This is the second post in a mini series on deliberate creativity.
Part 1: Creativity and Thinking
Most of us would agree that children display creativity at early ages as they are busy discovering the world. While they are learning about the world they are focused first on the why question until about age 5 and then the why not question until about age 10. Creativity abounds throughout this stage as any parent can tell you.
Then they start into a lifelong stage where the ability to understand and solve problems effectively becomes an important skill to master. The educational system supports this viewpoint through it's program of learning information, applying analysis and producing solutions that can measured by exams. In school and in Life people are rewarded and applauded for demonstrating this skill. No question it is an important skill to have. Creative thinking is mainly left to the Art and Design programs but treated more as a gift rather than a skill that can be learned.
Although mainly successful the problem solving process does have limitations. Once we start down the series of steps for solving a problem based on our past judgements, arguments, truths and analysis skills our viewpoint is narrowed to seeing the next step from the step we are on. If we cannot see the next step then we cannot progress to an answer. We are stuck and need a creative solution to move forward.
We are often stuck because we are locked into the way we defined our problem. There are techniques such as brainstorming etc. that we can apply but usually we use them more for trying to find the next step than it is about reexamining our problem definition.
Are we left hanging in the breeze until a flash of creativity comes out of the blue to solve our problem?
We will examine this question in the next post.