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Managing Creative Thinking Skills
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Contents Creativity and Types of Innovation  Conceptual Blocks : Constancy, Compression and Complacency Three Components of Creativity  The Paradoxical Characteristics of Creative Groups Tools for Defining Problems and Creating New Ideas Creating a Creative Climate
Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring into a box every night.” Don’t Believe the Experts ! (Darryl F. Zanuck, Head of 20th Century Fox, 1946)
Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ That’s an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?”  (US President Rutherford B. Hayes, after participating in  a trial telephone conversation  between Washington and Philadelphia in 1876).
Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ I think there is a world market for about five computers” Don’t Believe the Experts ! Don’t Believe the Experts ! (Thomas J. Watson Sr., Chairman of IBM, 1943)
Conceptual Blocks to Creativity
Blocks and Blockbusters to Creativity Following the rules Breaking the rules Making assumptions Checking assumptions
Blocks and Blockbusters to Creativity Fear of failure Risk-taking culture Over-reliance on logic Use imagination and intuition
Conceptual Blocks Conceptual blocks Mental obstacles that constrain the way the problem is defined and limit the number of alternative solutions thought to be relevant
Conceptual Blocks The more formal education individuals have The more experience they have in a job The less able they are to solve problem in creative ways…
Conceptual Blocks Formal education often produces… “ right answers”, analytical rules, or thinking boundaries Experience in job teaches….. proper ways of doing things, specialized knowledge, and rigid expectation of appropriate actions Individuals lose the ability to experiment, improvise, and take mental detours
Types of Conceptual Blocks Constancy Vertical thinking One thinking language Compression Distinguishing figure from ground Artificial constraint
Types of Conceptual Blocks Complacency Non-inquisitiveness Non-thinking
Constancy Vertical thinking One thinking language Defining problem in only one way without considering alternative views Lateral thinkers, on the other hand, generate alternative ways of viewing a problem and produce multiple definitions Using only one language (e.g., words) to define and assess the problem Disregarding other language such as nonverbal or symbolic languages (e.g., mathematics), sensory imagery (smelling), feelings and emotions (fear, happiness) and visual imagery (mental pictures).
Compression Distinguishing figure from ground Artificial constraints Not filtering out irrelevant information or finding needed information The inability to separate the important from the unimportant, and to appropriately compress problems.  Defining the boundaries of a problem too narrowly People assume that some problem definitions or alternative solutions are off-limits, so they ignore them.
Complacency Non-inquisitiveness Non-thinking Not asking questions Sometimes the inability to solve problems results from a reticence to ask questions, to obtain information, or to search for data. An inclination to avoid doing mental work.
Three Components of Creativity
Three Components of Creativity Expertise Motivation Creative Thinking Skills Creativity
Three Components of Creativity Expertise Motivation Expertise is, in a word, knowledge – technical, procedural, and intellectual Not all motivation is created equal. An inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads to solutions far more creative than do external rewards, such as money.
Three Components of Creativity Creative Thinking Skills Creative thinking skills determine how flexible and imaginatively people approach problems.
The Paradoxical Characteristics of Creative Groups Beginner’s Mind Freedom Play Improvisation  Experience Discipline Professionalism Planning
Myths about Creativity The smarter you are, the more creative you are 2. The young are more creative than the old 3. Creativity is reserved for the few – the flamboyant risk takers 4. Creativity is a solitary act 5. You can’t manage creativity
Tools for Defining Problems
Tools for Defining Problems Kipling Method Problem Statement Challenge Method Tools for Defining Problems
Kipling Method Kipling Method Rudyard Kipling used a set of questions (5W + 1H) to help trigger ideas and solve problems One approach with this is to use the questions in a particular order to help guide you through a sequence of thought towards a complete answer, such as:  What is the problem? Where is it happening? When is it happening? Why is it happening? How can you overcome this problem? Who do you need to get involved? When will you know you have solved the problem?
Kipling Method Any questions work because we are conditioned to answer questions that we are asked. They challenge us and social rules say it is impolite not to reply. The Kipling questions work because they are short and direct. They are also largely general, and 'What' can be applied to many different situations, making them a flexible resource. Kipling Method
Problem Statement Problem Statement When starting to solve a creative problem it is a good idea to define the problem you are trying to solve.  Start by discussing the overall context and situation in which the creative activity is aimed.
Problem Statement Write down more than one draft of the problem statement. Remember that defining the problem is almost a complete project in itself and you may benefit from going through iterative stages of convergence and divergence. Listen and write down everybody's opinion of what the problem really is. Find the points of agreement and then discuss the differences.  Problem Statement
Problem Statement Stating the problem may seem obvious, yet many creative efforts fail because the problem is either unclear or it is focused in the wrong place.  The way you state a problem is half the problem and half the solution. Once you have identified a good problem statement, sometimes the solution is so obvious that you need little, if any, creative thought afterwards. Problem Statement
Challenge Method Use it to force yourself or other people out of a thinking rut. Use it to test out ideas for validity. Use it to challenge the problem or situation you are considering when initially defining the problem. Challenge Method
Select all or part of the problem domain that you are going to challenge. Perhaps it is something that has been particularly difficult to be creative around. Find something to challenge and question it deeply. You can challenge many things, including: Concepts - and broad ideas Assumptions - and beliefs that are not questioned Challenge Method Challenge Method
Challenge Method Boundaries - across which you do not yet cross 'Impossible' - things that are assumed cannot happen 'Can't be done' - things that are assumed cannot be done 'Essentials' - things that you assume cannot be disposed of Sacred cows - that cannot be challenged Challenge Method
Challenge Method One way in which we deal with the complexity of the world is to make assumptions about many things. Our pattern-matching ability is a great help in allowing us to take short-cuts but it often ends up in us not noticing many things.  If we do not take deliberate and conscious action, our subconscious will let many assumptions pass by unnoticed.  Challenge Method
Tools for Creating New Ideas
Tools for Creating New Ideas Attribute Listing Brainstorming Visioning Tools for Creating New Ideas
Attribute Listing Attribute Listing Use Attribute Listing when you have a situation that can be decomposed into attributes - which itself can be a usefully creative activity. Particularly useful with physical objects. You can use it elsewhere, too. Highly rational style. Suitable for people who prefer analytic approaches. Good for engineering-type situations.
Attribute Listing For the object or thing in question, list as many attributes as you can.  It can also be useful to first break the object down into constituent parts and look at the attributes of each part in question.  Attribute Listing
Attribute Listing For each attribute, ask 'what does this give'? Seek the real value of each attribute. It is also possible that attributes have 'negative value' -- i.e.. they detract from the overall value of the object. Finally look for ways in which you can modify the attributes in some way. Thus you can increase value, decrease negative value or create new value. Attribute Listing
Attribute Listing Attribute Listing works as a decompositional approach, breaking the problem down into smaller parts that can be examined individually. All things have attributes which are sometimes overlooked. By deliberately focusing on these, you can find new ways to be creative. Attribute Listing
Brainstorming Brain-storming Brainstorming is probably the best-known creative tool.  It can be used in most groups, although you will probably have to remind them of the rules.  It is best done using an independent facilitator who manages the process (so the group can focus on the creative task).  Typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour.
Brain-storming Brainstorming Rules : No criticism or debate Quantity over quality Freewheel Combine and improve Brainstorming
Brain-storming Brainstorming works when people use each other's ideas to trigger their own thinking. Our minds are highly associative, and one thought easily triggers another.  If we use the thoughts of others, then these will stop us getting trapped by our own thinking structures. Brainstorming
Visioning Visioning A vision is a 'motivating view of the future'. It creates pull. It gives direction. Imagine brilliant and innovative future. Think about what you are trying to achieve.  Go out into the future. Look around and see what is there.
Visioning Visioning Use dynamic and emotive words to paint motivating pictures. Use words like 'sharp', 'now' and 'value'. Phrase it in the present tense to make it more immediate. Use 'is' rather than 'will'. Use active verbs that talk about what is happening.  Test it with others to ensure it works for them too.
Visioning Visioning Visioning works because we are an imaginative species and are motivated by what we perceive as a possible or desired future.
Creating a Creative Climate
Organizational Characteristics that Support Creativity and Innovation Risk taking is acceptable to management New ideas and new ways of doing things are welcomed Information is free flowing Employees have access to knowledge sources Good ideas are supported by executive patrons Innovators are rewarded
Creating a Creative Climate Motivation Challenge Empowerment Fun Freedom Time  Support
Creating a Creative Climate Dynamism Energy Openness Debate and Dialog Experimentation Trust Risk
References/Recommended Further Readings: David A. Whetten and Kim S. Cameron,  Developing Management Skills , Harpers Collins Publisher.  You can obtain this excellent book at this link:  http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Management-Skills-David-Whetten/dp/0131747428/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219800012&sr=1-1 Floyd Hurt,  Rousing Creativity , Crisp Publication.  Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Crisp-Rousing-Creativity-Professional/dp/1560525479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219802592&sr=1-1 www.creatingminds.org
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Creative Thinking Skills

  • 2. You can download this presentation at: www.studyMarketing.org Visit www.studyMarketing.org for more presentations on Marketing, Strategy, Innovation, and Branding
  • 3. Contents Creativity and Types of Innovation Conceptual Blocks : Constancy, Compression and Complacency Three Components of Creativity The Paradoxical Characteristics of Creative Groups Tools for Defining Problems and Creating New Ideas Creating a Creative Climate
  • 4. Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring into a box every night.” Don’t Believe the Experts ! (Darryl F. Zanuck, Head of 20th Century Fox, 1946)
  • 5. Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ That’s an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?” (US President Rutherford B. Hayes, after participating in a trial telephone conversation between Washington and Philadelphia in 1876).
  • 6. Don’t Believe the Experts ! “ I think there is a world market for about five computers” Don’t Believe the Experts ! Don’t Believe the Experts ! (Thomas J. Watson Sr., Chairman of IBM, 1943)
  • 7. Conceptual Blocks to Creativity
  • 8. Blocks and Blockbusters to Creativity Following the rules Breaking the rules Making assumptions Checking assumptions
  • 9. Blocks and Blockbusters to Creativity Fear of failure Risk-taking culture Over-reliance on logic Use imagination and intuition
  • 10. Conceptual Blocks Conceptual blocks Mental obstacles that constrain the way the problem is defined and limit the number of alternative solutions thought to be relevant
  • 11. Conceptual Blocks The more formal education individuals have The more experience they have in a job The less able they are to solve problem in creative ways…
  • 12. Conceptual Blocks Formal education often produces… “ right answers”, analytical rules, or thinking boundaries Experience in job teaches….. proper ways of doing things, specialized knowledge, and rigid expectation of appropriate actions Individuals lose the ability to experiment, improvise, and take mental detours
  • 13. Types of Conceptual Blocks Constancy Vertical thinking One thinking language Compression Distinguishing figure from ground Artificial constraint
  • 14. Types of Conceptual Blocks Complacency Non-inquisitiveness Non-thinking
  • 15. Constancy Vertical thinking One thinking language Defining problem in only one way without considering alternative views Lateral thinkers, on the other hand, generate alternative ways of viewing a problem and produce multiple definitions Using only one language (e.g., words) to define and assess the problem Disregarding other language such as nonverbal or symbolic languages (e.g., mathematics), sensory imagery (smelling), feelings and emotions (fear, happiness) and visual imagery (mental pictures).
  • 16. Compression Distinguishing figure from ground Artificial constraints Not filtering out irrelevant information or finding needed information The inability to separate the important from the unimportant, and to appropriately compress problems. Defining the boundaries of a problem too narrowly People assume that some problem definitions or alternative solutions are off-limits, so they ignore them.
  • 17. Complacency Non-inquisitiveness Non-thinking Not asking questions Sometimes the inability to solve problems results from a reticence to ask questions, to obtain information, or to search for data. An inclination to avoid doing mental work.
  • 18. Three Components of Creativity
  • 19. Three Components of Creativity Expertise Motivation Creative Thinking Skills Creativity
  • 20. Three Components of Creativity Expertise Motivation Expertise is, in a word, knowledge – technical, procedural, and intellectual Not all motivation is created equal. An inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads to solutions far more creative than do external rewards, such as money.
  • 21. Three Components of Creativity Creative Thinking Skills Creative thinking skills determine how flexible and imaginatively people approach problems.
  • 22. The Paradoxical Characteristics of Creative Groups Beginner’s Mind Freedom Play Improvisation Experience Discipline Professionalism Planning
  • 23. Myths about Creativity The smarter you are, the more creative you are 2. The young are more creative than the old 3. Creativity is reserved for the few – the flamboyant risk takers 4. Creativity is a solitary act 5. You can’t manage creativity
  • 24. Tools for Defining Problems
  • 25. Tools for Defining Problems Kipling Method Problem Statement Challenge Method Tools for Defining Problems
  • 26. Kipling Method Kipling Method Rudyard Kipling used a set of questions (5W + 1H) to help trigger ideas and solve problems One approach with this is to use the questions in a particular order to help guide you through a sequence of thought towards a complete answer, such as: What is the problem? Where is it happening? When is it happening? Why is it happening? How can you overcome this problem? Who do you need to get involved? When will you know you have solved the problem?
  • 27. Kipling Method Any questions work because we are conditioned to answer questions that we are asked. They challenge us and social rules say it is impolite not to reply. The Kipling questions work because they are short and direct. They are also largely general, and 'What' can be applied to many different situations, making them a flexible resource. Kipling Method
  • 28. Problem Statement Problem Statement When starting to solve a creative problem it is a good idea to define the problem you are trying to solve. Start by discussing the overall context and situation in which the creative activity is aimed.
  • 29. Problem Statement Write down more than one draft of the problem statement. Remember that defining the problem is almost a complete project in itself and you may benefit from going through iterative stages of convergence and divergence. Listen and write down everybody's opinion of what the problem really is. Find the points of agreement and then discuss the differences. Problem Statement
  • 30. Problem Statement Stating the problem may seem obvious, yet many creative efforts fail because the problem is either unclear or it is focused in the wrong place. The way you state a problem is half the problem and half the solution. Once you have identified a good problem statement, sometimes the solution is so obvious that you need little, if any, creative thought afterwards. Problem Statement
  • 31. Challenge Method Use it to force yourself or other people out of a thinking rut. Use it to test out ideas for validity. Use it to challenge the problem or situation you are considering when initially defining the problem. Challenge Method
  • 32. Select all or part of the problem domain that you are going to challenge. Perhaps it is something that has been particularly difficult to be creative around. Find something to challenge and question it deeply. You can challenge many things, including: Concepts - and broad ideas Assumptions - and beliefs that are not questioned Challenge Method Challenge Method
  • 33. Challenge Method Boundaries - across which you do not yet cross 'Impossible' - things that are assumed cannot happen 'Can't be done' - things that are assumed cannot be done 'Essentials' - things that you assume cannot be disposed of Sacred cows - that cannot be challenged Challenge Method
  • 34. Challenge Method One way in which we deal with the complexity of the world is to make assumptions about many things. Our pattern-matching ability is a great help in allowing us to take short-cuts but it often ends up in us not noticing many things. If we do not take deliberate and conscious action, our subconscious will let many assumptions pass by unnoticed. Challenge Method
  • 35. Tools for Creating New Ideas
  • 36. Tools for Creating New Ideas Attribute Listing Brainstorming Visioning Tools for Creating New Ideas
  • 37. Attribute Listing Attribute Listing Use Attribute Listing when you have a situation that can be decomposed into attributes - which itself can be a usefully creative activity. Particularly useful with physical objects. You can use it elsewhere, too. Highly rational style. Suitable for people who prefer analytic approaches. Good for engineering-type situations.
  • 38. Attribute Listing For the object or thing in question, list as many attributes as you can. It can also be useful to first break the object down into constituent parts and look at the attributes of each part in question. Attribute Listing
  • 39. Attribute Listing For each attribute, ask 'what does this give'? Seek the real value of each attribute. It is also possible that attributes have 'negative value' -- i.e.. they detract from the overall value of the object. Finally look for ways in which you can modify the attributes in some way. Thus you can increase value, decrease negative value or create new value. Attribute Listing
  • 40. Attribute Listing Attribute Listing works as a decompositional approach, breaking the problem down into smaller parts that can be examined individually. All things have attributes which are sometimes overlooked. By deliberately focusing on these, you can find new ways to be creative. Attribute Listing
  • 41. Brainstorming Brain-storming Brainstorming is probably the best-known creative tool. It can be used in most groups, although you will probably have to remind them of the rules. It is best done using an independent facilitator who manages the process (so the group can focus on the creative task). Typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour.
  • 42. Brain-storming Brainstorming Rules : No criticism or debate Quantity over quality Freewheel Combine and improve Brainstorming
  • 43. Brain-storming Brainstorming works when people use each other's ideas to trigger their own thinking. Our minds are highly associative, and one thought easily triggers another. If we use the thoughts of others, then these will stop us getting trapped by our own thinking structures. Brainstorming
  • 44. Visioning Visioning A vision is a 'motivating view of the future'. It creates pull. It gives direction. Imagine brilliant and innovative future. Think about what you are trying to achieve. Go out into the future. Look around and see what is there.
  • 45. Visioning Visioning Use dynamic and emotive words to paint motivating pictures. Use words like 'sharp', 'now' and 'value'. Phrase it in the present tense to make it more immediate. Use 'is' rather than 'will'. Use active verbs that talk about what is happening. Test it with others to ensure it works for them too.
  • 46. Visioning Visioning Visioning works because we are an imaginative species and are motivated by what we perceive as a possible or desired future.
  • 48. Organizational Characteristics that Support Creativity and Innovation Risk taking is acceptable to management New ideas and new ways of doing things are welcomed Information is free flowing Employees have access to knowledge sources Good ideas are supported by executive patrons Innovators are rewarded
  • 49. Creating a Creative Climate Motivation Challenge Empowerment Fun Freedom Time Support
  • 50. Creating a Creative Climate Dynamism Energy Openness Debate and Dialog Experimentation Trust Risk
  • 51. References/Recommended Further Readings: David A. Whetten and Kim S. Cameron, Developing Management Skills , Harpers Collins Publisher. You can obtain this excellent book at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Management-Skills-David-Whetten/dp/0131747428/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219800012&sr=1-1 Floyd Hurt, Rousing Creativity , Crisp Publication. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Crisp-Rousing-Creativity-Professional/dp/1560525479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219802592&sr=1-1 www.creatingminds.org