Divergent mindsets bring new perspectives to creativity and collaboration.

Red, white and yellow illustration of overlapping arrows, illustrating how dyslexia offers insight into creation and collaboration.
Red, white and yellow illustration of overlapping arrows, illustrating how dyslexia offers insight into creation and collaboration.

It is a way to see the bigger picture. It is an entrepreneur’s secret weapon. You can structure teams around it, or use it to improve organizational culture.

It’s called Dyslexic Design Thinking, and it’s a collaborative creation process that taps into divergent thinking and nonlinear ideation to generate unexpected ideas.

Dyslexic Design Thinking is rooted in my belief that dyslexia is a hyper-ability that offers insight into the way we think, create and relate to one another. It starts with dyslexics but it incorporates all mindsets, both neurodivergent and neurotypical.


A creative director explains how dyslexia is the secret to unlocking flow.

An abstract collage of colorful shapes, black ink and Gil Gershoni’s face, representing the process of visualization.
An abstract collage of colorful shapes, black ink and Gil Gershoni’s face, representing the process of visualization.

In my mind, I see a lady with a tattoo. I also see a bearded man. Scattered in this orbit are a small cat, a large dog and the swell of love.

These images are all part of a rebranding project I’m visualizing for a veterinary technology company. Some are close and some are blurrier, farther away. I can reach out and arrange each one to help me make unexpected connections. They’re all in motion. When one connection lights up, I move toward it. As I move, I…


Do you share the six traits they have in common?

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Some see a dance. Choreographer Charlotte Edmonds sees a story of resilience. Some see a bunch of caffeinated freelancers. Entrepreneur Pip Jamieson sees a creative-class movement. Some see a campaign. I see a cultural conversation.

This instinctive ability to zoom out is what has fueled the creativity and careers of many big-picture thinkers. While we differ in what we do and what fields we’re in, we look at the world in remarkably similar ways.

It comes down to a top-down perspective that considers all information as


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A pirate ship with sails crafted entirely of espresso. That’s what Zelia, our account manager, shared in response to the prompt Create a finger painting using any material you have on hand. My laugh at the dark-roast plank coming off the stern upstages the story she’s telling about it on our agency-wide Zoom call. I surprise even myself with how I feel the tension in my jaw relax. My attention darts to the other thumbnails — strategists, designers and project managers at Gershoni — who have had a similar feeling of amusement and connection. Possibly, even you have a small…


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It was an unusual day in Isla Vista, Calif. The year was 1970, and a loud, energetic man with wild red hair was hawking pens and pencils on the sidewalk. Behind him, a single copy machine sat under the awning of an old hamburger stand.

The man was there that day because he saw an opportunity. Undergrads at UC-Santa Barbara were lining up in the library to photocopy articles for 10 cents a pop. “I could do better,” he thought. So he took out a $5,000 loan and opened his first copy shop.

That copy shop would become the first…


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The author’s team in various states of work and play—sometimes both at the same time.

Three pigeons were perched upon a beam above our conference room table. A late-morning San Francisco breeze entered the 18th floor windows, ruffling their feathers. Our client tilted her head up. Her eyes widened. “There are pigeons up there!” she said, interrupting the presentation. “Are those real?” her colleague asked. They were, in fact, real. Real fake.

To understand the pigeons, you have to first understand the nature of my office. Gershoni Creative, the agency I co-founded with my wife Amy, is located in a refurbished Beaux Arts dome atop one of San Francisco’s original landmark skyscrapers. (It was under…


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Often you could find me on my bike, cruising the streets in the suburbs of Tel Aviv with my pet pigeon, looking for work. Other kids went to summer camp to play or learn; I went to find a job. At the age of 10, I became a professional magician.

My first audience was a camp director. To be polite, he offered to book one show. “I’ll give you a better price if you let me do all the shows,” I told him. Intrigued, he signed me for the whole summer.

Although I never became the next Doug Henning, magic…

Gil Gershoni

Founder and creative director, Gershoni Creative. Frequently speaks on dyslexia and its impact on problem solving, design thinking and workplace collaboration.

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