Creativity Skills

We live in a world of change.  To survive and flourish in this new world we must adapt to these changes and find opportunities in them.  This involves sharpening our creativity skills and being able to anticipate problems and then work together to solve them.

There is a great deal of information on this topic in the form of books, personal and group toolkits, courses and seminars.  The links listed below are to some general resources that may help you understand some of creative process and get started in this area.

Understanding Creativity

  • EnvatoTuts+: Understanding Creative Thinking - Article focuses on web design, however, the technique that employs the five-step process of first look, saturation, incubation, relief and verification are of incredible value to any project-development process.
  • Mindtools: Understanding creativity - There are two main strands to technical creativity: programmed thinking and lateral thinking.  Lateral thinking can generate completely new concepts and ideas, and brilliant improvements to existing systems. In the wrong place, however, it can be sterile or unnecessarily disruptive.  Important attitude-shift is to view problems as opportunities for improvement.
  • Nation Bureau of Economic Research: Creativity - The primary source of the technological change that drives economic growth.  It largely is the domain of extraordinary individuals or small groups.   For the first time in the history of the discipline, within the last decade economists have begun to study how these extraordinary individuals make their discoveries, and the results have been dramatic.
  • Understanding Creativity: Making the Impossible Possible -  Idea Connection interview with Michael Michalko, Author of Creative Thinkering, Thinkertoys , Cracking Creativity, and ThinkPak, and Co-author of The Little Book of Big Ideas.
  • Understanding - interesting little videos; comprehensive bibliography that looks at various areas of creativity development.


Creativity Skills

  • Idea Connection - Idea development network with a blog, free resources, expert interviews, a patent marketplace and various other resources and services.
  • Anonymous Brainstorming Technique – University of Nevada Extension – A mind expanding and creative brainstorming technique.
  • Toolkit for Thinking - This web site very simply presents various toolsets that can help sharpen creative thinking and create value through thier application to ideas development and problem solving.  There are three basic areas: creative-thinking tools, criticaltthinking tools and value-creation tools.
  • Disruption: The Art of Framing – HBS Working Knowledge -- Your chief competitor creates a breakthrough technology. Should you frame that event inside your company as a threat or opportunity.
  • Mind Tools Brainstorming Toolkit - Collection of seven group-thinking and problem-evaluation exercises perfect for employee and management groups interested in organized brainstorming activities.
  • The Business Survival Toolkit - Various thought-development tool kits organized into four main sections: Where are you now?  Where are you going? What do you need? How to Make it Happen.
  • Defining Critical Thinking - Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
  • What Steve Wozniak Learned From Failure – HBS Working Knowledge – The Apple II was a hit.  The Cloud Nine universal remote was not.  Here’s what Steve Wozniak learned about creativity, and what it means for his latest venture.

Creativity in Your Company

  • Leadership: Fostering Systemic Creativity – HBS Working Knowledge -- Building a creative organization involves a combination of top-down, bottom-up, and brushfire approaches.
  • Design Thinking for Educators -  A free how-to toolkit that introduces educators to the process and methods of design.  Applicable to all product-development siturations.
  • Can You Predict the Unpredictable? – HBS Working Knowledge -- The study of so-called emergent phenomena can help you grapple with issues as difficult and squishy as motivating employees, predicting changes in corporate culture, and preventing small errors from snowballing into catastrophes.
  • Ways to Implement Creative Thinking - Nice little essay on some sound ideas for getting your organization on board with developing a change-positive culture.
  • The Art of Appreciative Inquiry – HBS Working Knowledge -- The process of “appreciative inquiry” gives your company a boost by leveraging what you already do well. Read how the 4-D technique—discover, dream, design, and destiny—is working everywhere from a casino to a coffee roaster.
  • Thinking Critically - A quick little tutorial to help one understand what critical thinking means and how critical thinkers think. Learn to express yourself clearly and develop a balanced argument.

Think You Manage Creativity? Here's Why You're Wrong – HBS Working Knowledge -- The rational rules of management don't apply when it comes to fostering creative types.

Links checked July 2016.