The creativity tool kit


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A set of quickfire creative thinking techniques you can use when faced with a problem.

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The creativity tool kit

  1. 1. A creative thinking cheat-sheet
  2. 2. Creativity comes from a combination of: your knowledge (what you know) your motivation (your need to be creative) your social environment (acceptance of new ideas) your creative thinking skillsThis presentation is intended to help you withyour creative thinking skills.
  3. 3. The basics of creative thinking skills The mixing of different ideas Taking a different perspective on things Thinking inside other boxes (rather than „out of the box‟) Willingness to take risks Openness to new ideas
  4. 4.  Each slide has a mini-technique. Each mini- technique is designed to stand alone. Pick the min-technique that best suits the problem you are dealing with. If one mini-technique doesn‟t work, try another. Practice in quiet moments.
  5. 5. Approach Example1. Separate the outcome from • “I want to achieve result „A‟ the mechanism used to and the way I choose to achieve it. achieve it is mechanism „B‟.”2. State the current mechanism as a choice. • “Is there any other way I3. Go find other choices. could choose to do this?”When to use How it works• Use when you know what the • It forces you to separate the desirable outcome is but the desirable (outcome) from current ways of doing things undesirable (the mechanism). seem to be a problem. • If you state the mechanism as a choice it gives you a sense of control.
  6. 6. Approach Example1. Think about what would • “What would happen if I did happen if you the opposite of what would2. Look at possible advantages normally be expected?” from an opposite approach • “What possible benefits are there from an opposite approach to this problem?”When to use How it works• Use when there appears to be • It forces a new perspective on a logical approach but your thinking. experience shows that this is unlikely to work.
  7. 7. Approach Example1. Think about an industry that • “What industry deals with this has to deal with a specific type of problem that has to type of issue. get it right: e.g.2. Look at what they do. • Airlines for quality3. See what can be used to • Police for crisis response solve your problem. • Formula One racing pit crew for cycle time”When to use How it works• Use this when you have a • It provides access to clearly defined problem that solutions and thinking from you need to solve such as industries that have to get quality, responsiveness or things right. Their thinking cycle time. will probably be very advanced.
  8. 8. Approach Example1. Pick a hobby or something • “What could „X‟ tell me about you are interested in and my problem? Where „X‟ could learn about it. be any discipline, e.g.2. As you learn, relate what you • a type of sport, learn back to the problem • history, you face. • A pastime, or • something else”When to use How it works• Use when problem‟s concepts • It forces you to understand are difficult to find. the concepts to be able to• Use when you seem to come relate them between different up with the same set of fields of knowledge. solutions again and again. • It forces the problem into the back of your mind to prevent repeating the same solutions.
  9. 9. Approach Example1. Find as many different ideas • “How many different as you can to the problem. solutions can I come up with2. Focus on finding as broad a for solving this problem.” range of ideas as possible. • “How many different categories can I put them into?”When to use How it works• You have a problem and you • A large number of ideas don‟t know where to start. ensures you consider different perspectives. • A broad range of ideas gives you more opportunity to mix ideas together. • Is a form of brainstorming
  10. 10. Approach Example1. List as many attributes about • “How many attributes can I the problem as you can. find for my problem?”2. Think about the significance of each attribute as you list • “What does each attribute I them. find tell me about my problem?”When to use How it works• You need to rely on a logical • It forces you to uncover and rational approach. individual attributes about a• You need to think creatively problem. and you don‟t know where to • It allows you to think of each start. attribute in isolation. • Being a methodical approach it reduces the sense of risk.
  11. 11. Approach Example1. Come up with a descriptive • “A worst case solution is to worst case solution (avoid do „X‟.” numeric solutions such as cost) • “„Y‟ and „Z‟ are less damaging2. Work backwards from the than „X‟ so may provide worst case. partial solutions.”When to use How it works• Use when you have a high • Starting with a worst case stakes problem that seems solution puts other solutions impossible to solve. in perspective.• Use when you have difficult • Avoiding a numeric outcome stakeholders. avoids the trap of coming up with numeric half-way house solutions.
  12. 12. Approach Example1. Come up with different • “What are the different perspectives. perspectives I want to cover,2. Think about the problem e.g. positives, negatives, from each perspective in risks, etc?” turn. • “What does my problem look like from each perspective?”When to use How it works• Use when you have a complex • This is a version of „thinking problem. hats‟ forcing you to use• Use when there are different different perspectives. stakeholders who have their • Different perspectives opens own views. up different lines of thinking.
  13. 13. Technique SummarySeparate  Separate the method and the outcomeOpposite  Imagine doing the opposite of what seems logicalBest Practice  Find a solution from an industry that has already solved the problemAlien  Related the problem to an unrelated industryDiverge  Think of as many different solutions as you canAttribute  Break the problem into pieces and think about the bitsWorst Case  Imagine the worst case outcome and work backwardsAspects  Come up with different perspectives and think about the problem from each perspective in turn