Presentation on theme: "FACILITATING CREATIVITY TED 715 Brian Hampel Multi-Media Interactive Lesson for Classroom Presentation & Introduction to Enhancing Creativity."— Presentation transcript:
FACILITATING CREATIVITY TED 715 Brian Hampel Multi-Media Interactive Lesson for Classroom Presentation & Introduction to Enhancing Creativity
What is Creativity? Creativity may be defined as the ability to produce unconventional ideas. Those ideas can be very idealistic or they may be immensely practical. Unfortunately, people are most often in situations that demand repetitions rather than creativity, conformity rather than diversity.
Am I Creative? CREATIVE MYTHS Over the years, I have heard a lot of people say a lot of things about creativity. What's worse, a lot these notions – or myths – about creativity are detrimental to the creative process. So, let's end this once and for all. 1. “I am not creative” I have heard a lot of people say precisely that: “I am not creative”. The truth, of course, is that we are all creative. That's what differentiates us from Parrots who can say clever things put couldn't have a creative idea if their lives depended upon it. The truth is we are all creative. And while some people are naturally more creative than others, we can all have very creative ideas. The problem is, as we grow older, most of us learn to inhibit our creativity for reasons relating to work, acceptable behavior and just the notion of being a grown-up. 2. “That's a stupid idea” People say this kind of thing to colleagues, family and even to themselves. Indeed, this is one reason why people believe they are not creative: they have got into such a habit of censoring their creative ideas, by telling themselves that their ideas are stupid, that they no longer feel creative. Next time you have an idea you think is stupid, don't censor it. Rather, ask yourself how you could improve the idea. 3. “Creative people always have great ideas” Rubbish! Creative people always have ideas. Whether they like it or not, they are having ideas and sharing those ideas (often with people who tell them their ideas are stupid, no less!) every waking hour of the day. Of those ideas, a precious few are great. Many are good, Many are mediocre and a precious few really are stupid ideas. Over time, we tend to forget creative people's weak ideas and remember their great ideas.
CREATIVE MYTHS (continued) 4. “Constructive criticism will help my colleague improve their idea.” Yeah, and tripping a child when she is learning to walk will help her improve her walking skills. Nonsense! Criticism, whether constructive or destructive (as most criticism truly is) squelches creative thinking and teaches your colleague to keep her ideas to herself. Likewise, other colleagues will see what happens when ideas are shared and will also learn to keep their ideas to themselves. Fresh ideas are fragile. They need nurturing, not kicking. Instead of criticizing a colleague's new idea, challenge them to improve the idea by asking them how they could get over the idea's weakness. 7. “That's a good idea. Let's run with it” When we are looking for ideas, we have a tendency to stop looking and start implementing with the first good idea that comes to mind. Unfortunately, that means that any great ideas you might have had, had you spent more time thinking, are lost. Moreover, good ideas can often be developed into significantly better ideas with a little creative thought. So, don't think of a good idea as an end – rather think of it as a beginning of the second stage of creative thought. 10. “I don't need a notebook. I always remember my ideas” Maybe. But I doubt it. When we are inspired by an idea, that idea is very often out of context with what we are doing. Perhaps a dream we had upon waking inspires us with the solution to a problem. But, then we wake up, have breakfast, catch a ride to school, go to class, etc - until late afternoon when you finally have time to think about the problem. How likely are you really to remember the idea you had upon wakening?
USING DA VINCI Enhancing Creativity Leonardo Da Vinci’s grotesque heads and famous caricatures are an example of the random variations of the human face made up of different combinations of a set number of features. He would first list facial characteristics (heads, eyes, nose, etc.) and then beneath each list variations. Next he would mix and match the different variations to create original and grotesque caricatures.
Below is a hypothetical example of a box similar to one that Da Vinci might have constructed: While the number of items in each category is relatively small, there are literally thousands of possible combinations of the listed features. The circled features indicate only one out of thousands of different grouping of features that could be used for an original grotesque head.
How It Works From his notebooks, it is clear that Da Vinci used this strategy in his production of art and invention. He advised to be on the watch to take the best parts of many beautiful faces rather than create what you consider to be a beautiful face. It is intriguing to speculate that the Mona Lisa, probably the most admired portrait in the world, is a result of Da Vinci combining the best parts of the most beautiful faces that he observed and systemized. Perhaps this is why admirers find so many different expressions in the mix of features on the face of the woman in the painting. It is especially interesting to consider this possibility in the light of the fact that there is so little agreement about the actual identity of the subject.
One can almost see Leonardo composing a matrix of elements (Apostles, types of reactions, conditions, facial expressions, types of situations) and experimenting with their variations and combinations until he found the right configuration to create that once in a lifetime masterpiece --- the "Last Supper." Many other artists before him had made their own versions of Jesus Christ having his last meal with the twelve apostles, but when Leonardo painted the picture, the scene came alive with new meaning that no one else was able to give, or has been able to give since.
Da Vinci would analyze the structure of a subject and then separate the major parameters (parameter means characteristic, factor, variable, or aspect). He would then list variations for each parameter and combine them. By coming up with different combinations of the variations of the parameters, he created new ideas. Think of the parameters as card suits (hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds), and the variations as the different cards within each suit. You choose the number and nature of the parameters of your subject; what’s important is to generate parameters and then list variations for each parameter. By experimenting with different combinations of the variations, you create new ideas. How Can We Make It Work
The Process The procedures for using Da Vinci’s technique are: 1.Specify the Challenge. 2.Separate the Parameters of the Challenge. The parameters are the fundamental framework of the challenge. You choose the nature and the number of parameters that you wish to use in your box. A good question to ask yourself when selecting parameters is: "Would the challenge still exist without the parameter I'm considering adding to the box?“ 3.Below each parameter, list as many variations for the parameters that you wish. The complexity of the box is determined by the number of parameters and the number of variations used. The more variations and the more different the variations of each parameter, the more likely the box will contain a viable idea. For instance, a box with ten parameters, each of which has ten variations, produces 10 billion combinations of the parameters and the variations. 4.When you are finished listing variations, make random runs through the parameters and the variations for the parameters, selecting one or more from each column and assemble the combinations into entirely new forms. During this step, all of the combinations can be examined with respect to the challenge to be solved. If you are working with ten or more parameters, you may find it helpful to randomly examine the entire group, and then gradually restrict yourself to portions that appear to be particularly fruitful.
EXAMPLE Let’s look at an example. A car-wash owner wanted to find an idea for a new market or new market extension. He analyzed the activity of "product washing" and decided to work with four parameters: 1. Method of washing 2. Products Washed 3. Equipment Used 4. Other Products Sold. He listed the parameters and listed five variations for each parameter. He listed four parameters on top. Under each parameter he listed five variations for each parameter. He randomly chose one or more items from each parameter, and connected them to form a New Business.
PARAMETERSMethod of Washing Product WashedEquipment UsedOther Products Sold VARIATION #1 HAND DOGSFAUCETS SHAMPOO VARIATION #2 MACHINE CARS STALLS AIR DRYERS VARIATION #3 SELF TRACTOR TRAILERS POWER WASHER WAX VARIATION #4 EMPLOYEE PEOPLE HOSES DEGREASER VARIATION #5 HOSE HOUSES HAND BRUSHES TOWELS
NEW BUSINESS: The random combination of (Self + Dogs + Brushes + Sprayers + STALLS + SPRAYERS) inspired an idea for a new business. The new business he created was a self-service dog wash. The self-service dog wash has ramps leading to waist-high tubs where owners spray them, scrub them with brushes provided by the wash, shampoo them and blow dry them. In addition to the wash, he also sells his own line of dog products such as shampoos and conditioners. Pet owners now wash their dogs while their car is being washed in the full-service car wash. Five alternatives for each parameter can generate a possible 3,125 different combinations. If only 10% prove useful, that would yield 312 new ideas. In theory, if you list the appropriate parameters and variations, then you should have all of the possible combinations for a specified challenge. In practice, your parameters may be incomplete and/or a critical variation for a parameter may not have been described. When you feel this may be the case, you should reconsider the parameters you specified and adjust the parameters or the variations accordingly. We tend to see the elements of our subject as one continuous "whole," and do not see many of the relationships between the elements, even the obvious ones. They become almost invisible because of the way we perceive things. Yet, these relationships are often the links to new ideas. When you break down a subject into different parts and combine and recombine the parts in various ways, you restructure your perception of the subject. This perceptual restructuring leads to new insights, ideas, and new lines of speculation.