“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” -Anthony Jay
Unlock Your Own Answers.
Consulting our own experience and intuition is a wonderful way to gain insight. Unfortunately, some of us have never learned this lesson. Much of our educational system is an elaborate game of "guess what the teacher is thinking," and we come to believe that the best ideas are in someone else's head rather than our own. There are good ideas within ourselves if we are willing to dig deep enough.
Sometimes our own attitudes can prevent us from accessing these ideas. I call the attitudes that imprison our thinking "mental locks." They include such beliefs as "There is one right answer," "Always be practical," "Follow the rules," "That's not my area," "Avoid ambiguity," and "Don't be foolish." These attitudes make sense in some situations, but they tend to interfere when we're trying to be creative. One technique I use for opening mental locks is to do the opposite - that is, I try to look for more than one right answer, worry less about how correct I am, seek inspiration in outside areas, embrace paradox, and so on.
Find Your Own Creative Tendencies and characteristics.
How do you get your ideas? What's your creative thinking style? What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
How would you rate your four creative roles?
-Explorer: "I'm able to get off the beaten path and find information in outside areas.”
-Artist: "I'm good at playing with ideas and turning them into something new. “
-Warrior:"I'm able to champion an idea and get it into action. “
-Judge: "My ability to evaluate the critical merits of an idea could be better. “
1. How venturesome is your explorer?
(a) My friends call me "ostrich head";
(b) I see only what's in front of me;
(c) I make time to explore;
(d) "Go and find it" is my middle name;
(e) Columbus, Madame Curie, and the Apollo space program all rolled into one!
2. How imaginative is your artist?
(a) My imagination's in prison;
(b) I can follow a recipe;
(c) I'm usually good for a new insight;
(d) Part magician, part poet, part child;
(e) Picasso and Mozart, make room!
3. How discerning is your judge?
(a) I don't understand decision-making;
(b) Flipping a coin would get better results;
(c) I can usually pick out what's worth building on in a new idea;
(d) I'm right more often than not;
(e) I have the wisdom of Solomon!
4. How persistent is your warrior?
(a) I'm a real wimp;
(b) I'm fine until I hit an excuse or two;
(c) I get up when I'm knocked down;
(d) I get things done;
(e) I'm in the ranks of Caesar and Patton!
Expect The Unexpected Or You Won’t Find It (A Creativity Tool Based on the Ancient Wisdom of Heraclitus)
– Roger Von Oech
“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, 'We've always done it this way.' I try to fight that.
That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.” -Grace Murray Hopper
Sparks of creativity often flow from new knowledge. Frequently it's information about things that are completely new to you. Sometimes, it's new facts about familiar things. And sometimes it's information about things that you didn't know you didn't know. This last category, usually filled with items that are silly and fanciful, can provide a platform for your imagination to jump from.
So here I present the: "Things you didn't know you didn't know" section.
(or the alternately titled: "Trivia to win bar bets" section).
Why Do Clocks Run "Clockwise"?
In baseball, horse racing, and most forms of skating, we are accustomed to seeing a counterclockwise movement. Is there any particular reason why clocks run "clockwise".
Henry Fried, one of the foremost horologists in the United States, gives a simple explanation for this Imponderable. Before the advent of clocks, we used sundials. In the northern hemisphere, the shadows rotated in the direction we now call "clockwise." The clock hands were built to mimic the natural movements of the sun. If clocks had been invented in the southern hemisphere, Fried speculates, "clockwise" would be the opposite direction.
Why do clocks run clockwise and other imponderables? An Imponderable Book