Think Like Brian Eno: Unleash Your Creative Genius to Solve Any Problem

Brian EnoBrian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, also known as Brian Eno is in my opinion one of our times creative genius. Though he is a world-renowned musician, music producer and multimedia artist (Generative Music Project), most people alive today between the ages of 30 and 65 have heard his little jinglewhen starting up Windows 95.

He understands how to get creative juices flowing, to think outside the box and spur amazing talent out of artists such as David Bowie, David Byrne, Sonic Youth, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, U2 and Coldplay.

Recently, Eno scored the music for Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones.

So what is the wellspring of creativity that Eno draws upon for inspiration? Well, he is by nature a genius; but fortunately for those of us who are not creative geniuses, he and fellow thought leader of the 1960′s and 1970′s Peter Schmidt found they had both independently arrived at a system of using little quotes and axioms to overcome artistic obstacles. For thought-provoking ideas, Eno and others turn to his Oblique Strategies.

Schmidt met Brian Eno as a visiting lecturer at Ipswich art school in the late 1960s and later became a friend and collaborator. In 1975 they both published Oblique Strategies – an outworking of Schmidt’s earlier iteration titled “The Thoughts Behind The Thoughts.”

So what are these Oblique Strategies?

Here are a few off of the Oblique site:

  • Steal a solution.
  • Describe the landscape in which this belongs.
  • What else is this like?
  • Instead of changing the thing, change the world around it.
  • What would make this really successful?
  • Who would make this really successful?
  • How would you explain this to your parents?
  • Try faking it.
  • What were the branch points in the evolution of this entity?
  • Back up a few steps. What else could you have done?
  • First work alone, then work in unusual pairs.

Imagine for a moment multiplying your current creativity by harnessing the ability to think from outside your perspective. This is what Brian Eno has done with Oblique Strategies. Highly recommend them.

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