Tag Archives: Creative thinking

What Mother’s Day Can Teach Us about WCID

Today, where I live, it is Mother’s Day*. I could not not make a relationship** between this day and World Creativity and Innovation Day, wondering, what can be learned and applied from Mother’s Day that would help in WCID celebrations.

Mothers perform an ulitimate creative act – they bring new life into the world.   We use Mother’s Day to celebrate and recognize the work Mothers perform everyday of the year.

https://www.upcyclethat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Mothers_Day_Flowers.jpg
On Mother’s Day, in Canada, stereotypically:
  • Mother is taken for a meal, or a meal is prepared for her.
  • She receives gifts, such as flowers, chocolates
  • The family gathers
  • Affection is shared
  • Mothers, as well as being honoured, honour their mothers
  • Those who are not mothers contribute to the celebrations
  • Mothers have an expectation of particular attention, kindness.
What if the same reverance was given to creativity and innovation during World Creativity and Innovation Day, and Week?
  • Our ability to create – generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes – is given an opportunity to rest, relax and feel pampered.
  • People exchange gifts to enhance creativity and innovation.
  • Groups of people, teams, families, communities, alumni, gather to share news of adventures, both successful and not, of using creativity in problem-solving.
  • People, organizations, and associations share congratulations, affirmations, and support.
  • Those who are creative and innovative every day honour others who are also creative and innovative.
  • People who believe they are not creative, participate in celebrations, help to create them.
  • We each expect kindness, individual attention.
    For example, each knows and has skills so new ideas have a soft place to land; everyone is ready to receive new thinking, not necessarily as complete, instead, as beginnings for further conversations.
Your thoughts?  What parallels and relationships do you make between Mother’s Day and World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

*Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates around the world (just as each person’s creativity style and expression is unique).

**Making relationships between two different topics is one of my go-to creative thinking techniques.

Happy Mothers Day to mothers  and other nurturers
Thank you
Marci

What prevents people from celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21?

Even though the WCID April 21 celebration is relatively new, it’s growing, and people are learning about it now that it is a United Nations Day of Observance.

Do you think that feeling self-conscious may prevent people from celebrating their capacity to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes to make the world a better place and make their place in the world better too?
Think about it.

When it comes to creativity, many say they want to make sure they get it ‘right’ as if there is an external measure to meet, as if there is a perfection standard they must attain. There isn’t. Not where creativity is involved.*

Creativity is a natural process that results from a restlessness to change or improve the status quo. (Segal, 2001). We all feel that restlessness from time to time. We engage in new and different activities, use new patterns of thinking, perceive with new eyes, and/or seek new experiences. We might structure things differently, relate to others in new ways as a result.  Examples:  rearrange furniture; modify a recipe; take a new route to school; eat breakfast for dinner; hold meetings in a different location; invite unusual suspects to participate in the planning process.

Margaret Mead

Each these could be considered creative.  American Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “In as much as someone has done something new for himself, he can be considered to have committed a creative act.” To which I like to add – whether other people consider it creative or not.

Backward Clock

Moving forward There’s no turning back the clock. We moved forward. We are creating the future with today’s resources and ideas. The World Economic Forum predicts creativity to be one of the top three skills employees will need by 2020. Yes, we moved on.

Creativity is one of our resources. By celebrating it every year April 21 and during the week leading up to it beginning on Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, April 15 we prepare for the future.

Thought catalysts For your WCID this year, and for every year moving forward consider these thought catalysts

  • What is in your environment that can do with some improving?
    Improve it.
  • What ordinary activity might you make more fun?
    Make it more fun.
  • What efficiencies might you bring to a process? Bring them.

New ideas need a soft place to land. Remember there is balance in the universe.  Every idea influences a reaction. Giving new ideas a soft place to land will be the focus of a future blog post.

Confusion about creativity The term creative can be confusing. Insert the term before each of the following as an example:  economies, industries, advertising, agencies, media, digital, technology, sports plays, arts, commons, market, writing, images, resumes, ideas, photography, dance, quotes. In each instance, there’s a slightly different meaning.

A practical approach  For our purposes, to enable everyone to celebrate WCID and WCIW here’s the understanding used:  Generating new ideas, making new decisions, taking new actions and achieving new outcomes that make the world a better place and make your place in the world better too.

Remember to upload your WCID2018 and WCIW2018 actions to share with the world.


Segal, Marci (2001) Creativity and Personality Type: Tools for understanding and inspiring the many voices of creativity. Huntington Beach: Telos Publications.

Can one learn to be creative? New Straits Times Malaysia

By HAZLINA AZIZ
January 31, 2018 @ 9:31am

IN the next few years, more than three generations may be working side by side at the workplace. They are the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (also known as millennials) and Generation Z.

Gen Z, who were born after 1995, are beginning to appear in the workplace. By next year, Gen Z is expected to represent more than 20 per cent of the workforce.

Growing up in a world where the Internet, social media and mobile technology have always existed, they will bring their new technology and big ideas with them. It can be a significant challenge to prepare for the clash of these four generations.

Many organisations are still struggling to analyse the challenge that millennials pose in the workplace.

But, how different will Gen Z really be? A digitally innate generation of students, Gen Z have access to more information than the generations before them. Growing up in the age of technology provides them with more outlets and digital tools for exploration and expression.

So, they are said to be more curious, innovative and open-minded than past generations.

While they should be more advanced in searching for information and figuring things out on their own, they also expect everything to be available at any time and with low barriers of access. With Gen Z starting university and the first batch graduating soon, are the schools preparing them for their future? Is higher education ready for them?

A study done by Adobe that provides insight into Malaysian Gen Z students shows that they are feeling unprepared for the problems the “real world” face today, and want greater focus on creativity and hands-on learning in the classroom.

The study, “Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future”, surveyed 250 Gen Z students between the ages of 11 and 17, and 100 teachers in Malaysia.

A similar study was also conducted in five Asia-Pacific (Apac) countries — Australia, India, Thailand, China and Korea. For Malaysia, they found 97 per cent of students and 100 per cent of teachers — the highest rating among five other countries — see creativity as essential to students’ future success.

Malaysian Gen Z students also have mixed emotions when it comes to their future after they finish schools.

According to the study, they feel “excited” and “curious”, but at the same time “nervous” or “worried”. Some are concerned that schools have not properly prepared them for the real world.

They believe that there are a variety of careers that require creativity. Ninety six per cent of students from this study believe their future careers would involve creativity.

Both students and teachers alike agree that Gen Z learn best through hands-on experience and wish that there is more focus on creativity. Students feel that classes focusing on computers and technology hone their creativity and will best prepare them for their future.

Developing creative people is an aim that most in education share; there have been growing calls to nurture and teach creativity from an early age in schools and universities.

The World Economic Forum predicts that creativity will rise from the 10th most sought-after skill in 2015 to the third in 2020.

But, what is creativity? It can seem that creativity is a natural gift for those who are lucky, for instance, great artists, musicians or entrepreneurs. Can one learn to be creative? Can we prime the mind for creative ideas to emerge?

Research has shown that creativity is a skill that can be taught, practised and developed. With imagination, we can be wired to be creative. Creative thinkers in any discipline are those who can tackle complex problems and develop innovative solutions.

Of course, this does not mean that you can teach one to be a genius. The techniques of teaching creativity are not going to turn a student into Einstein or Picasso.

It is more about encouraging day-to-day creative thinking that can make a student, and then later, as an adult, more productive.

Many educators claim to value creativity, but they do not always prioritise it. In some parts of the world, teaching creativity is already a necessary part of an undergraduate experience.

The International Centre for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College in New York is the world’s first university department of its type.

The term “makerspace” in education — probably still new in Malaysia’s education scene — is also the buzzword now to refer to physical spaces that support learning and doing, in a way that redefines traditional schooling. It provides hands-on experiences and encourages creative ways for students to design, experiment, build and invent.

How can creativity be cultivated in the classroom? The way Gen Z students consume and learn today is very different from past generations, hence, educators in Malaysia need to provide the right environment, updated tools and creative outlets to bring out the best in their students and foster innovative problem-solving skills the future workforce will need.

Education systems should focus less on the reproduction of information and more on critical thinking and problem solving. There are multiple solutions to open-ended and complex problems, a situation that the students will face as they pursue future careers.

Encouraging divergent instead of convergent thinking leads to solving problems that do not have one correct answer.

However, it is important to remember that teaching creativity does not mean that we should throw out the textbooks and exams while encouraging children to let their minds wander rather than concentrate in the classroom.

Children should not be given free rein for their imagination to run wild at the cost of understanding a subject. In encouraging creativity, I believe if you want to think outside the box, you must fully understand what is inside the box first.

hazlina@nst.com.my

Hazlina Aziz left her teaching career more than 20 years ago to take on different challenges beyond the conventional classroom. She is NSTP’s education editor for English language content.

https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/01/330504/can-one-learn-be-creative

Using Creativity in Problem Solving, what does that mean?

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World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 has a purpose: to encourage people to use creativity in problem-solving to create a decent life for people on a sustainable planet.

np_problem_681889_56C0D8.pngWhat does that mean? How does one use creativity in problem-solving? How does one know if creativity has been used?

In a May 2017 post, I asked for input about this question.  Here’s one reply, from Dr. Fatou Lo Planchon, France/Senegal

Sustainable development is crucial for our society. Your initiative is a big step forward in this issue.The complex and multifaceted challenges associated with global change and sustainable development occur on various scales.

Achieving solutions to these challenges has fostered the multiplicity of decision making levels, and the plurality of financial and regulatory instruments. However the transition to proactive and sustainable solutions is still tricky because it implies various interacting factors and requires a holistic and creative mindset.

Adaptation and resilience to climate change, water and energy issues, to name a few, are primordial questions to answer.

Using creativity to solve these burning environmental issues means clarifying the issues at stake, involving a diversity of people, widening our perspectives, and stretching our thinking to shift paradigms and come to new ideas. To make this participative cross disciplinary collaboration happen, a climate that fosters idea exploration, trial and errors, and experimentations is needed.

Using creativity in problem solving means:

– Using a robust process to find new ideas, make better decisions, co-create and innovate.

– Combining periods of divergent and convergent thinking

– Deferring judgment, freewheeling, leapfrogging, focusing on a lot of ideas

As an environmental scientist, a doctor in climatology, and a creative facilitator, the role of creativity in solving environmental problems is a question I have to often answer, and keep on searching for new answers to.

Thank you, ​Dr. Planchon.

Feel free to add your comments here.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool available for people to use to review how they might have used creativity in problem-solving in the past?  My hunch is that many already do. Imagine everyone able to seize and use their creative power moving forward.

Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

There are startling parallels in the lives of Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Their dedication to product quality and innovation transformed industries.
Lessons:

  • Don’t give up
  • Finding the right creative partner can be a force multiplier
  • Betting on new technologies ahead of the curve can be a strong differentiator
  • Perfectionism, if you can survive it, can create deep customer loyalty
  • Mashing up disciplines is new ways can transform industries

Read the blog post – First, you get to see Disney’s breakthrough Steamboat Willie animation and you’ll be exposed to good stories and examples to leverage as inspiration for your new WCIW – in 2017 and beyond.
Source: Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

Research Shows Walking Actually Improves Creative Ability. Here’s How

Do you ever get a really good idea and then unconsciously begin pacing back and forth? Do you ever notice how, when this happens, the great ideas just keep on flowing?
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.collective-evolution.com
Don’t know what to do for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 to 21? Why not just go for a walk?
See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

Inventing Tool for Your World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21

People report feeling immediately stuck when faced with the opportunity to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21. They say they don’t know what to do.

Brock Davis
Brock Davis

Using this Inventing Tool might help.  If you know its source, please pass it along.  It would be good to give credit to its creator.
Ignite Your Thinking
Consider each of the six categories, allow your thoughts to flow to a place of ‘can-do’ to experience what emerges.
It’s helpful to have a device to record your impressions.
Ready?
CREATE:  something totally new, a new capacity, a new culture, a new team, a new activity, a new strategy, a new skill, a new paradigm, a new habit, a new friend
ENHANCE/DEVELOP:  your capacities, your team, your organization, your potential, your efficiencies, your effectiveness, your resource conservation, your sense of humour, your connections with others, your sense of self worth
DELETE:  something that already exists, make it disappear totally for you, your family, your team, your organization, your community, your school, your friends, your association
IMPLEMENT: something to make a sustainable change in your life, your work, your organization, your relationships, your well being, your skill base, your competency, your status, your peace of mind, your outlook on life
KEEP:  something that you value, is your core business, is your reason for being, brings you joy, brings satisfaction, eliminates suffering, gives you energy, educates others, connects people, brings you peace
REDUCE:  something that annoys or irritates you, interferes with your sense of fairness, takes time away from important things for you, your team, your school, your community, your family
Hope this helps!
 

Design Thinking Exercise and Guide for WCIW

Are you looking for a 20-minute World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 activity?
This Ready-Set-Design activity from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian may fit the bill.  


This is a highly adaptable design challenge that can jump-start collaborative and creative thinking in any group. They say it is used  with kids’ groups at the Museum, for internal staff meetings, and even at industry conferences and summits they host. The activity is such a success with participants that they’ve received many requests for their how-to guide.
Source: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2011/09/09/ready-set-design/

Using Pictionary to Study Creativity and the Brain

Researchers at Stanford are trying to see what parts of the brain underlie creativity.

Investigators at Stanford University have found a surprising link between creative problem-solving and heightened activity in the cerebellum, a structure located in the back of the brain and more typically thought of as the body’s movement-coordination center.
In designing the study, the researchers drew inspiration from the game Pictionary.
A new study is the first to directly implicate the cerebellum in the creative process. As for the brain’s higher-level executive-control centers? Not so much.
We found that activation of the brain’s executive-control centers — the parts of the brain that enable you to plan, organize and manage your activities — is negatively associated with creative task performance,” said Reiss, who holds the Howard C. Robbins Professorship in Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences.
Creativity is an incredibly valued human attribute in every single human endeavor, be it work or play,” he continued. “In art, science and business, creativity is the engine that drives progress. As a practicing psychiatrist, I even see its importance to interpersonal relationships. People who can think creatively and flexibly frequently have the best outcomes.”
http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/05/researchers-tie-unexpected-brain-structures-to-creativity.html

As Innovation Lags, Taiwan to Retool University Entrance Exams

To improve the country’s prospects for innovation, the Ministry of Education will roll out a new screening process for university students so top schools can accept more enterprising people. The new system, effective from 2018, will include personal interviews and let high school graduates show they excelled outside class, not just memorized material as taught.

Source: www.voanews.com