Spring 1986 // Volume 24 // Number 1 // Tools of the Trade // 1TOT1

Previous Article Issue Contents Previous Article

Two Heads Are Better Than One


Don Jewett
Emeritus Professor
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Ithaca, New York
Adult Education Specialist
Graduate Studies Division
Elmira College
Elmira, New York

Two Heads Are Better Than One. Peter Warnock. Buffalo, New York: Bearly Limited, 1985. 65 pp. $4.95.

To come up with more creative ideas and solutions to our problems is the goal Warnock has for Extension workers who read his mini-book.

A busy Extension agent, specialist, administrator, or volunteer leader will find this little epistle just the thing for making us stop the road race long enough to ask, "How can I work smarter, not harder?" Warnock's points, together with Knudsen's illustrations and carefully selected quotes and cartoons, make reading this booklet a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience.

How many times have you thought, "How can we cut the paperwork?" or, "How can we make our staff meetings more effective?" only to find that the papers continue to pile up and the boring staff meetings go on and on? Warnock emphasizes simple, but proven, natural approaches to generating creative ideas that help us get out of the habitual rut. He quotes studies that show anyone with average intelligence can create, but first must have a positive attitude toward self, the world, and the potentiality of new ideas, a degree of stick-to-itiveness, and natural curiosity about life.

Take time to carefully listen to your preconscious self, expose yourself to as much of the world as possible, include a diversity of activity and a breadth of relationships with others, and learn how others perceive the same scene. These are some of the actions suggested to improve the chances of generating quality ideas.

The reader will be fascinated by the way the unity of opposites, humor, deferred judgment, and rumination encourage openness, the flow of ideas, and creative solutions.

Two Heads Are Better Than One emphasizes the value of asking for opinions on a one-to-one basis and the power of groups in generating creative solutions to problems. It encourages development and greater use of the right brain's intuitive powers to invent imaginative solutions, as well as the left brain's analytical powers.

Warnock also reminds the reader of four active idea killers: habit, schooling, fixed perceptions, and the belief that play is foolish. Paradoxically, they facilitate organization and efficiency in Extension education, but stifle creativity.

The book is written in concise, easily read one-or two-page concept-related sections with references. An annotated bibliography and a reference list of writings on creativity are included, for $4.95, plus postage and handling ($1.00). Warnock, district director in Florida Extension, has dedicated royalties to the Florida 4-H Foundation, Inc.

Every Extension worker should take time to read and absorb the dynamic ideas in this little book.