How to Cultivate Creative Problem Solving
Dec 01, 2020
Phil Dolan
How to Cultivate Creative Problem Solving

What is "creative thinking" and creativity? It is more than just "having good ideas". Most experts define creativity as producing something new and useful - ie “appropriate novelty”. At its core, creativity is basically a mixture of novelty and utility. It is relatively easy to get ideas that are one or the other. We want to avoid Samuel Johnson's criticism of an author whose book he was asked to review. "Your book is both new and interesting. Unfortunately, the parts that are new are not interesting, and the parts that are interesting are not new".

Several studies have concluded creative thinking can be taught, and there are effective ways to do it. Successful techniques involve the use of toolkits and strategies that can be generalised.

This talk will look at a couple of useful tools for developing creative ideas, and ways in which ideas can be evaluated, with examples drawn from some of history’s most creative thinkers.