our logical, analytical mind and open up to whatever inspiration visits us from the unconscious mind.


I want to recommend Mark’s Creative Pathfinder Lesson on Creative Thinking, as we hold in balance learning some of these techniques with knowing there is no exact technique to use when getting inspiration. Lesson # 5 Four Types of Creative Thinking!

Mind Map

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