Here are some beginning exercises and 4 Lessons to strengthen and reawaken your creativeness and creative thinking skills
If you are interested in more, perhaps the other 48 of the first 52 contact me at…
To help you become more creative is the purpose of this section of my growing website.
Let’s get started!
Think of 6 new uses for a brick/a paper clip/an audio cassette tape box.
Now think of 6 more.
Now 12 more.
Now 24 more.
Keep going until you have 144.
As you go through the exercises I am going to assign,
you will soon be able to generate 144 or more ideas in a short period of time.
Then the next step after you have increased your FLUENCY of ideas,
we will begin to work on your FLEXIBILITY of ideas.
From there we will continue to work on 52 separate creative thinking traits that you can continually develop for as long as you live.
After awhile you will discover that usually generating ideas is the easy part.
Turning them into solutions can take a long time and work, even a life time.
As you continue through this basic course I will show you a series of creative thinking tools from the rational, to the intuitive, to the group focused to the systematic. Some will come easy. Others may be hard work.
My belief based on 47 years of working and creating at various jobs in 8 different fields and the last 30 years focused on creative thinking development in myself and others is that everyone is born with the capacity to be creative but by the 4th grade in school most have put their natural creativeness away. That same capacity can be awakened and expanded at any time.
The key for you is that you CHOOSE TO BE CREATIVE and you can choose to be any day of your life. Some days may be more difficult yet you still can still be deliberately more creative even on tough, frustrating, depressing days.
Now lets try again with your creativeness.
Generate a list of 12 completely different potential uses for glass marbles that kids play with. None of the ideas can be what they are normally used for.
Did you get stuck?
Okay here is a quick way to expand your number of “different” types of ideas.
Creative Thinking Tool #001 — Change your perspective.
Imagine that you are different people and try to think like them:
Make a list using the alphabet of different kinds of people or occupations.
a – architect, b – baker, c – chemist, d – dairy farmer, e – elephant trainer….z – zookeeper
Then imagine you are each one of these individually and try to think of ideas they might generate.
Try this and see if you can generate 12 to 24 more ideas for additional, new, unique uses for marbles.
The 52 creative thinking tools I am going to teach you are actually
52 traits that can be observed in highly creative people in all fields
and occupations around the world.
highly creative women
To see a long list of creative women inventors click on the link.
Lesson Two – Become more elaborative deliberately.
My greatest teacher, my major professor for my doctorate in creativity (1979 – 1983), E. Paul Torrance is the source of 20 of the 52 traits I will be sharing and striving to teach you some ways to capitalize on and strengthen in order to increase, enrich and expand your creative thinking skills started with 4 traits that he found in the many highly creative jet aces he researched from WWII and Korea back in his early research in the 1950s.
He discovered that they all possessed and capitialized on the 4 same traits:
fluency…they generated many ideas for every challenge or problem
flexibility…they generated many different types of ideas and solutions
elaboration…they generated and saw much detail
originality…they constantly focused on being original and being originals in their own lives
Lesson Two is focused on ELABORATION.
Pick up 3 to 6 objects in the room you are currently in.
Imagine the history of each of them from when they were conceived, designed, made and their lives since. Think in explicit detail. Have fun with the exercise. Add humor. Deliberately be funny, even silly. Give them human names, personalities. Create their families, their friends, their enemies.
The more you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, feel (emotionally), intuit about a challenge the more creative your thinking will become.
Do this once a week until it becomes a habit. Invite your spouse, children, friends to play ELABORATION games. It will be great practice and the results will be your Elaboration and creative thinking skills in general will become stronger and stronger.
Lesson Three: Deliberately Be Original
Now your goal is to practice being and thinking original thoughts and ideas. Above is a sample exercise that Sid Parnes (co-founder of the Creative Education Foundation and the Osborn-Parnes Problem Solving process) taught my first class at the Annual Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo (1978) to help provoke original thought. Take paper clips and generate many, many different possible uses for them, new designs, new shapes, new materials, new ways to market or sell them. For the next 15 or so years I collected unique, novel, strange, different, funny examples of paperclips….hundreds in my collection.
To be more original more often ask yourself the following types of questions.
1. what has this never been used for
2. what has this never done before
3. what has this been made of before
What might it be used for?
What might it be made of?
Who else might use it who has never used it before?
Use Bob Eberle’s famous S.CA.M.P.E.R. series of questions devised from Alex Osborn’s (creator of Brainstorming) original 83 thought provoking questions. Bob was the first creativity consultant I met (1976) and he introduced me to CPSI in Buffalo.
M. MINIFY, MAGNIFY
P. PUT TO OTHER USES
So practice by picking an object you can see or think of one and generate 12 to 144 original ideas. With each idea strive to be even more original.
Substitute…what materials might be substituted for the original material
What might this (whatever you choose) be used to accomplish that it is not usually used for? (paperclip…tie pin, tool, weapon, fish hook)
Combine…what can we combine “X” with to do something else?
Adapt…how might we adapt “X” to do something else or look different?
Minify/Magnify…what might we use “X” for it
Put to other uses…
Eliminate something about it?
Reverse how it is used currently?
To see a list of 83 random ideas for paperclips click on PAPERCLIPS
Lesson Four: Continually Grow More Curious
Research of Highly Creative people that I have read plus my own interviews with people in many countries and from around the US from the past 30 years have shown that to be more creative it is helpful to continue to be curious throughout your entire life.
So Lesson 4 is for you to spend 30 to 60 minutes each day for a week being deliberately curious about different things or subjects each day, i.e.:
MONDAY be curious about new novels
TUESDAY be curious about new sports
WEDNESDAY be curious about new inventions
THURSDAY be curious about new games
FRIDAY be curious about new businesses or industries.
You might want to begin developing a CURIOSITY journal, folder, file, box of stuff that you can continually add notes, clippings or things to.
THE MORE CREATIVE YOU CONTINUE TO BE
THE MORE CREATIVE YOU WILL BECOME.
Robert Alan Black, Ph.D., CSP, DLA
#Creative Thinking Consultant
#Creative Thinking Speaker
#Creative Thinking Workshops