Book Review: Sheep Theory by Greg Frisbee
I’ve known Greg Frisbee for about 15 years now. He’s a performer/juggler/magician who has performed all around the world and a lot on cruise ships. I hired him multiple times when I was running the New Year’s Eve Festival Bright Night Providence (he had a local connection to Providence) and everybody always loved his show.
Greg has recently written a book called Sheep Theory: Think Outside the Flocks. I asked him for a copy to review, both because I want to help support his work and because I am very interested in how people come up with their ideas and their material. Greg sent me an ebook for review. Please note that as always in my reviews, this is my honest opinion, and not influenced by the cost of the book. SEE MY DISCLOSURE It is influenced by my knowing Greg,( as how can it not be?) But I wanted to disclose that upfront.
Over 50 Creativity Techniques
The book is full of techniques that Greg uses to create his material and to think and solve problems creatively. He calls it thinking outside of the flocks, because sometimes his ideas lead him away from the habitual patterns created by our friends, our communities, and our environments. Being original often means being not normal- and that’s a good thing.
Each technique that Greg describes is about 2 pages long (and there are nearly 50 of them) Some of them are pretty straightforward (Keep an idea journal, have lots of ideas) and some of them are a little bit more out there (For example, Creative Clouding, where you look at the clouds and whatever images you see there, you connect them in a narrative: Why is that dragon in the sky? Where’s that turtle going?” )
Q&A with Creatives
In between the techniques, Greg has Q and A chapters where he asks a group of his fellow creative friends questions to ask them how they deal with issues, or what works with them. those interstitial chapters are definitely interesting, although I feel like his sample of people he asked wasn’t diverse enough. There were 7 people listed, and seeing the same voices in each chapter got a little repetitive.
While I appreciate the people that answered the questions, I’d have liked more and different voices to emerge. And sometimes, the people that were queried, their answers were not very deep or illuminative. (For one question “If you had to start over, would you choose a different path?” Two of the answers from the creative group were one sentence each, and didn’t give a strong reason why.) For me, I wanted more from those sections, or their answer shouldn’t have been included.
An arsenal of tools to think outside the flock
Overall I really liked this book. I think it gives people wanting to be more creative and original a good arsenal of tools to start “Thinking outside the flock. ” Most of the exercises and ideas are things you already knew, but Greg does a great job of reminding us what we already know in a fun and likable manner.
If I had notes for Greg, I would say I want more! I would like to see the chapters each be a little longer with concrete exercises to try (some of the chapters have them, and some do not) In general, each chapter could have been longer with some concrete action steps to take, and/or more examples of how Greg used this tip to solve a problem.
I’d also like some case studies/examples where Greg solves a problem using the creative techniques that he has espoused. They could be interspersed between the tips, just like the Q&A’s. Or maybe even a worksheet where we all solve a large problem individually, using the tools/steps that Greg provides. You bring your solution to his website, and maybe there’s some kind of contest. This would create user-generated content that could get posted to a website and then become part of the next — but there I go again, Creative Clouding!
Greg has turned his Sheep Theory book into a business coaching/consulting platform.
To find out more visit him at http://www.sheeptheory.com