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New Eyes for Old Problems Accelerating Pathways to Innovation in Nursing Science Kathi Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN University of Utah.

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Presentation on theme: "New Eyes for Old Problems Accelerating Pathways to Innovation in Nursing Science Kathi Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN University of Utah."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Eyes for Old Problems Accelerating Pathways to Innovation in Nursing Science Kathi Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN University of Utah

2 Innovation An innovation is the introduction of new ideas, goods, services, and practices which are intended to be useful

3 NIH view of Scientific Innovation Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

4 Where is Scientific Innovation Needed in Health Care? Prevent illness Improve health Decrease health risks Solve clinical problems Develop the evidence base for care Test new treatments Cure disease Improve quality of life Decrease suffering Solve societal problems and improve the health and well being of communities

5 Accelerating Pathways to innovation Achieving meaningful progress in nursing science

6 Thomas Kuhn- 1962 Normal science, the linear accumulation of knowledge, an essential phase of scientific advancement But significant progress comes from revolutionary science, periodic paradigm shifts leading to real breakthroughs

7 How do you approach your science? How do you think about your problem? Innovation comes when you can see old problems with new eyes

8 Thinking about your problem with new eyes Innovation as a creative process

9 Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and relationships, and generate meaningful, novel ideas, forms, methods, interpretations that are deemed useful. Key factors: something new or different but also something useful

10 Components of creativity Product Person Place (Press) Persuasion Process

11 A Creative Product Who decides what is creative? –The eye of the beholder –The field Judgments of the field –Tenure portfolio –Grant applications –Manuscripts

12 A Creative Person Can creativity be developed? Are some people just born creative? Is creativity domain specific or general? Is there a personality type? –Curiosity –Openness to experience –Fluency of thinking –Ability to embrace ambiguity –Intrinsic motivation –Persistence in the face of failure or set backs

13 Obstacles to innovation in science Our dualistic nature Conservative tendency (our fall-back mode) –Self preserving –Self promoting –Fear of failure Expansive tendency (needs continuous cultivation) –Desire to explore –Enjoyment of novelty and even risk

14 Keeping Balance Success- Best in the World Significance- Best for the World

15 Strive not to be a success but rather, to be of value Albert Einstein

16 Creative Place What environments facilitate creativity? –Freedom –Risk taking encouraged –Leader support –Social interaction and informal encounters

17 Obstacles to innovation in science- Creative Press Organizational norms and the culture of science and academe Most PhD programs teach the current context, values and traditions of the field Performance pressures to obtain tenure and gain funded studies Peer review process Current assumptions of the field are expected Risk is discouraged

18 Persuasion and Creativity Very important not to just have an innovative idea but to be able to persuade the field to value your idea –Peer review –Grant applications –Manuscripts

19 The Creative Process involves Seeking new insight Finding a new question New problem formulation by changing assumptions

20 Problem Finding and Problem Formulation in Nursing Science How you ‘see’ a problem –Next logical step- solely an analytic approach or –New formulation leading to an innovation- requires insight with both associative and analytic thought Asking the right question is the key

21 Science Problems as Insight Problems that require creativity well defined problems- analytic process to solve ill defined problems- aided by insight to find and reformulate the problem and solution

22 The Nature of Insight Creative Process Model Preparation- becoming immersed, curious and engaged, intense study, field expertise Incubation- ideas churn subconsciously with random recombinations Insight- a clear and deep perception- aha moments, but may not be so abrupt or singular Verification/Evaluation- decide if the insight is valuable Elaboration- doing the hard work to operationalize the idea

23 Insight Problems Problem requires something new to solve Solution is not immediately obvious Objective is to move from one problem representation to a different representation

24 So why isn’t this easy? Habitation- ceasing to take notice; seeing with same eyes Functional Fixedness- fixated on previous or familiar ideas and approaches- how the field ‘sees’ the problem Unable to recognize existing and limiting assumptions- ‘seeing’ what you expect

25 Pathways to Accelerate Insight Use Creative Processes For new eyes reformulate and restructure your problem 1. Removing mental blocks 2. Linguistic approaches 3. Visual-Spatial approaches 4. Analog Approaches

26 Creative processes: Remove Mental Blocks Develop tolerance for ambiguity and contradictions Be curious about anomalies Surface field assumptions and question them Broaden the perspective Practice reversal thinking Allow the process to incubate. Use associative as well as analytic approaches Reframe failure as learning; value persistence Remind yourself why your problem is important

27 Develop Habits and Practices for your Science Create a routine that facilitates pondering and reformulating your ideas

28 Develop habits of the mind –Be open to experiences beyond sitting at your desk –Include routines and approaches that promote preparation/exploration, incubation, insight and elaboration/evaluation as you design, implement, analyze your studies and then move the findings into practice and policy.

29 Recognize and use Serendipity The art of finding something while looking for something else Gaining knowledge from accidental events Requires –Openness and receptivity –Sagacity- ability to connect the unconnected

30 Cultivate Flow Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997) Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. HarperCollins: New York Heightened concentration Awareness is narrowed to the task There is a balance between level of ability and challenge of the task Distortion of time Loss of awareness of bodily needs Activity is intrinsically rewarding and pleasurable

31 Linguistic Practices Lateral or Divergent Thinking Lateral thinking is: –generative –provocative –makes jumps –does not search for just one answer or one pathway Generate new ideas Suspend judgment Deliberately generate many different alternatives and patterns Seek novel connections Challenge assumptions

32 Problem Analogies or Metaphors Examine functions, processes and relationships between your problem and a familiar source Interlock the two domains and evaluate fatigue rubber band fatigue wet cement

33 Visual-Spatial Practices Use of Maps Purpose Challenge assumptions Recognize new or different patterns Find new connections Many types –Graphic organizers –Brainstorming webs –Conceptual mapping –Digital dashboards Describing qualities Cause and effect Compare and contrast Sequencing Whole and parts Classification Argument development

34 Visual-Spatial Practices restructure by using a visual organizer Concept 1 1 1 & 2 1 1 1 Concept 2 2 2 2 2

35 Analog Practices Leave the silo Field fixedness How do others see the problem Fatigue: –Pregnancy –Cancer –Physical Therapy –Engineering –Poet Find an Analog

36 Transdisciplinary Science Beyond having a variety of people on your grant contributing their piece before the deadline Teams are most effective when focused on a problem, there is organizational support and they are lead by a highly facilitating leader There is a balance of individual thinking and group processing Ultimately a new field/discipline may emerge

37 Early Stage Investigators Don’t get so caught up in self-preservation that you don’t bring the ‘expansive’ focus to your research Keep your passion and your mission in the forefront Look for an environment that gets this when you interview for a position

38 Notice when you feel ‘flow’ and look for more of those opportunities Develop a ‘Practice’ of how you do your science so you deliberately nurture the process Success and Significance

39 Senior Investigators Don’t let your level of accomplishment get in the way of the ‘expansive’ focus Renew/recommit yourself to your passion and your mission Fight to retain openness and receptivity Create an environment that embraces this for you and those you mentor

40 Study Sections and Reviewers Know the gate you are keeping Gatekeeper of the perfectly written application Or Promoting the advancement of the field as quickly as possible, looking for strong problem formulation and true innovation

41 What are the implications for PhD education? They graduate competent but have we helped them to be original, to understand the role of creativity and innovation, to focus on a problem from idea to policy change to prepare for success and significance?

42 New Eyes Advance Innovation and Discovery in Nursing Science Kathi Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN University of Utah College of Nursing Salt Lake City, UT 84112 kathi.mooney@nurs.utah.edu (801) 585-9645


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