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Judith Masthoff
          Why be creative?
• Finding the ‘killer application’
• Finding an innovative user interface
• Finding an innovative way of doing
• Solving technical problems
• Solving organisational problems
• Solving personal problems
     Why teaching creativity?
“ Only 2% of adults of any age level can be
  accurately classified as "highly creative"
  while over 90% of children five years old
  or younger can be classified this way. The
  huge drop-off begins at ages 6 and 7 (only
  10% in these age groups were found to be
  considered "highly creative") ”
              Ken Lizotte, Emerson Consulting Group
    Things that often go wrong
when solving a problem in a group…
• Unstructured
• No notes
• Ideas are not really new
• Negative comments (“this idea will not
• Some people speak a lot, others are silent
           “But” people (1)
• This 'telephone' has too many
  shortcomings to be seriously considered
  as a means of communication. The device
  is inherently of no value to us. (Western
  Union internal memo, 1876)
• We don't like their [The Beatles] sound,
  and guitar music is on the way out. (Decca
  Recording Company, 1962)
           “But” people (2)
• 640K [memory] ought to be enough for
  anybody (Bill Gates, 1981)
• Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is
  ridiculous fiction. (Pierre Pachet)
• Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
  (Warner Brother's H. M. Warner, 1927)
• I think there is a world market for maybe
  five computers. (Thomas Watson)
• Great spirits have always encountered
  violent opposition from mediocre minds
                               - Albert Einstein
• The person who says it cannot be done
  should not interrupt the person doing it.
                            - Chinese Proverb
• A person with a new idea is a crank until
  the idea succeeds.         - Mark Twain
• Every really new idea looks crazy at first
                      -Alfred North Whitehead
What is creativity?
    Ancient Greeks (Socrates)
• Creative ideas come from the Gods
  (Inspiration = the god within)
• Not when a person is rational, but when
  someone is "beside himself", when "bereft
  of his senses.
• Advice: "thinking" might prevent the
  reception of divinely inspired revelations.
               19th Century
•   Creative ideas come from “within”
•   Hidden part of mind, “inner Africa”
•   Emotional side
•   Advice: Lead an unusual life
        Graham Wallas’ model
        (beginning of the 20th century)
•   Preparation: know field of study
•   Incubation: spend time away from problem
•   Illumination: flash of a new idea
•   Verification: see if idea really works
          CPS Model (Alex
1. Mess-finding (Objective Finding)
2. Fact-finding
3. Problem-Finding
4. Idea-finding
5. Solution finding (Idea evaluation)
6. Acceptance-finding (Idea implementation)
Synectics Process
• “Together produce”
• A structured way of brainstorming in a
               Main rules
• All ideas welcome, certainly the crazy
• “I wish I could….”
• Associative listening: dream away and
  build on what other people are saying
• No evaluation of ideas!
       Associative Listening
• You hear one thing, you think of another
• Example: “Lion”
                The players
• Problem owner
  – has a real problem and the power to act
  – takes the content decisions
• Facilitator
  – guards the process
  – does not get involved in the contents
• Resource
  – generate ideas
     The process (divergent part)

Problem owner
presents problem

                        Optional Excursion
generate springboards

                            Until problem owner
                          satisfied (enough ideas)
      Presenting the problem
• Start with a headline!
  – I need to find a way to..
  – I wish I could...
• Give some background
  – the present situation and your ‘impossible’ wish
  – what you have thought of already
  – why interested in the problem and power to act
• Meanwhile, associative listening..
Synectics Example
                  Story excursion
Forget about the problem!
• Start of with a word
• Participants in turn add a couple of lines to
  the story
• Each bit has to have an unexpected
Come back to the problem…

Let’s try it...
             Career excursion
Forget about the problem!
• Each participants is told to pretend they
  have a certain profession
• They think a minute
• They are asked “how does it feel to be a..”
Come back to the problem...

Let’s try it...
    Personal analogy excursion
Forget about the problem!
• Each participants is told to pretend they
  are a certain object
• They think a minute
• They are asked “what is it like to be a..”
Come back to the problem…

Let’s try it...
    The process (convergent part)
                                            Until problem owner
                                            satisfied or time up

   Problem owner selects idea (or combination)
paraphrases it, and explains what (s)he liked about it

 Problem owner poses new problem                Divergent part on
   “What I need now is a way to..”               the sub-problem
              Street excursion
Forget about the problem!
• Participants go for a walk
• They report on their walk
Come back to the problem…

Let’s try it...
         Synectics Practice
• Split in two groups
• Pick a problem owner and facilitator
     the problem specification
• Often problem specification is too vague,
  like ‘invent a new product’
• Often trying to solve the wrong problem!
      Mind Mapping method
• Put the problem in the middle
• Branch out
             Why? method
• Start with a problem statement, like
  ‘How to ...’
• Ask ‘why do you want to...’
• Listen to the answer
• Ask why again, etc, till you really now why
      Some other techniques
• Destination
  ‘How to’ often getting from A to B
  Is B the only desirable end, or are there others?
• Excellence
  Make ‘how to’ statement more extreme
  Increase sales by 10% => Increase sales by 100%
• Rewording
            Idea Selection
• Creative sessions lead to many ideas
• How to select the right one?
Questions Options Criteria (QOC)
• Determine important criteria beforehand
• Judge each option (=idea) on the criteria

            Criteria 1   Criteria 2   Criteria 3

 Option 1
 Option 2
 Option 3
 Option 4

  Criteria may have a different weighting...
       I want a topics Top 11!
• Another idea selection technique: voting
• I will give you each ten colored stickers
  (= virtual money)
• If you think an idea is good (in this case,
  criterion is good), vote for it by putting
  sticker next to it
• If you think it is very good, you can put
  multiple stickers.
• Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
• Specify each of these for each idea
• Often used to analyse business
• Can also be used to select ideas
• And to start brainstorm...
What if I have too many ideas?
• SWOT and QOC work well with a limited
  number of ideas to select from
• But not with 100s...
• You could vote for a top 10 and apply
• Maybe good to do some clustering first!
  (= merge similar ideas under one heading)

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