Five Steps to Creative Thinking


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the presentation of a 60-minute interactive talk I did for Globe Philippines in Manila and Cebu

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  • Hi! Welcome to this presentation! This presentation was specially designed for Mid-level ManagersGlobe Telecoms, Philippines and it has been run 4 times for different groups from different departments. It has been intentionally kept simple and straightforward so it becomes generic in use for different work-life aspects and disciplines. The workshop was run for over 90 minutes had several interactive exercises and several scenarios of issues and challenges at Globe. This online version will simply put across the concept of creative thinking and steps to follow for... Project Restructuring Process Improvements Problem Solving And the methods can also be used for Product Conceptualization and Design.
  • So what exactly is creative thinking? Across the world and across several schools of thought there are different definitions and different opinions about. Some say its all for the birds! Some say, lets not waste time on it and lets just get on with what is at hand and what is needed to be done. Others claim it as being imaginative, resourceful, different, productive, fun, absurd, etc., All of them are in many ways correct. I believe creative thinking creates new things. It breaks away from what is to what can be. It breaks away from the norm and is yet totally natural. A creative thinking is a productive, constructive thinker and a change creator. A leader. Creative thinking is also deep, different and good quality thinking.
  • Thus, to talk about the benefits of creative thinking is a, forgive me, a no-brainer. Creative thinking is important because it is productive, effective, different and creates change. A good, quality, deep, constructive thinker doesn’t just end being led by circumstances and surrounding but he helps morph and mend the circumstances and surroundings to something better, easier, cheaper and probably much aesthetic looking and pleasing to the user. Creative thinkers more often than not easily bloom into leaders from just managers.
  • This is no way labels any individual down as non-creative. On the contrary it inspires and invokes one to take charge, challenge the status quo and lead his team into a brighter and better future. From that aspects there are two side to the creative thinking coin. One is creative thinking that is driven by demand, by circumstances and market conditions. It is in essence solving problems and issues as they arise and then finding ways and means to overcome and or improve responses to those problems. That is not bad, not bad at all. Such kind of creative thinking improves processes and productivity but the improvement and growth is incremental. While on the other hand there are those thinkers who, regardless of present challenges, regardless of the fact that things need change just want to go ahead and make, produce and create new things. There is inborn hunger in these kind of people. These are also the same people who have their eyes set on the road way ahead of the road within their vision. These are people who think ahead of the curve. They are the visionaries who create breakthrough innovations! Historical and present day figures like Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs are such beings.
  • Copyright: A World of Clear, Creative and Conscientious Thinkers! Back in the post war, baby boom era there was a young mother by the name of Marion Donovan. Marion, in those days had several children and lived the life of a basic, overloaded, overburdened hose-wife. Prior to that her, she came from a family of inventors and inherited the inventing 'gene'. Unhappy with the home-made, cloth diapers that she had to wash daily and of the sight of dozens of diapers hanging on her clothesline like streamers in carnival she decided to something about it. S he first invented the 'Boater', by cutting up her plastic shower curtains and covering the cloth diapers. A year later she carried her ideas further. Using disposable absorbent material and combining it with her Boater design. That became her very first convenient disposable diaper. With some improvements, it worked so well she decided to go into business but manufacturers thought her product would be too expansive to produce. Marion Donovan, left unable to sell or license her diaper patent, went into business for herself and a few years later, in the mid-50s, Marion Donovan and ordinary housewife, was able to sell her company for over a million dollars
  • A couple of years ago, I’d just finished writing a book on humor where the essential pint was that tragedy and comedy are two sides of a coin. Those who have suffered know the value of happiness and humility and the fact that one who can take his pain and play with it can change and recreate his own world. That was the essence and I needed a cover that would somehow state that. I went through scores of options by my designers. Every option they presented was good yet I couldn’t be satisfied. I finally settles for a cover where I am kicking about a broken heart on the front side when you flip the book, you see me catching a laughing, happy heart. There was no market demand for what I wanted but something inside me wanted to build and create something new, something aesthetic and something that would put across an expression_a desire.
  • In essence most all us can be creative as and when we want to. Sometimes the need may be circumstantial and sometimes imaginary. Both are good! But, yes there is a but, more often than not we restrain, deny and squash our own desires to bring about change, improve on things and exercise our creative thinking abilities. We do this because We are afraid that our ideas and suggestions may be ridiculed, may not work or be too outlandish. Sometimes we also do not initiate things because we want to continue letting things be as they are. Stirring up things may also cause good change to happen and then those new levels of success will have to be sustained and/or be surpassed again. Thus, many a times, we let sleeping dogs lie. Other times we do not stir up change and novelty because of our own personal habits or the expectations of peer groups around us. These limitations may occur from our social, cultural and religious breeding and beliefs. Creative thinking is a right-brain driven activity while our social, cultural and religious beliefs are embedded and are left-brain driven Finally, sometimes we do not venture out on new avenues and make things new because our conscious and unconscious intelligence just does not have the ability to think up new things. Or, at times we just do not have the ambience, the structure, the materials resources to create what our minds can conceive. Again, though, it can be argued that if external-material resources are lacking our wit, intelligence and resourcefulness from within should be able to find a way to make new things happen. The 5 habits and the 5 steps as laid down in this seminar should build up your internal resourcefulness, over time, to make you a continuously creative a thinker and it also lays down rational steps which practiced with diligence will make you a good quality thinker-leader.
  • The opposites of what becomes barriers to creative thinking can become enablers and enhancers of our creative thinking capacities. Most people who are high on coming with creative ideas and outputs have this sense of wonder about them. They keep wondering and inquiring about what lies ahead, about what the possibilities are other than that easily visible and attainable. Renaissance man, author, philosopher, artist, scientist and painter, Leanardo da Vinci was such a man. Followed by their spirit of curiosity they also are open to being viewed differently. To use the box metaphor, they are always open to checking what kind of boxes surround their own thinking and judgements. They are also quite open to making changes within themselves besides making changes in their external surroundings. Creative people are not just outgoing and adaptable but their open-mindedness and their desire to learn more, do more and create more makes them very elastic and resilient. They have the ability to recover from crises and challenges and bounce right back into action. In recent years, the leadership of Toyota Motors worldwide have displayed such a kind of resilient leadership. They have bounced right back from loss of goodwill, loss of money, loss of market position after having distributed millions of faulty cars which had to be recalled back to their factories.
  • The biggest challenge and question that rises into practicing creativity and putting out innovative ideas and products is where does creativity evolve from and how do you unleash it on demand. For creative ideas to evolve and materialise into something useful and practical there is no special place and time. Newton’s “aha!” moment occurred when an apple hit him on the head. Greek scientist, Archimedes had to jump out naked from his bathtub and run out into the streets shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!” when he found the answer to his needs. Noble Laureate, Albert Einstein was in a half awake, half asleep mode when the idea of E=mC2 hit him. For all these three giants of creative outputs there was no special moment, special time or a special formula to reach to their dreams. The proverbial “aha!” hit them the moment they were least expecting it. Thus there is no special place and time for coming up with ideas for wonderful principles, projects, processes or products. It can happen anytime. But the underlying and never so discussed is that all these giants of creativity focussed highly on their needs, they worked through scores of options, constantly looked into the work of others and successes in parallel fields. They were also constantly putting to test their ideas and projects and they were always willing to lose face, be ridiculed and lose it for all for their opinions, ideas and outputs.
  • The one powerful underlying truth, written deeply on stone, is the fact that all these historical giants of change and creativity obsessively wanted to do something different. They obsessively knew that there answers out there to their questions that life and society hadn’t answered for them yet. They were bent on finding out and coming with new Philosophies and Principles Project and Products Processes and Practices You might say that all those who want to do things creative and innovative must have fire in their bellies and that crazy glint in their eyes for becoming creators of change rather than being created by change. Here’s what Altazar Rossiter has to say about intention. “The first step is to actually decide that transformation is what you want, and this is not such an easy decision to make as you might think. It is a paradigm shift of immense proportion. Are you really ready to be all you can be and accept everything that entails? Are you really ready to take full responsibility for who you are? Do you feel the inherent empowerment that this will bring you, and is this what you want? Creative Thinking as you will learn is not plainly spontaneous. Somewhere under your vessel of hopes and aspiration you’ve got to light a raging fire.
  • Five Steps to Creative Thinking

    1. 1. Creative Thinking www.mandhyan.comPresented by Raju MandhyanDate April 2010
    2. 2. What is Creative Thinking? “Creativity is the degree and distance away from the norm.”
    3. 3. Why is Creative Thinking important? When you react to change that happens… you manage, When you create the change… you lead!”
    4. 4. Thus, Two KindsDemand Driven andDesire Driven
    5. 5. www.mandhyan.comDemand CreativityDriven
    6. 6. CreativityDrivenDesire
    7. 7. The Barriers?  Fear of Failure and Success  Personal Paradigms and Organization Culture  Lack of Internal and External Resources
    8. 8. The Enablers?The spirit of Curiosity and AdventureOpen-Mindedness & AdaptabilityResilience and Resourcefulness
    9. 9. Where does it Evolve from?Between Here and There.Between Now and Then.Or, where your External Universe meets with your Internal Universe…from the Wellspring of your Mind.
    10. 10. also known as… Intent. Desire. Want.
    11. 11. Five Habits ofCreativityChampions
    12. 12. Five Habits and“Out-Box”ingTechniques ofCreativityChampions
    13. 13. Habit :Whole Brain Thinking [ArteScienza] Inside, Out and Under Turn it out, Empty it; Also known as Critical or Convergent Thinking.
    14. 14. Habit: Curiosity / [Curiosità] Disassociate, Diverge, Brainstorm a Million Options Dream, Visualize S t r e t c h and Challenge Norms
    15. 15. Habit: Refinement of Senses & RecognizingSystems / [Sensazione ]Technique: Blend Boxes Synthesize, Morph, Blend, Benchmark Copy, Adapt, Model
    16. 16. Habit: Thoughts w/o Action is *#!*#^#@!!! / [ Dismostrazione]Technique:Bash the BoxThink Worst Scenario!Get Seriously Critical of it!Challenge Yourself and Your New Assumptions.
    17. 17. Habit: Living with Ambiguity [Sfumato] Sell the BoxMake it user-friendly.Simplify it so that even a 7 year old can use it.Take it to market.
    18. 18. www.mandhyan.comMonk in Black
    19. 19. 5 Steps for a Real GLOBE-life Challenge 1. Know the Challenge 2. Storm the Challenge from Far 3. Blend the Ideas 4. Bash the Chosen Idea 5. Sell the Idea
    20. 20. Summary, 5 Personal Habits to Develop1. ArteScienza Art & Science2. Curiosità Chronic Curiosity3. Sensazione Refinement of Senses www.mandhyan.com4. Dismostrazione Test and Take Action5. Sfumato Risk Taking w/o Despair
    21. 21.“Success isn’t just a result of spontaneouscombustion, you need to put yourself on fireso people from far and wide will come watchyou burn!” Arnold Glascow
    22. 22. Ideas, Images and Inspirations from…. [Pac Attack] How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci ~ by Michael J. Gelb The Five Faces of Genius ~ by Annette Moser-Wellman
    23. 23. Deep Inside a Harsh Desert Lies an Oasis! Whenever you need…  Communications Skills Enhancement  Creative Thinking and Change Management  Leadership and Strategy www.mandhyan.com17/12/12 23