Creative problem solving

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Creative problem solving has been extensively discussed and studied both in popular culture and academically, for example, Michael Ray, one of the authors of The Creative Spirit holds the McJohn G. McCoy-Banc One Corporation Professor of Creativity and Innovation at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Creative problem solving begins when knowldge and simply thinking about a problem fails. According to the book, The Creative Spirit, creative breakthroughs often follow extensive, even exhaustive efforts, to solve the problem resulting in frustration. Insight often occurs when one turns away from the problem, anecdotal evidence often recounting instances where inspiration arrived in a dream or other altered state when the problem was not the focus of attention.

One of the most famous anecdotes is of the chemist Friedrich Kekulé discovering the structure of the benzene ring while relaxing and gazing into his fireplace.

Creative solutions are often quite tentative at first; They need to be encouraged, evaluated and tested. Whether they will be depends much on the ambient environment the problem solver is operating in. Established, large, rule-bound organizations do not favor innovation, in fact, may punish it. Creativity is more likely to thrive in smaller, startups that encourage innovation.

Edward De Bono has in a number of written works explored creative thinking, advancing a theory he calls lateral thinking.

See also, Creativity, Problem solving and Internet-Encyclopedia:Creativity

Further Reading

  • Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman and Michael Ray, The Creative Spirit: Companion to the PBS Television Series, Dutton, 1992, hardcover, 185 pages, ISBN 0-525-93354-9
  • Edward De Bono, Lateral Thinking : Creativity Step by Step, Harper & Row, 1973, trade paperback, 300 pages, ISBN 0060903252

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