Creativity and Simplicity
After sending out the Views titled, "Creativity or Simplicity," I got to thinking that some of my friends from years gone by may take offense to the relationship I make between Simplicity and Creativity. After years of association with the Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Sidney Parnes and Dr. Scott Isaksen, it is my belief that the majority of the things that I have seen as Creative were things that were very simple in nature. It was as someone told me long ago, Creativity is taking common things and using them in uncommon ways. Or as Dr. Roger Von Oech would say, looking at the same things as everyone else but thinking differently.
Over the years, I found Brain Storming, Creative Sessions, or whatever you want to call them, to be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Following are some tips I found useful in problem solving. Problem solving is usually looked at in terms of a team effort. I have found that it can be effective as a solutionary individual activity. You are only limited by the barriers of your mind. Following are some tips to Creative Thinking that I have found useful.
For anyone interested in reading about the topic of Creativity, I suggest that you look at "The Magic of Your Mind" by Dr. Sid Parnes, "Teaching Creative Behavior" by Dr. Doris Shallcross, and two books by Dr. Von Oech, "A Whack on the Side of the Head" and "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants." Each book approaches Creativity from a slightly different perspective. Of the four books, my favorite is "The Magic of the Mind." It is by far the most dog-eared and marked up book in my library.
- Define your Objective/Problem - Establish a clear vision of what you or the group are to achieve.
- Volume of Solutions - Strive to achieve as many solutions as possible. Stretch, force the number.
- The Mind of the Child - Let the childlike nature of your brain open up. Bring forth those crazy, stupid and childlike solutions.
- Hitchhike - Build on solutions.
- Defer Judgment - This is one of the most important rules of creative thinking.
- Walk Around the Mountain - Look at the Objective/Problem from different perspectives.
- Use different personalities to form ideas, such as how would Einstein, Curley, Donald Duck, Zeus, General Patton, etc., approach the problem?
- Use different professions to stimulate ideas for solutions such as doctor, plumber, electrician, butcher, lawyer, salesperson, banker, politician, etc.
- Incubation - Walk away from the problem, let it sink to the back of your mind. During this relaxed time insights or ideas will seemingly emerge magically.
The S.P.A.C.E. Method on the Internet
On a number of occasions, I have written about the SPACE concept evaluation research method. When I developed the technique, I used two protocols: Group CLT and a One-on-One In-Store. Now Sorensen Associates has developed an internet approach. If you are interested in seeing how this format works, go to www.surveyonline.org/sample_space.
Sponsor: Sorensen Associates Inc
Portland, OR 800.542.4321
Minneapolis, MN 888.616.0123
The In-Store Research Company