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The process of bringing something new into being.

The ability to produce something novel, something with the stamp of uniqueness upon it
(Torrence, 1970).
The combination of abilities, skills, motivations, and attitudes.

Creativity is:

Embracing what you dont know and asking the silly questions.
Making up a job that didnt exist before you had it and now does.
Changing your social circle to get new perspective.
Pushing yourself to the edge of comfort.
Yoking together two disparate ideas in a way that makes total sense.
Making someone laugh.
Working at the intersection of disciplines the gray area that no one knows.
Knowing the strategic box that your creative energy should fill.
Shattering that box when needed.
Being vulnerable with your ideas

Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity involves two processes:
thinking, then producing.
Innovation is the production or implementation of an idea. If you have ideas, but dont act on them, you are
imaginative but not creative. Linda Naiman

Creativity is the process of bringing something new into beingcreativity requires passion and commitment.
Out of the creative act is born symbols and myths. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and
points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness-ecstasy.
Rollo May, The Courage to Create

A product is creative when it is (a) novel and (b) appropriate. A novel product is original not predictable. The
bigger the concept, and the more the product stimulates further work and ideas, the more the product is
Sternberg & Lubart, Defying the Crowd

Types of Creativity

Capital C creativity. Bringing into existence something genuinely new that receives social
validation (enhances culture).
Small C creativity. Ideas or products that are new to the person, but only to the person.

Characteristics of Creativity

Accepts and is attracted to disorder

Adventurous, full of curiosity
Strong affection
Aware of others
Always baffled by something
Attempts difficult jobs
Outwardly bashful
Constructive in criticism
Deep and conscientious in convictions
Determined & energetic
Emotionally sensitive

What is creativity?
Creativity is the bringing into being of something which did not exist before, either as a product, a process or
a thought.

You would be demonstrating creativity if you:

Invent something which has never existed before

Invent something which exists elsewhere but you are not aware of
Invent a new process for doing something
Reapply an existing process or product into a new or different market
Develop a new way of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence)
Change the way someone else looks at something

In fact, we are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the
world about us. Creativity does not have to be about developing something new to the world, it is more to do
with developing something new to ourselves. When we change ourselves, the world changes with us, both
in the way that the world is affected by our changed actions and in the changed way that we experience the

Creativity can be used to make products, processes and services better and it can be used to create them in the
first place. It is expected that increasing your creativity will help you, your organization and your customers
become happier through improvements in your quality and quantity of output.

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking is the process which we use when we come up with a new idea. It is the merging of
ideas which have not been merged before. Brainstorming is one form of creative thinking: it works by
merging someone else's ideas with your own to create a new one. You are using the ideas of others as a
stimulus for your own.

This creative thinking process can be accidental or deliberate.

Without using special techniques creative thinking does still occur, but usually in the accidental way; like a
chance happening making you think about something in a different way and you then discovering a beneficial
change. Other changes happen slowly through pure use of intelligence and logical progression. Using this
accidental or logical progression process, it often takes a long time for products to develop and improve. In an
accelerating and competitive world this is obviously disadvantageous.
Using special techniques, deliberate creative thinking can be used to develop new ideas. These techniques
force the mergance of a wide range of ideas to spark off new thoughts and processes. Brainstorming is one of
these special techniques, but traditionally it starts with unoriginal ideas.

Developments of products occur much more rapidly using these deliberate techniques than by accident.
Many people known for being creative use these techniques, but are not aware they are doing so because they
have not been formally trained in them. If you use these deliberate techniques during advanced brainstorming
sessions then you too will be more creative.

With practice, ongoing creative thinking (the continuous investigation, questioning and analysis that develops
through education, training and self-awareness) occurs all the time. Ongoing creativity maximizes both
accidental and deliberate creative thinking. Ongoing creativity takes time and deliberate practice to become
skillful at, but it's surprising how quickly it becomes an attitude, not a technique.

The first step to take is to learn the creative thinking techniques so that you can deliberately use them to come
up with new ideas. You will then be at an immediate advantage over those who don't know how to use them.
You should then practise the techniques to increase your skill at ongoing creative thinking. (After a while you
may even find it unnecessary to use specific techniques because you may be having too many ideas anyway.)

Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that
may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.

Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:

1. need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation
2. need to communicate ideas and values
3. need to solve problems

In order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective.
Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of
creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of
those alternatives. the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by
change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of
ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.

Characteristics of the creative personality:

1. Creative individuals have a great deal of energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.
2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.
3. Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and
4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy ant one end, and rooted sense
of reality at the other.
5. Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion
and introversion.
6. Creative individuals are also remarkable humble and proud at the same time.
7. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape rigid gender role stereotyping and have a
tendency toward androgyny.
8. Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent.
9. Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective
about it as well.
10. The openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering pain yet
also a great deal of enjoyment.
Creativity is the impetus behind any given act of creation: inventions, compositions, etc. It is a fundamental
human compulsion and largely related to notions of what separates human from machine intelligence.

The range of scholarly interest in creativity includes a multitude of definitions and approaches involving
several disciplines; psychology, cognitive science, education, philosophy (particularly philosophy of science),
technology, theology, sociology, linguistics, business studies, and economics, taking in the relationship
between creativity and general intelligence, mental and neurological processes associated with creativity, the
relationships between personality type and creative ability and between creativity and mental health, the
potential for fostering creativity through education and training, especially as augmented by technology, and
the application of creative resources to improve the effectiveness of learning and teaching processes

What is Creativity in Business?

Creativity is a crucial part of the innovation equation. Creativity requires whole-brain thinking; right-brain
imagination, artistry and intuition, plus left-brain logic and planning.

Creativity is a core competency for leaders and managers and one of the best ways to set your company apart
from the competition.

Corporate Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns,
to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Generating fresh
solutions to problems, and the ability to create new products, processes or services for a changing market, are
part of the intellectual capital that give a company its competitive edge.

In a summary of scientific research into creativity Michael Mumford suggested: "Over the course of the last
decade, however, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of
novel, useful products" (Mumford, 2003, p. 110).Creativity can also be defined "as the process of
producing something that is both original and worthwhile

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the production or implementation of ideas. The National Innovation Initiative (NII) defines
innovation as The intersection of invention and insight, leading to the creation of social and economic

Innovation means making meaningful change to improve an organizations products, services, programs,
processes, operations, and business model to create new value for the organizations stakeholders. Innovation
should lead your organization to new dimensions of performance. Innovation is no longer strictly the purview
of research and development departments; innovation is important for all aspects of your operations and all
work systems and work processes. Organizations should be led and managed so that innovation becomes part
of the learning culture. Innovation should be integrated into daily work and should be supported by your
performance improvement system.

Creative process

Common Themes Behind the Models of the Creative Process

While there are many models for the process of creative thinking, it is not difficult to see the consistent
themes that span them all.

The creative process involves purposeful analysis, imaginative idea generation,

and critical evaluation -- the total creative process is a balance of imagination
and analysis.
Older models tend to imply that creative ideas result from subconscious
processes, largely outside the control of the thinker. Modern models tend to
imply purposeful generation of new ideas, under the direct control of the
The total creative process requires a drive to action and the implementation of
ideas. We must do more than simply imagine new things, we must work to
make them concrete realities.

These insights from a review of the many models of creative thinking should be encouraging to us. Serious
business people often have strong skills in practical, scientific, concrete, and analytical thinking. Contrary to
popular belief, the modern theory of creativity does not require that we discard these skills. What we do need
to do, however, is to supplement these with some new thinking skills to support the generation of novel
insights and ideas.These insights from the historical models of creative thinking are meant to challenge and
encourage. As serious business people, we have strong skills in practical, scientific, concrete, and analytical
thinking that will serve us well as we engage the creative process. Contrary to popular belief, the modern
theory of creativity does not require that we discard these skills. What we do need to do, however, is to
acquire some new thinking skills to support the generation of novel insights and ideas. Importantly, we also
need to acquire the mental scripts to balance and direct these new thinking skills in concert with our
traditional ones. If we can meet this challenge, we stand well-equipped to help lead our organizations to
competitive advantage through innovation.

1. Problem Definition: During this stage you apply a number of techniques to ensure that you are asking
the right question.
2. Open Mind: Here you apply creativity techniques to generate as many answers as possible to the
question you are asking. At this stage you are not evaluating the answers.
3. Identify the best solution: Only at this stage do you select the best solutions from the ones you came up
with in step 2. Where you are having difficulty in selecting ideas, use formal techniques to help.
4. Transform: The final stage is to make an Action Plan for the implementation of the solution, and to
carry it out. Without implementation, your creativity is sterile.

Different Creative Process are

1. Wallis' model of the Creative process

One of the earliest models of the creative process is attributed to Graham Wallas. Wallas (1926) proposed that
creative thinking proceeds through four phases.

One of the earliest models of the creative process is attributed to Graham Wallas. Wallas (1926) proposed that
creative thinking proceeds through four phases.

1. Preparation
2. Incubation
3. Illumination
4. Verification

Researcher Graham Wallis, many years ago, set down a description of what happens as people approach
problems with the objective of coming up with creative solutions. He described his four-stage process as

1. In the preparation stage, we define the problem, need, or desire, and gather any information the solution or
response needs to account for, and set up criteria for verifying the solution's acceptability.
2. In the incubation stage, we step back from the problem and let our minds contemplate and work it through.
Like preparation, incubation can last minutes, weeks, even years.

3. In the illumination stage, ideas arise from the mind to provide the basis of a creative response. These ideas
can be pieces of the whole or the whole itself, i.e. seeing the entire concept or entity all at once. Unlike the
other stages, illumination is often very brief, involving a tremendous rush of insights within a few minutes or

4. In verification, the final stage, one carries out activities to demonstrate whether or not what emerged in
illumination satisfies the need and the criteria defined in the preparation stage.

The first and last stages are left brain (Quadrant A and B) activities, whereas the second and third stages
belong to the right brain (Quadrant D and C).

This model of the creative process has been placed on to Ned Herrmann's Four Quadrant model of the human

Preparation --> Incubation --> Illumination --> Verification

The early twentieth-century reformer Graham Walls, got somewhat nearer the sourc of the creative process,
which he outlines in his book, The Art of Thought. Summarising his own and other people's work in this
area, Wallas described four stages of creation.

1. Preparation. The person expecting to gain new insights must know his field of study and be well prepared.
This seems to fit what we have experienced 0 people get inventive ideas mainly in their own fields - poets in
poetry; scientists, in science.

2. Incubation - Wallas noticed many great ideas came only a period of time spent away from the problem.
This was certainly the experience of Archimedes when he got his idea in the public bath. Many ideas come to
us when we are away from the problem, usually after actively engaging with the problem.

3. Illumination. The "click" or "flash" of a new idea. It's a mysterious phase. Resting the mind by doing other
activities was the only suggestion Wallas could offer about how creative ideas form.
4. Verification. In this final step, efforts are made to see if the "happy idea" actually solves the problem.
Since "great" ideas don't always work out in actual practive, this final step is vitally important to the success
of any project.

We know that invention comes only in a person's field of specialisation. Wallas is right when he says there
must first be a Preparation stage: people have to become knowledgable in some field before they may expect
ideas to "dawn" on them in that area. (Probably the more we know, the more apt we are to get new ideas;
novel ideas seem to come from a fortunate scrambling of information we already have). ANd yet, although a
certain threshold level of knowledge seems necessary for creativity, creative breakthroughs are not always the
product of the most expert thinkers in a discipline.

2. The 5 Stages of Your Creative Process

Creativity is a glorious, and frustrating, and absurdly difficult but infinitely rewarding process of transforming
a boring idea into a fascinating one.

Why is it so glorious, yet so frustrating? In my experience, every creative process has 5 emotional stages.
From the start of a project all the way through execution, youll probably hit all 5 stages along the way. Ill
show you why theres one stage thats more critical and more brutally frustrating than all the other stages
put together.

Stage 1: Possibility
Youre coming up with all the easy stuff. You might have some interesting starter ideas, but really, you
probably have nothing. It feels like fun, free-range exploration. Youre probably saying to yourself, Heres a
cool idea. Heres another one. And another. Man, Im pretty good.

Stage 2: Doubt
As you begin to look at your ideas more closely, you realize, um theyre actually not that great. Doubt sets
in and uncertainty set in. You might become defensive, and start questioning the process, and yourself.

Stage 3: Agony
The most grueling of all steps in the creative process, this stage is a red-blooded struggle. Nothing seems to
work. Your co-workers get stressed by the perceived lack of progress. You worry that youll be exposed as a
hack. Ughhh. Suddenly, the whole project seriously sucks.

Stage 4: Epiphany
Youve done it! Youve just invented a big, new idea. With a burst of energy and relief, your breakthrough
has happened.

Stage 5: Finesse
Now youre crafting the raw idea to be more strategic and purposeful. Your skill and training really begins to
shine through, as you hone and rene your concept into the best possible execution. Now you gain momentum
with focused, purposeful engagement. The goal is in sight.

3. Seven stages of the Creative process

This is one of the oldest of the MG Taylor Models, developed in 1979 by Matt Taylor and Richard Goring as
part of an unpublished book entitled Designing Creative Futures. The original rendering was done by Matt by
hand and is extremely rich in meaning and detail. It shows four levels of recursion, beginning with the
bipartite division between subjective and objective; creating the problem and solving it; individual and
collective. It continues with the seven stages arranged so that the Insight stage is divided by the bipartite
model beneath it. Each of the seven stages is further divided into six components, and these are divided into
another seven pieces. The diagram clearly identifies and classifies 294 stages of the creative process at this
deepest stage.

The Seven Stages are

Explore, discover and understand how the system produces the conditions. Even if you think you know how
it's done, think again. Use techniques of collaborative, creative design to see the system from different vantage
points. Break out of common assumptions and past practices (you can always go back to them if you need to).
Build a working model of the current system that replicates the conditions you see. It probably won't be right
but it will lend some needed insight. Creativity is the elimination of options. So generate some optional ways
of seeing the system and its components. Work until you can see the truth in everyone's viewpoint. This
means building models of these viewpoints. Then, maybe you can assemble components of the viewpoints
together to get a more robust map of the system and conditions than you could by clinging only to your own

How do you see the system working in the future? Be careful not to merely derive a list of anti-conditions.
Instead, build working simulations of how the new system will operate. Add new system components and
delete others. Ask yourself to describe the difference between the existing system and the new system in terms
of operational properties, components, cybernetics and self-organization. What is it about the new system that
will allow it to produce different conditions? Describe parameters of autocatalytic closure for the new system
to emerge. Whatever you do, don't write some nonsense vision statement. Get in the mud and do the work of
building the vision, don't just talk about it in flowery terms.

Are you excited yet? Do you have the juice to live in the vision and do the work to bring as much of it it back
to the present each day as you can? How long can you live with the ambiguity and paradox of working in two
different worlds? Can you assume the mantle and the risks of the prophet and advocate? Intent is the well of
energy that you'll return to over and over while you're working to bring your vision to the present. The greater
the distance on the fitness landscape between the old and new system, the greater the challenge and the more
energy you'll need to succeed.

At this stage, there's only one stumbling block: your vision is full of holes. You will have figured this out by
now. Sometimes when working on simple problems, the vision really will contain a clear definition of the
problem, and the answer, but usually there are lots of unknowns and gaps in understanding. The problem--the
PROBLEM--is how to conceive of, invent, allow for the emergence of, or create the subsystems and
ecosystems that will fill the gaps in the vision--that will rework the vision to make it more powerful. The
problem is not how to fix the conditions. The problem is how to imagine, design and allow for the evolution
of new components of the system (or new systems) that will help the system create different (and hopefully
more healthy) conditions. There's no other problem you can solve. You can't fix the conditions.

Imagine a group of people in a room. There's a thermostat on the wall connected to a heating system which is
operating, but the heating vents in the room have been closed. It's getting cold in the room and the
thermometer indicates that the temperature has fallen to 45F (apologies to our European friends). The
temperature in the room is the condition. One member of the group comes up with a response. He breaks the
thermometer, pours in more mercury, and then reseals it. Now the gauge shows 72F. Has he addressed the
problem? No, he's messed with the gauge, and it's still cold in the room. Another member of the group begins
hunting through the heating system, checking its various components and how they work together--
troubleshooting the system--and discovers the blocked vents, which she opens, allowing the warm air to
circulate through the room. The condition now has truly changed but only through an applied understanding of
how the system works, and in this instance, changing the state of one component of the system. Of course now
the faulty thermometer reads 99F!

Problems with human enterprises are much trickier, being organic and not mechanical.

Think of Engineering as a laboratory where various components of the vision, and perhaps different visions
themselves are fully designed and tested. It's a breeding ground for new variations as they vie to see which is
more fit (not necessarily "better" but more resilient in the current environment). The term Engineering can be
misleading if you imagine one or several individuals running carefully controlled experiments. Instead it's
more like a confusing market place filled with vendors, hawkers and customers buying and selling their stuff
to each other. At least that's the metaphor to use when the problem to be solved is organizational in nature.

Simpler problems may actually be solved in controlled environments, particularly those that involve the
design of physical materials, goods or services.

Engineering challenges involve cycles of rapid design, testing, and failure in order to ferret out the more
resilient designs. Due to this type of cycling, a pendulum effect is set up between the Intent and Building
stages. At each engineering failure, the designers must retreat to the Intent well to gather more resolve, push
through for the next Insight, and test it in Engineering until an idea survives well enough to proliferate on its
own. If this pendulum effect is full of friction, it can generate enough heat to damage the process, or cause
enough energy to bleed away to grind the process to a standstill.

Nothing can be engineered without being built. This stage works hand in glove with the previous one. This
applies in particular to organizations and enterprise-wide environments. While companies can run pilot tests to
limit risk, remember that the people participating in the pilot--investors, producers and customers--are all real
and committed and at risk

If the problem is an organizational one, this stage really refers to assembling complexity. Very few human
endeavors are actually built like a machine. Instead, ecosystems of ideas manifest themselves and self-
organize into an autocatalytic whole, meaning that each idea creates niches to be filled by other ideas, and
occupies niches created by them in turn. We can play a part in this assembly as designers and builders, but a
major portion of the process is beyond the individual or collective control of anyone.

At this stage, the idea has been manifested, and the system is now producing new conditions. All of the people
in the enterprise, whether they are investors, producers or customers, are users and participate in the system.
They can now truly evaluate whether the new conditions are better than the old conditions. Of course, in the
process of using, they all develop attachments and dependencies on the system as it is. The cycle begins over
again with Identity.

A sense of control that we were looking for in the Building stage can be found instead in this stage, as the new
system will work to maintain its own homeostasis--its unique identity and viability--across a broad range of
environmental conditions. So, for example, our current government and educational systems are extremely
resilient in their ability to resist fundamental change that may threaten what they are. This is good (and bad)!
It's good because without this ability, systems would never be stable for long enough to be of value. It's bad,
clearly because it's what makes them so hard to change.

4. The DirectedCreativity Cycle: A synthesis model of the creative process

The graphic presents our synthesis model -- The DirectedCreativity Cycle -- based on the concepts
behind the various models proposed in the literature over the last 80 years.

Let's walk through it, beginning at the 9:00 position on the circle. We live everyday in the same world as
everyone else, but creative thinking begins with careful observation of that world coupled with thoughtful
analysis of how things work and fail. These mental processes create a store of concepts in our memories.
Using this store, we generate novel ideas to meet specific needs by actively searching for associations among
concepts. Seeking the balance between satisficing and premature judgment, we then harvest and further
enhance our ideas before we subject them to a final, practical evaluation. But, it is not enough just to have
creative thoughts; ideas have no value until we put in the work to implement them. Every new idea that is put
into practice (that is, every innovation) changes the world we live in, which re-starts the cycle of observation
and analysis.

Directed creativity simply means that we make purposeful mental movements to avoid the pitfalls associated
with our cognitive mechanisms at each step of this process.

For purposes of explanation, we can further divide this model into the four phases shown. We will use these
four phases of Preparation, Imagination, Development, and Action to organize the tools of directed

Note that this model continues in the tradition of others in asserting that creativity is a balance of imagination
and analysis. The model also purposefully avoids taking a stand on the controversy of whether imagination is
a conscious or subconscious mental ability. While I personally believe that imagination is a conscious, non-
magical mental action, the activity of "generation" in the model welcomes creative ideas regardless of their
source. Finally, notice that this model clearly supports the notion that innovation is a step beyond the simple
generation of creative ideas; the Action phase of the model makes it clear that creative ideas have value only
when they are implemented in the real world.

5. Barron's Psychic Creation Model

Barron (1988) similarly places great emphasis on subconscious and chance processes in his four-phase,
"psychic creation model."

Barron's Psychic Creation Model

Conception (in a prepared mind)

Gestation (time, intricately coordinated)

Parturation (suffering to be born, emergence to light)

Bringing up the baby (further period of development)

The tone of Barron's model supports the popular view of creativity as a mysterious process involving
subconscious thoughts beyond the control of the creator.

In contrast to the prominent role that some models give to subconscious processes, Perkins (1981) argues that
subconscious mental processes are behind all thinking and, therefore, play no extraordinary role in creative
thinking. Just because we cannot fully describe our thought processes does not mean that we are not in control
of them. For example, we cannot begin to describe all of the subconscious mental processes that are engaged
in the simple act of picking up a coffee mug. But we are certainly in control of the overall act. Further, Perkins
argues, just because random events play a part in some acts of creation, this should not be taken to imply that
random events are the source of all acts of creation. Weisberg's (1993) review of the lives of great creators and
so-called "moments of invention" supports Perkins' points by demonstrating the years of conscious work and
preparation on the part of the creator.

While some models make it appear that creativity is a somewhat magical process, the predominant models
lean more toward the theory that novel ideas emerge from the conscious effort to balance analysis and
imagination. For example, Rossman (1931) examined the creative process via questionnaires completed by
710 inventors and expanded Wallas' original four steps to seven

6. Rossman's Creativity Model

Rossman's Creativity Model

1. Observation of a need or difficulty

2. Analysis of the need
3. A survey of all available information
4. A formulation of all objective solutions
5. A critical analysis of these solutions for their advantages and
6. The birth of the new idea -- the invention
7. Experimentation to test out the most promising solution, and the
selection and perfection of the final embodiment

Note that while Rossman still shrouds the "birth of the new idea" in mystery, his steps leading up to and
following this moment of illumination are clearly analytical.

Alex Osborn (1953), the developer of brainstorming, embraced a similar theory of balance between analysis
and imagination in his seven-step model for creative thinking.

7. Osborn's Seven-Step Model for Creative Thinking

Osborn's Seven-Step Model for Creative Thinking

1. Orientation: pointing up the problem

2. Preparation: gathering pertinent data
3. Analysis: breaking down the relevant material
4. Ideation: piling up alternatives by way of ideas
5. Incubation: letting up, to invite illumination
6. Synthesis: putting the pieces together
7. Evaluation: judging the resulting ideas

Note that Osborn implied purposeful ideation both in his notion of "piling up alternatives" and through his
development of the rules of brainstorming as a tool for doing so.

The systematic combination of techniques for directed creativity and techniques for analysis continues as a
strong theme in several, more recently proposed models. Parnes (1992) and Isaksen and Trefflinger (1985)
outline six steps in their popular creative problem solving (CPS) model. (Tens of thousands of people have
learned the CPS model and its associated tools through the seminars conducted by the Creative Education
Foundation in Buffalo, NY.)

8. The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Model

The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Model

1. Objective finding
2. Fact finding
3. Problem finding
4. Idea finding
5. Solution finding
6. Acceptance finding

Steps 3 and 4 (problem and idea finding) clearly require novel, creative thinking; while steps 1, 2, 5, and 6
require traditional skills and analytical thinking.

9. Koberg and Bagnall's Universal Traveler Model

Koberg and Bagnall (1981) propose a similar balanced model in their popular book The Universal Traveler.

Koberg and Bagnall's Universal Traveler Model

Accept the situation (as a challenge)

Analyze (to discover the "world of the problem")

Define (the main issues and goals)

Ideate (to generate options)

Select (to choose among options)

Implement (to give physical form to the idea)

Evaluate (to review and plan again)

Again, notice that ideation, the traditional focus of creative thinking tools such as brainstorming, is proceeded
and followed by deliberate analytical and practical thinking. Also note the importance that Koberg and
Bagnell place on accepting the situation as a personal challenge. This is consistent with the research into the
lives of great creators that illustrates the importance of focusing and caring deeply. (See, for example,
Weisberg 1993, Wallace and Gruber 1992, Gardner 1994, and Ghiselin 1952.) Finally, note that the final step
of this model support the notion of continuous innovation.

The theme of creative and analytical balance is carried over into models proposed for specific applications.
For example, consider Bandrowski's (1985) process for creative strategic planning.

10. A Model for Creative Strategic Planning

A Model for Creative Strategic Planning


standard planning

insight development


creative leaps

strategic connections


concept building

critical judgment


action planning

creative contingency planning


flexible implementation

monitoring results

Notice the positive role of judgment in this model and the need for applying specific creative skills in insight
development, creative leaps, and creative contingency planning.

Finally, it is important to note that not all models place the generation of new concepts in the mind as the
"meat" of the sandwich between slices of analytical thinking bread. Consider Fritz' (1991) model, for

11. Robert Fritz' Process for Creation

Robert Fritz' Process for Creation



Current reality

Take action

Adjust, learn, evaluate, adjust

Building momentum


Living with your creation

Fritz identifies the beginning of the process as the creative acts of conception and vision. This is followed by
analysis of current reality, action, evaluation, public scrutiny (building momentum), and completion. Fritz also
firmly asserts that the creative process is cyclical in nature. "Living with your creation" means purposeful
noticing and analysis that leads to the next creative conception and vision.

Clearly, these modern models of the process of creative thinking are complex scripts for higher-order
thinking. Regardless of the specific model we chose, we are called to engage in an intricate mental dance over
an extended period of time. The complexity implied by this balancing act is probably the reason why creative
ideas are so rare. Even though we all possess the underlying mental building blocks for creative thinking,
stacking the blocks just right is very difficult work!

12. DO IT A simple process for creativity

DO IT is a process for creativity.

Techniques outlined earlier in this chapter focus on specific aspects of creative thinking. DO IT bundles them
together, and introduces formal methods of problem definition and evaluation. These help you to get the best
out of the creativity techniques.

DO IT is an acronym that stands for:

D Define problem
O Open mind and apply creative techniques
I Identify best solution
T Transform

These stages are explained in more detail below:

1. Define Problem

This section concentrates on analyzing the problem to ensure that the correct question is being asked. The
following steps will help you to do this:

Check that you are tackling the problem, not the symptoms of the problem. To do this, ask yourself
why the problem exists repeatedly until you get to the root of it.
Lay out the bounds of the problem. Work out the objectives that you must achieve and the constraints
that you are operating under.
Where a problem appears to be very large, break it down into smaller parts. Keep on going until each
part is achievable in its own right, or needs a precisely defined area of research to be carried out. See
Drill Down for a detailed description of this process.
Summarize the problem in as concise a form as possible. Robert W Olsen suggests that the best way to
do this is to write down several of two-word problem statements and choose the best one.

2. Open Mind and Apply Creative Techniques

Once you know the problem that you want to solve, you are ready to start generating possible solutions. It is
very tempting just to accept the first good idea that you come across. If you do this, you will miss many even
better solutions.

At this stage of DO IT we are not interested in evaluating ideas. Instead, we are trying to generate as many
different ideas as possible. Even bad ideas may be the seeds of good ones.

You can use the whole battery of creativity techniques covered earlier in this section to search for possible
solutions. Each tool has its particular strengths and benefits, depending on the problems that you want to
solve. While you are generating solutions, remember that other people will have different perspectives on the
problem, and it will almost certainly be worth asking for the opinions of your colleagues as part of this

3. Identify the Best Solution

Only at this stage do you select the best of the ideas you have generated. It may be that the best idea is
obvious. Alternatively, it may be worth examining and developing a number of ideas in detail before you
select one.

The Decision Making Techniques section of Mind Tools explains a range of excellent decision making
techniques. Decision Tree Analysis and Force Field Analysis are particularly useful. These will help you to
choose between the solutions available to you.

When you are selecting a solution, keep in mind your own or your organization's goals. Often Decision
Making becomes easy once you know these.

4. Transform

Having identified the problem and created a solution to it, the final stage is to implement this solution. This
involves not only development of a reliable product from your idea, but all the marketing and business side as
well. This may take a great deal of time and energy.

Many very creative people fail at this stage. They will have fun creating new products and services that may
be years ahead of what is available on the market. They will then fail to develop them, and watch someone
else make a fortune out of the idea several years later.

The first stage in transforming an idea is to develop an Action Plan for the transformation. This may lead to
creation of a Business or Marketing Plan. Once you have done this, the work of implementation begins!

DO IT was devised by Robert W Olsen in his book 'The Art of Creative Thinking'.

What is Creative Problem Solving?

Creative problem solving, a type of problem solving, is the mental process of searching for a new and novel
creative solution to a problem, a solution which is novel, original and not obvious.

Creative Problem Solving is a proven method for approaching a problem or a challenge in an imaginative and
innovative way. Its a tool that helps people re-define the problems they face, come up with breakthrough
ideas and then take action on these new ideas. Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes conducted extensive research
on the steps that are involved when people solve problems, the result of which is the following 6 steps that are
broken down into 3 stages:
At the same time that CPS is a structured process, its also a very flexible one. When you begin to use and
internalize the CPS process, you find that its cyclical. You begin to see how to move from step to step, and
how to jump back and forth between steps. When CPS becomes part of your own way of thinking and
working, you can use one step at a time, as you need it, when you need it. Once you understand the
fundamentals of CPS, you can adapt this process to every situation you encounter, thereby realizing its power.

Explore the Challenge

Objective Finding - Identify Goal, Wish or Challenge

This could be a wish or a goal. It might be the initial dissatisfaction or a desire

that opens the door to using the CPS process.

Fact Finding - Gather Data

Assess and review all the data that pertains to the situation at hand. Whos
involved, whats involved, when, where, and why its important. Make a list of
the facts and information, as well as the more visceral hunches, feelings,
perceptions, assumptions and gossip around the situation. In this step, all the data
is taken into consideration to review the objective and begin to innovate.

Problem Finding - Clarify the Problem

In this step, explore the facts and data to find all the problems and challenges
inherent in the situation, and all the opportunities they represent. This is about
making sure youre focusing on the right problem. It is possible to come up with
the right answer to the wrong problem. Re-define what you want or whats
stopping you.

Generate Ideas
Idea Finding - Generate Ideas

Generating ideas is much more than brainstorming. During this step, be vigilant
about deferring judgment and coming up with wild, outrageous, out-of-the-box
ideas. This is where you explore ideas that are possible solutions and have the
most fun. Its also where you need to stretch to make connections, take risks, and
try new combinations to find potentially innovative solutions.

Prepare for Action

Solution Finding Select and Strengthen Solutions

First, try to strengthen and improve the best ideas generated. Next,
generate the criteria that needs to be considered to evaluate the ideas
for success. Apply that criteria to the top ideas and decide which are
most likely to solve the redefined problem. The best idea needs to
meet criteria that makes it actionable before it becomes the solution.
A creative idea is not really useful if it wont be implemented.

Acceptance Finding Plan for Action

In this step, look at whos responsible, what has to be done by when,

and what resources are available in order to realize this idea as a full-
fledged, activated solution

The creative solution

To qualify as creative problem solving, the solution must solve the stated problem in a novel way, and the
solution must be reached independently.

Creative problem solving usually begins with defining the problem. This may lead to a simple non-creative
solution, or to finding a "textbook solution". The creative problem solving process, may also lead to the
discovery of prior art and of creative solutions by others. The process, in these cases, may then be abandoned,
if the discovered solution is "good enough".

Typically a creative solution will have 'elegant' characteristics such as using existing components without
introducing any new components into the solution (i.e. "no moving parts"), using the problematic factor as the
basis for the solution (i.e. "using the Philistine's sword against him"), or involving a change of perspective (i.e.
the line through nine dots riddle).


If a creative solution has broad use, it may be referred to as an innovative solution or an innovation. The term
innovation (disambiguation) may also refer to the process of creating those innovative solutions."All
innovations [begin] as creative solutions, but not all creative solutions become innovations."

If an innovation is unique, original and novel, it is considered an invention. It must be original - not known to
people who are knowledgeable in the field of the solution, and novel - not an obvious solution, easily
conceived by people with knowledge in the field of that solution - when shown the problem.

Not all inventions are created through creative problem solving. Inventions may be 'discovered' or
'contemplated', many times without a 'problem to solve', or solving a problem that they originally were not
intended for. But many inventions in fact are the outcome of creative problem solving.

An invention can become intellectual property if the inventor files and receives a patent, which is a legal
document, where the invention is clearly defined, and which shows proof of its uniqueness, originality and

Techniques and tools

Many of the techniques and tools for creating an effective solution to a problem are described in creativity
techniques and problem solving.

Creative problem solving technique categories

Creative-problem-solving techniques can be categorized as follows:

Mental state shift: Creativity techniques designed to shift a person's mental state into one that fosters
creativity. These techniques are described in creativity techniques. One such popular technique is to
take a break and relax or sleep after intensively trying to think of a solution.

Problem reframing: Creativity techniques designed to reframe the problem. For example,
reconsidering one's goals by asking "What am I really trying to accomplish?" can lead to useful

Multiple idea facilitation: Creativity techniques designed to increase the quantity of fresh ideas. This
approach is based on the belief that a larger number of ideas increases the chances that one of them has
value. Some of these techniques involve randomly selecting an idea (such as choosing a word from a
list), thinking about similarities with the undesired situation, and hopefully inspiring a related idea that
leads to a solution. Such techniques are described in creativity techniques.

Inducing change of perspective: Creative-problem-solving techniques designed to efficiently lead to

a fresh perspective that causes a solution to become obvious. This category is especially useful for
solving especially challenging problems.[2] Some of these techniques involve identifying independent
dimensions that differentiate (or separate) closely associated concepts.[3] Such techniques can
overcome the mind's instinctive tendency to use "oversimplified associative thinking" in which two
related concepts are so closely associated that their differences, and independence from one another,
are overlooked.
Positive Attitude

Develop an attitude that all ideas are good ideas, as cynicism only inhibits creative thinking.

Use Checklists

There are a couple reasons why you should write down EVERY idea, no matter how far-fetched it may
seem at the moment. Writing down all ideas will ensure that nothing important is forgotten, and will
give us an opportunity to go back, and combine parts of one idea with another, letting our ideas feed
off each other.
Be Self Confident

Remember that many of the world's greatest ideas were ridiculed at first. Have faith in your creativity!
Some of our most basic scientific principles like that the Earth is round and revolves around the sun never
would have been advanced without the confidence and courage to go against the grain.


(is "a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the
global patent literature".It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science fiction author Genrich
Altshuller and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as "the theory
of inventive problem solving[and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.

Following Altshuller's insight, the theory developed on a foundation of extensive research covering hundreds
of thousands of inventions across many different fields to produce a theory which defines generalisable
patterns in the nature of inventive solutions and the distinguishing characteristics of the problems that these
inventions have overcome.

An important part of the theory has been devoted to revealing patterns of evolution and one of the objectives
which has been pursued by leading practitioners of TRIZ has been the development of an algorithmic
approach to the invention of new systems, and the refinement of existing ones.

The theory includes a practical methodology, tool sets, a knowledge base, and model-based technology for
generating new ideas and solutions for problem solving. It is intended for application in problem formulation,
system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution.

There are three primary findings of this research. The first is that problems and solutions are repeated across
industries and sciences, the second that patterns of technical evolution are also repeated across industries and
sciences, and the third and final primary finding is that the innovations used scientific effects outside the field
in which they were developed. In the application of TRIZ all these findings are applied to create and to
improve products, services, and system

SWOT analysis

(alternatively SWOT Matrix) is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. A SWOT analysis
can be carried out for a product, place or person. It involves specifying the objective of the business
venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to
achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at the
Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500

Setting the objective should be done after the SWOT analysis has been performed. This would allow
achievable goals or objectives to be set for the organization.

Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
Weaknesses: are characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others
Opportunities: elements that the project could exploit to its advantage
Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project

Identification of SWOTs is important because they can inform later steps in planning to achieve the objective.

First, the decision makers should consider whether the objective is attainable, given the SWOTs. If the
objective is not attainable a different objective must be selected and the process repeated.
Users of SWOT analysis need to ask and answer questions that generate meaningful information for each
category (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to make the analysis useful and find their
competitive advantage


Mind-mapping was developed back in the seventies. It facilitates the structuring and visualisation of problem
situations. As a result of the excessive emphasis that is laid on analytical thinking, human beings have a
tendency to develop complex themes on a sheet of paper by working from left to right and from top to bottom.
But this bears no relation whatever to the brains natural way of working.

Mind-mapping supports mental leaps and spontaneous ideas. It is a technique that enables you to create a
mind-map for any given theme a map of your brain patterns, so to speak. In a phase of creativity, our brain
works with such rapidity that we are not in a position to formulate and mark down all our thoughts, images
and logical links in a comprehensible way. This is because in such a state we do not think in terms of complex
formulations, but rather in keywords and associated images

Mental provocation

Mental provocation is perhaps the most spectacular creativity technique developed by the pioneering thinker
we mentioned earlier, Edward de Bono. This involves using apparently contradictory statements to liberate
oneself from traditional patterns of perception, so inducing a state of instability which may point the path to a
new idea. Mental provocation allows us to look at things from a different angle. It puts distance between you
and your problem, and stimulates you to find out-of-the-ordinary solutions.

Being mentally provocative means going crazy in a controlled way. Taking your problem as a starting
point, you make a statement that is diametrically opposed to all your past experience and convictions. To let
other people know that you dont mean this statement to be taken literally, you prefix your statement with the
word PO standing for Provocative Operation.6 Let us consider an example. The problem in this case
was that factories were polluting the river. The further downstream you lived, the more polluted the water
became. The provocative statement in response to this situation was A PO factory is itself situated
downstream which on the face of it is completely illogical. This act of mental provocation did however
give rise to an idea which has actually been applied in some countries. Instead of getting water from the river
up above as in the past and channelling it back to the river further down, factories are only allowed to get
water from a point below their own outflow. This means that they are the first to suffer from their own

The morphological box

The morphological box, developed by the Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky, is a method that involves a
systematic approach to the development of ideas, working with the help of a matrix. Thus it is particularly
suitable for people who are used to thinking in technical and analytic terms. It is not without reason that the
morphological box is frequently used in connection with what are known as constellation problems for
example, in the field of product development.

In principle the object here is to anatomise the problem that is to be solved into clearly delimited subordinate
aspects. When you vary and combine these aspects in any way you like, many new potential paths leading to a
solution of your problem will appear. This increases the probability that you will get as close as possible to the
ideal solution. The method includes the following five steps:7

1. Definition and analysis of the problem:

2. Determination of the parameters:

3. Determining possible attributes of the parameters:

4. Determination of the combinations:

5. Evaluation of the alternatives and selection of a solution:

. Osborn checklist

This apparently simple but highly effective method is named after Alex Osborn, who also invented
brainstorming, probably the best known of all creativity techniques. The Osborn checklist is particularly
suitable for situations where you already have ideas or products on hand, but have so far only been able to find
conventional or unsatisfactory solutions for them. The list thus also works admirably as a tool in the
subsequent processing of a creativity session that has already taken place.

The Osborn checklist serves to extend the area under consideration by means of sequences of questions. Of
course you must first of all have determined which product, method or problem calls for improvement. You
then go through the ten points of the following checklist in full. Take sufficient time for each individual point.
And develop for each of them at least one idea.8

1. Change the use! Are there other possible ways in which it could be used? Can you make use of the
idea in a different context?

2. Adapt! What else looks like this idea? Are there parallels? What models could you imitate?

3. Change it! Can you change the significance, colour, movement, size, form, smell etc. in any way?

4. Enlarge it! Can you make it bigger? Add to it? Increase the frequency the height, length, value or
distance? Can it be multiplied? Or exaggerated, or coarsened?

5. Shrink it! Can you make it smaller? Subtract something from it? Make it lower or shorter, thinner,
lighter, brighter, finer? Can you split it up? Or use it as a miniature?

6. Replace it! Can you find substitutes for any aspects of the idea? Can the process be designed
differently? Are other positions, other pitches possible? Can you use elements from other countries or
7. Transpose it! Can you swap around parts or sections? Can the sequence be changed, or origin and
effect put in reverse order?

8. Turn it back to front! Can you form the opposite of the idea? What does the idea look like when
mirror-inverted? Can you swap roles? Can the idea be turned through 180?

9. Combine it! Can you link the idea with others? Can a larger totality be incorporated? Can it be
broken down into modular components?

10. Transform it! Can you bore holes in it, bunch it together, extend it? Harden it, liquefy it or make it

6-3-5 Brainwriting (also known as the 6-3-5 Method, or Method 635) is a group creativity
technique used in marketing, advertising, design, writing and product development originally
developed by Professor Bernd Rohrbach in 1968.[1]

Based on the concept of Brainstorming, the aim of 6-3-5 Brainwriting is to generate 108 new ideas in half an
hour. In a similar way to brainstorming, it is not the quality of ideas that matters but the quantity.

The technique involves 6 participants who sit in a group and are supervised by a moderator. Each participant
thinks up 3 ideas every 5 minutes. The ideas are written down on a worksheet and passed on to the next
participant. The participant reads the ideas and uses them as inspiration for more ideas. Participants are
encouraged to draw on others' ideas for inspiration, thus stimulating the creative process. After 6 rounds in 30
minutes the group has thought up a total of 108 ideas.


Brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for
a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its member(s). The term was
popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that
brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas, although more recent
research has questioned this conclusion.[1] Today, the term is used as a catch all for all group ideation sessions.

Brainstorming is typically done to elucidate a variety of perspectives in developing several possible solutions.
Successful brainstorming techniques include gathering people familiar with the problem, careful definition of
the problem, suspension, of judgment, creation of a safe environment for participants to express ideas and
build progressively on ideas generated.

After many ideas are generated, an affinity analysis process is used to combine similar ideas. Participants then
vote on the most reasonable ideas and work to further refine the top three to six ideas

Newer methods like TRIZ and mind mapping aim to create structured brainstorming. TRIZ, for example,
creates an algorithmic approach to the invention of new systems, and the refinement of old systems.

A mind map, on the other hand, utilizes a diagram to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and
arranged radially around a central keyword or idea. This kind of tool can be used to generate, visualize,
structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and

.Root cause analysis

Although typically described in the quality improvement literature, the concept of cause and effect analysis
(e.g., Ishikawa's root cause analysis) can be useful for a physician executive for the analysis of systems
solutions that did not work or went wrong.

It is based on the belief that problems are best solved by attempting to correct or eliminate root causes, as
opposed to addressing the obvious symptoms. By directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that
the likelihood of problem recurrence will be minimized
The root cause analysis method involves asking the question "Why?" in reference to the initial event and
repeating it again four more times in response to each answer. Each repetition of the question can uncover a
deeper level of contributing causes.

As opposed to this kind of retrospective analysis of events, the failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) offers a
systematic method to identify potential failures, effects and risks within a process with the intent of preventing
problems before they occur.

This requires careful analysis of the current process at a fairly detailed level, using input from individuals who
are experienced in the day-to-day practical operations. Regardless of the technique used, a focus away from
individual blame to systems issues is likely to lead others to embrace a just culture that assertively seeks out
errors as opportunities for improvement, rather than as personal failures


As physician leaders aim to solve complex problems in their institutions, prototyping or pilot testing solutions
prior to large-scale implementation becomes critical. By comparing the ideas generated in the first phase to
the requirements of the solution developed separately, fanciful ideas can be extracted, and the design of a
feasible solution comes forth to allow a prototype to be constructed.

The analysis aspect allows the specific evaluation of experiment results and includes evaluation of
characteristics necessary for success of the innovation, including usability, financial value, manufacturability,
FMEA for safety, maintenance and repair, and lifetime failure projections. In addition, the innovation or
change should be evaluated to see if it has applicability in other parts of the organization. (1)

Stages in Creative Problem Solving

Orientation Stage

Make sure you have a comfortable, maybe private, place to brainstorm. Generate a list of topic headings, used
to gather ideas to solve the problem.

Preparation and Analysis Stage

Think of this step as the fact-finding time. Getting bogged down in too many details at this stage may actually
restrain creative thinking efforts. There will be time later to go back and fill in the facts you need as you
further develop your ideas.

1) Go back to the headings you created.

Are there any headings that don't seem relevant?

Will gathering facts for these topic headings help me solve my problem? Scratch out any topic headings you
think are not truly relevant.

2) Analyze your topic headings now by looking for similarities, and differences. You may end up deleting
more headings, or adding a few new ones, or end up combining a few topic-idea headings. This will help you
develop a framework for generating your solution.


Generating possible solutions. The philosophy behind brainstorming is that the more ideas there are on the
table, the more likely a suitable solution will emerge. This stage of the process is a "freewheeling" exchange
of ideas, to create a list of as many possibilities as you can think up. Remember to write all ideas down, no
matter how far-fetched they may seem, and to maintain an open mind at all times. Let ideas feed off one
another and feel free to combine parts of one solution with another or alter ideas in various ways.


Taking a break to encourage illumination. Incubation is the "time-out" stage of the process you step away
from the problem, and potential solutions, freeing up your mind to let your ideas grow and to encourage
"illumination" of the correct solution. While a time-out may not always be practical for every problem-solving
situation, it is an important part of the creative process, dont overwork the mind.

Whether the time-out is a quick walk, or a night's sleep, the purpose should be not to force the mind to think
about any particular aspect of the problem or solution, but to let the mind meander as it wants. Some of the
world's most creative people rely on these moments of silence, and solitude, for their best ideas.

Synthesis and verification

Out of all the possibilities youve generated during your brainstorming session, the ideal solution should be a
combination of the best qualities of each idea. Rather than continuing to dissect the problem, we now can
combine ideas generated by our brainstorming, to come up with the best solution, with recommendations that
will solve our problem.

1) Make a list of all the desirable qualities, or disadvantages, that a solution might have, and then rate each
idea generated. Each quality or disadvantage can be weighted in terms of its importance, or applied, without
weighting. The idea with the best overall profile can then be identified.

You may want to create an outline or grouping of ideas, with similar ideas assigned to the same group, and
relations, between groups of ideas, mapped out.

Verification is the final phase of the process and requires testing the solution you have chosen to see if it is
able to solve the problem.