New York : HarperOne, It is as natural as breathing, and just as necessary for leading a successful and fulfilling life. Creative solutions are required because the status quo is never good enough, and our goal should always be to push beyond the limits of what seems possible. Great ideas are needed to solve all the problems we face and to enrich our lives.
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By Tina Seelig Apr. Just one word … provocative. They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word. There were no right answers to this exam. In fact, creativity should be an imperative. Creativity allows you to thrive in an ever changing world and unlocks a universe of possibilities.
With enhanced creativity, instead of problems you see potential, instead of obstacles you see opportunities, and instead of challenges you see a chance to create breakthrough solutions. Look around and it becomes clear that the innovators among us are the ones succeeding in every arena, from science and technology to education and the arts. Nevertheless, creative problem solving is rarely taught in school, or even considered a skill you can learn. Ideas lead to innovations that fuel the economies of the world, and they prevent our lives from becoming repetitive and stagnant.
They are the cranes that pull us out of well-worn ruts and put us on a path toward progress. Without creativity we are not just condemned to a life of repetition, but to a life that slips backward. In fact, the biggest failures of our lives are not those of execution, but failures of imagination. And creativity is at the heart of invention. It required both a breadth of knowledge and a healthy dose of imagination.
At STVP our mission is to provide students in all fields with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to seize opportunities and creatively solve major world problems.
On the first day of class, we start with a very simple challenge: redesigning a name tag. The text is too small to read. The students laugh when they realize that they too have been frustrated by the same problems. Within fifteen minutes the class has replaced the name tags hanging around their necks with beautifully decorated pieces of paper with their names in large text. And the new name tags are pinned neatly to their shirts.
But I have something else in mind…. I collect all of the new name tags and put them in the shredder. Of course, we use name tags so that others can see our name. With this expanded appreciation for the role of a name tag, students interview one another to learn how they want to engage with new people and how they want others to engage with them.
These interviews provide fresh insights that lead them to create inventive new solutions that push beyond the limitations of a traditional name tag. One team broke free from the size constraints of a tiny name tag and designed custom T-shirts with a mix of information about the wearer in both words and pictures.
Featured were the places they had lived, the sports they played, their favorite music, and members of their families. Another team realized that when you meet someone new, it would be helpful to have relevant information about that person fed to you on an as-needed basis to help keep the conversation going and to avoid embarrassing silences.
They mocked up an earpiece that whispers information about the person with whom you are talking. Yet another team realized that in order to facilitate meaningful connections between people, it is often more important to know how the other person is feeling than it is to know a collection of facts about them.
They designed a set of colored bracelets, each of which denotes a different mood. By combining the different colored ribbons, a wide range of emotions can be quickly communicated to others, facilitating a more meaningful first connection.
This assignment is designed to demonstrate an important point: there are opportunities for creative problem solving everywhere. Anything in the world can inspire ingenious ideas—even a simple name tag.
Take a look around your office, your classroom, your bedroom, or your backyard. Everything you see is ripe for innovation. She has a Ph. Free Weekly eNewsletter.
InGenius : a crash course on creativity
By Tina Seelig Apr. Just one word … provocative. They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word. There were no right answers to this exam. In fact, creativity should be an imperative. Creativity allows you to thrive in an ever changing world and unlocks a universe of possibilities. With enhanced creativity, instead of problems you see potential, instead of obstacles you see opportunities, and instead of challenges you see a chance to create breakthrough solutions.
inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity
inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity (Hardcover)