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Inventium - Creative Thinking and Ideas
 

Inventium - Creative Thinking and Ideas

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HBack in 2006, Inventium’s founder, Dr Amantha Imber was working as a consumer psychologist in a big advertising agency. The agency had put her through a lot of creative thinking training which she ...

HBack in 2006, Inventium’s founder, Dr Amantha Imber was working as a consumer psychologist in a big advertising agency. The agency had put her through a lot of creative thinking training which she loved. However, when she started getting deeper into researching the field, she realised that all these training companies had done was rip off Edward de Bono techniques from the 70s and re-package them as their own. She thought that, ironically, this was pretty uncreative.

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    Inventium - Creative Thinking and Ideas Inventium - Creative Thinking and Ideas Document Transcript

    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 Inventium http://www.inventium.com.au/Back in 2006, Inventium’s founder, Dr Amantha Imber was working as aconsumer psychologist in a big advertising agency. The agency had puther through a lot of creative thinking training which she loved.However, when she started getting deeper into researching the field,she realised that all these training companies had done was rip offEdward de Bono techniques from the 70s and re-package them as theirown. She thought that, ironically, this was pretty uncreative.
    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184Amantha had always been a bit of a science geek and kept reading thejargon-filled academic journals long after leaving university. She noticedthat there were hundreds, if not thousands, of studies being conductedaround the world that looked at what variables increased a person’sability to think more creatively and a company’s ability to innovate.However, she realised that there was a great divide between this greatresearch that was being done in the world of academia, and what wasactually getting used in the ‘real world’.So in 2007, she had the idea of starting a company that applied thescience of psychology and neurology to boosting creativity andinnovation - something that had never been done before. SinceInventium opened its doors, Amantha and her team, have helpedliterally thousands of people across Australia, the United States, the UK,Europe, Africa and New Zealand improve their ability to generate greatideas. Get happy to get creative
    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184 When we are happy, the level of a brainGet happy to get creative chemical called dopamine increases. In theOur emotional state has a big impact on our frontal lobe, dopamine controls the flow ofability to think creatively. Researchers at information to other parts of the brain.Pennsylvania State University conducted a When people feel happy, thoughts orstudy which examined the impact of happy images of one concept – such as ‘thick’ –and sad moods on idea generation. To put activate thoughts or images of many otherthem into the required mood, participants concepts – such as ‘paint’, ‘stupid’ or ‘make-were first asked to describe a recent life up’. Opening up connections betweenevent that made them feel happy or sad. concepts that are only remotely associatedFollowing the mood manipulation, with one another increases our ability forparticipants were asked to write down as divergent thinking. In contrast, whenmany things they could think of that could people feel sad, they become more detail-fly. On average, participants in the happy oriented with their thinking which meansgroup came up with almost 50% more ideas that they often will not see the greaterthan the sad group. possibilities. In other words, they get focused on the trees to the exclusion of theThe happiness hypothesis was also explored forest.by Teresa Amabile at Harvard University.Amabile asked several hundred people to So if you are feeling a bit flat, chances arekeep a work diary that detailed their daily you are probably not performing at youractivities, moods and other workplace peak creativity. The common image of theevents. An analysis of these diary entries ‘tortured genius’ has fed the popular beliefshowed that people were more likely to that the majority of creative geniuses werecome up with breakthrough ideas when depressed and emotionally unbalanced.they were feeling happy, even if this However, studies have shown that peoplehappiness was experienced the day before are actually more creative when they arethe idea was generated. happy.
    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184Warm Up Your Brain To Scientific research suggests that warming up the creative-thinking parts of your brainImprove Creative Thinking will help you perform more effectively and efficiently at creative tasks. These exercisesFor those of us who exercise regularly, will make it easier to jump from a financedoing a big workout without a warm-up meeting to an idea-generation meeting.seems silly. Our risk of injury increases Warming up this part of your brain onlydramatically and it also makes it hard for us takes a few minutes to shift your brain intoto perform at our best. Similarly, it is critical an open-minded and lateral-thinking mode.to warm up your brain before engaging it ina creative-thinking workout. This is to There are many ways to warm up you braincombat the fact that in general, most idea- to this type of thinking. One is an Inventiumgeneration and problem-solving meetings tool called Fat Chance. Fat Chance wasare scheduled immediately after a strategy designed with the specific purpose ofor finance meeting, in which your brain was warming up the creative-thinking parts ofmost likely in analytical or linear gear. people’s brains. The tool can be used before 30-minute idea-generation and problem-Most of us can appreciate how difficult it is solving workshops or one-day blue-skyto come from a meeting that requires thinking workshops in which brains need toanalytical, rational thinking into a meeting think laterally for an entire day.that requires us to think laterally (that is,thinking outside of our usual frame of Fat Chance requires no materials or stimulireference). When your brain has been in other than one thing: an impossiblelinear thinking mode, coming up with challenge. For example, cure cancer bycreative solutions is very difficult. The brain tomorrow lunchtime. There are two keynaturally wants to jump to logical solutions, elements to creating an impossiblegiven the mode it is in, and finding lateral challenge. The first is to pick a goal or anand creative solutions becomes objective that is almost impossible tounnecessarily difficult. achieve with technology as we know it
    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184today. The second is to add an incredibly and laterally. For example, in relation to thetight time frame. The tighter the better. For Paris Hilton problem, some solutions mightexample, Raise Paris Hilton’s IQ by 100 include bribing the instructor for thepoints by the end of the week. Give birth to answers, making the IQ test about fashionan alien by dinner tonight. Marry Brad Pitt rather than general knowledge, or findingby noon tomorrow. another person named Paris Hilton who happens to be very smart. Despite theAfter you have developed an impossible ‘craziness’ of these problems and answers,challenge, the next step is to divide the groups have then gone on to generateparticipants into pairs or groups of three. innovative solutions to real life problemsThis gives everyone a good chance to they were facing.participate. Once groups are assigned,instruct people to generate at least three Eyeing off creativitysolutions to the problem in five minutes.Encourage those who are finding it difficult In general, the left side of our brain directsand remind them that the solutions do not our logical and rule-based decisions; similarhave to be logical or rational – in fact, those perhaps to a stern headmaster. On thesolutions won’t actually solve the problem. other hand, the right side tends to be moreAfter these five minutes have passed, you inventive and intuitive. Research out ofcan feel confident that the divergent New Jersey has gone a step further andthinking parts of people’s brains will be found a way to maximise both the left andsufficiently warmed up. right brain hemispheres, leading to highly practical and highly creative ideas.Why does this tool work so effectively? It allcomes back to the impossibility of the The researchers got their participants tochallenge. Given that it is impossible, non- complete a standard creativity test thencreative thinking will not lead to a solution. split the participants into two groups. OneThe problem can only be solved through group was instructed to follow a target thattaking a leap and thinking very creatively
    • p. +61 3 9018 7455 f. +61 3 9528 4787 m. +61 (0) 412 6565 38 e. info@inventium .com .au PO Box 1251, Brighton Rd LPO, Elwood, VIC, Australia 3184moved from left to right for 30 seconds,while the second group looked straight The researchers concluded that movingahead for the same time. your eyes from side-to-side increases the communication between the left and rightThe participants then completed the same side of the brain, thus resulting in morecreative idea generation test. Keeping in useful and creative ideas.mind that the participants sharedcomparable creativity before being split So if your brain is still recovering from theinto groups, the participants who followed weekend and you need a kick start, getthe moving target were much more creative those eyes dancing from side-to-side andthan those who stared at the wall. feel your brain sing.