Chapter 3 Creative Thinking

What is Creativity? Creativity is a cognitive process that leads to new or improved products, performances, or paradigm. It is a quality of thought that allows an individual to generate many ideas, invent new ideas, or recombine existing ideas in a novel fashion. Creativity produces something apart from the ordinary: something remarkable, and something new. Creativity is an action that happens within a domain. Mozart displayed his creativity within the domain of music, Freud in psychology, and Michael Jordan in basketball. All these individuals operated within a particular domain, mastered it, and then pushed it in different directions. Without the domain, their creativity might not exist or be recognized. Mozart, living in a much earlier time or in a different place, probably would not have been able to display his musical talents. Would Michael Jordan be Michael Jordan without basketball?? Creative or divergent thinking has to do with generating ideas, integrating ideas, or seeing things in new ways. Creative thinking complements critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

There is, however, a difference between being creative and being bizarre. Creativity must have some aesthetic or pragmatic value. Unusual is not the same as creative. The arts are littered with short-term wonders who garnered a little bit of attention by being unusual instead of being creative. Once the oddity wears thin, these artists are quickly forgotten without having contributed to their artistic discipline.

Stages of Creative Process Creativity seldom happens by accident; rather it is purposeful, requiring preparation, hard work, and discipline. The sudden creative insight that inventors and artists sometimes describes is usually the last step in a long thinking process. Thus, creativity is not an event, but a process. Wallas (1926) proposed four stages of the creative process: 1. Preparation: this is the stage where the problem is first perceived and defined, information about the problem is gathered, and ideas are generated. 2. Incubation: here, both the conscious and unconscious mind manipulate the problem and think about possible solutions. New information is related to existing information and think about possible solutions. New information is related to existing information and existing schemata are reorganized to accommodate new information. 3. Illumination: in this stage, the thinker suddenly sees the idea, concept, or solution to the problem.

4. Requires the production of connected discourse in contrast to the production of isolated words (e. or phrases related to a specific condition or object. The ability to think of a large number of different responses when a given task requires the generation of numerous responses. in a problem of forming squares using a minimum number of lines. interpretations) to a given topic. situation. or orthographic characteristics (independent of word meanings Ideational Fluency (FI): Ability to rapidly produce a series of ideas. from building material to weight to missile to source of red powder.. divergent. subject can jump among categories. Differs from FI in the requirement to rephrase given ideas rather than generating new ideas. Associational Fluency (FA): A highly specific ability to rapidly produce a series of words or phrases associated in meaning (semantically associated. For example. Verification: this is an evaluative stage where the thinker verifies or tests the idea. solved. Expressional Fluency (FE): Ability to rapidly think of and organize words or phrases into meaningful complex ideas under general or more specific cued conditions. In contrast to Ideational Fluency. set of unique visual elements).g.g. Skills of Creativity 1. quality rather quantity of production is emphasized. The ability to produce different ways of saying much the same thing. not quality or response originality is emphasized. Quantity. FA FW). Originality: Ability to rapidly produce unusual. y y y y y 2. or uncommon responses (expressions. Fluency (brainstorming): the thinker will generate the greatest number of ideas without regard to evaluation (add as many ideas as quickly as possible). . words. can abandon the usual idea that all squares have to be the same size y y 3. or applied) Kinds of Flexibility Spontaneous Flexibility: Can produce a great variety of ideas. structural. For example in suggesting uses for a brick. concept. original. Quantity is emphasized over quality or uniqueness.. or solution. Flexibility: The thinker will generate a variety of different approaches (find other ways for an idea to be used. Ability to call up ideas. Adaptive Flexibility: Can generalize requirements of a problem to find a solution. Elaboration: the thinker will embellish an original idea (add things to an idea to make it better or more interesting) 4. Kinds of Fluency Word Fluency (FW): Ability to rapidly produce isolated words that have specific phonemic. clever. Figural Fluency (FF): Ability to rapidly draw or sketch as many things (or elaborations) as possible when presented with a non-meaningful visual stimulus (e. or some other common semantic property) when given a word or concept with a restricted area of meaning.

it may lead to a new one. The ability to invent unique solutions to problems or to develop innovative methods for situations where a standard operating procedure does not apply. Rewards effort: creativity is motivated by several kinds of circumstances. Do not be afraid to disagree 4. Respectiveness to new ideas: even if you disagree with the idea. 2. Independence: this generates new perspectives in problem solving. some want fame. even if others resist 5. It means that the atmosphere should encourage calculated risk taking. Discipline is needed to attack a problem within each stage of the model. 7. Do not be influenced by opinions of others. then judge the outcome later. 4. Different people expects different kinds of rewards. Recognizes the value of ideas: external reinforcement can give motivation needed to face daily problems and stress. This will keep the creativity flow. Look at problem s from every possible perspective. Impulsiveness: don¶t hold back. But do generate all the data first. 7. Do not repress new ideas or thoughts. Solving problems creatively requires asking a variety of questions 3. They also need to feel that they will be rewarded for their efforts in their projects. 8. Provides time for individual efforts: employees need personal time to help them reach goals and solve problems with their own personal creativity. and all ideas should be given a fair hearing and allowed to develop. Perseverance: It is important to keep working on an idea. Curiosity: you need to be curious about your environment to deal with its problems. Generating of Solutions: we build up or reactivates a store of information relevant to the problem or task. write it down. b. Risk taking: Unless you take risks. Provides assistance in developing ideas: even the best ideas should go through revision. . When information are enough we can afford different possible solutions for the problem. Conditions for Creativity a. Playfulness: do not be afraid to toy with your ideas. Following a new and unique path to a solution. This stage may be quite long depending on the task or problem and our knowledge about it. you will never produce anything creative. It is important to encourage individuals and take the positive aspects of any new idea before dismissing it. Discipline: Creative process must be done in a structured manner. Framework for the Creative Problem Solving 1.or task. Encourages risk taking: it doesn¶t mean to take a career risk. 5. Encourages open expression of ideas: do not threat people with new ideas 2. If it pops into your mind. Accepts ³off the wall´ ideas: tolerate unconventional ideas 3. 6. External Factors 1. others want money. Internal factors 1. Presentation of Problem: 1st step is to present the task or the problem to be solved 2. 6.

The stimulus comes from forcing yourself to answer questions which you would not normally pose. you are often prompted into an alternative product/process. or to distort it in an unusual way. P Put to other purposes: Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/ product/process to other purposes. Typical questions: What happens if I warp or exaggerate a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the process in some way? 5. Typical questions: What materials. or valuable). C Combine: Think about combining two or more parts of your probortunity to achieve a different product/process or to enhance synergy. processes. or think of what you could reuse from somewhere else in order to solve your own probortunity. useful. time. products or components can I combine? Where can I build synergy? 3. Typical questions: What can I substitute to make an improvement? What if I swap this for that and see what happens? How can I substitute the place. SCAMPER is an acronym which stands for questions relating to the following: 1. correct. Typical questions: What part of the product could I change? And in exchange for what? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component? 4. materials or people? 2. Decision Making: what will be the decision after stage 4.3. M Modify/Magnify/Minify: Think about changing part or all of the current situation. S Substitute: Think about substituting part of your product/process for something else. 4. 5. The more possibilities the better. The questions direct you to thinking about a probortunity in ways which typically come up with new ideas. the SCAMPER technique uses a set of directed questions which you answer about your probortunity (problem/opportunity) in order to come up with new ideas. if the response has passed or failed. Validation of Responses: the response possibility is tested for correctness against the knowledge and the relevant criteria (appropriate. features. or if no reasonable response has been generated?? Strategies of Creative Thinking A. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways of working. we generate response possibilities by searching through the available pathways and exploring features of the environment that are relevant to the task at hand. You might think of . people. SCAMPER Technique Developed by Bob Eberle. Novelty of response: here. By looking for something to substitute you can often come up with new ideas. A Adapt: Think about which parts of the product/process could be adapted to remove the probortunity or think how you could change the nature of the product/process.

but in most cases. Typical questions: What would happen if I removed a component or part of it? How else would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it? 7. An experienced facilitator is useful. The recorder or facilitator stress before the brainstorming begins that there will be no criticism of ideas during the brainstorming. E Eliminate: Think of what might happen if you eliminated various parts of the product/process/probortunity and consider what you might do in that situation. The first phase generates ideas.another way of solving your own probortunity or finding another market for your product. provide the insight of a fresh perspective to an expert. As soon as that happens. people will simply keep their ideas to themselves. BRAINSTORMING Brain storming is one of the oldest known methods for generating group creativity. participants should eliminate redundant ideas. Encouraging all participants to freely offer solutions achieves many ends: it can allay fears that possible solutions have been overlooked. force the examination of good ideas that have powerful foes. R Reverse/Rearrange: Think of what you would do if part of your probortunity/ product/ process worked in reverse or done in a different order. the facilitator or recorded must quickly stop the criticism and repeat the prohibition. There are two phases of the activity. It is best done in small groups led by a recorder who simply lists every idea that is offered by any member of the group. B. or the brainstorming effort will be a waste of time. Typical questions: What other market could I use this product in? Who or what else might be able to use it? 6. The remaining alternatives can then be organized if that serves a purpose. In order to avoid the embarrassment of being criticized in front of a group. but criticism at this point will kill creativity. A group of people come together and focus on a problem or proposal. There are some simple ideas for working creatively in groups. Criticism can be very difficult to resist. The key to successful brainstorming is to withhold criticism until the group has exhausted its creativity. The use of 8«"x 11" paper rather than flip charts allows participants to group ideas before having to agree on category names. someone will ignore this prohibition a few minutes after the brainstorming begins. but ultimately unsuitable ideas to be raised and rejected in an equitable and public manner. . This often leads you to consider different ways of tackling the probortunity. After the uncritical brainstorming. or allow interesting. the second phase evaluates them. What would you do if you had to do it in reverse? You can use this to see your probortunity from different angles and come up with new ideas. and then use preliminary screening criteria to reduce the number of alternatives.

implementing it. judging the value of these alternatives and their consequences. Many things prevent us from thinking of solutions in them most direct manner. When that happens. ‡ .C. Example: let¶s say your organization has to improve its ability to attract and keep the best employees. Synectics The joining together of different and apparently irrelevant elements to solve a problem. Rather than compile an overdone list of rewards. we can apply Newton¶s third law to creative problem-solving by working on ways to accomplish an objective that is the opposite of our original goal. We have to learn how to view problems with a broad perspective. Could you have obtained the same ideas with the direct approach? Many of the answers would be the same. Then write down the opposite action you could take. and being satisfied with it. Sir Isaac Newton wrote his third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. making a good choice. one way to do this is by using analogical thinking to discover similarities between things that appear dissimilar. whether executives or entry-level. you can begin to institute the opposite actions.__________________________ Opposite (Real Goal) ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ By generating a list of what you do not want. of course.__________________________ 5. Newton¶s Third Law In 1687.__________________________ 4. list six ways to make the employees stay away from or leave the organization. Accepting the Limitation of Solutions: Compromise ‡ There is no perfection. which will help you achieve your real goal. To do this. creatively developing alternatives.__________________________ 2.____________________ ______ 3. How to Make Good Employees leave 1. an improvement made in one area may detract from other areas. science must be combined with individual and social values to develop a decision process based on many goals and criteria that are important to numerous constituents. D. but using Newton¶s Third Law usually unearths a few gems that otherwise would be missed. These actions will help you retain the best employees.__________________________ 6.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful