People are born creative geniuses, right? With a special gene that endows them with inventiveness the rest of us only wish we had?
According to the latest scientific research, that’s hardly the case at all. In turns out anyone can be creative. You just have to know how to think creatively.
In today’s hyperactive world—where bold new challenges can seem to bring about the same stale answers—creative thinking is more important than ever. And it’s about more than just writing a novel or composing a piece of music. Creative thinking involves taking a broader, more imaginative approach to analyzing and solving the everyday challenges we all face, whether in the office or at home.
By training yourself to become a more creative thinker, you can
- develop and bring to fruition new answers to problems that once seemed daunting or unsolvable;
- become more persuasive in how you present and sell your ideas;
- avoid tired solutions in favor of novel ones with the potential for even greater success;
- strengthen your ability to lead teams and organizations; and
- reach new levels of satisfaction and fulfillment in your daily life.
Because creativity is a set of skills that anyone can improve, you can learn how to wield the same research-based tools and techniques that today’s creative people use in their own work. All you need is an open mind, a determination to succeed, and The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit. Award-winning Professor Gerard Puccio of Buffalo State–The State University of New York—an expert in creative thinking and a consultant to individual clients and large companies—has crafted 24 lectures that take you step-by-step through the creative-thinking process and that use real-world scenarios to show you this vital skill in action.
Whether you want to overcome writer’s block, look at your career with a fresh perspective, solve a complex business problem, introduce a new idea to the marketplace, or figure out the best way to resolve a tense argument, Professor Puccio’s course will give you everything you need so that when other people are dodging life’s challenges, you’re uncovering the potentially successful opportunities they’ll have missed.
Explore the Creative Problem-Solving Process
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Prize-winning writer, a Fortune 500 CEO, or a high school student; the stages of thought you move through to close the gap between what you have and what you want are the same. And the most reliable way to do so is with creative problem solving, the model that Professor Puccio uses as the backbone of The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit.
Creative problem solving is delightfully intuitive, building on the natural creative process in all of us instead of replacing it. It’s also the most widely researched deliberate creative process model in existence—and one of the most effective methods used in creativity training in organizations and universities around the world.
With this series, you’ll get a solid introduction to the four major stages of this process. Each stage, as you’ll learn, involves a different way of thinking and a different set of tools to facilitate greater creativity. And all of them can be adapted to fit the demands of your own particular challenge.
- Clarify: Once you’ve determined your problem and your goal, you need to identify the challenges (both obvious and hidden) you’ll have to address and overcome to achieve the results you want.
- Ideate: This stage is about generating ideas: good ones, bad ones, ugly ones. It’s also where tools like brainstorming, brainwriting, forced connections, and even borrowing from others can lead you to out-of-the-box solutions.
- Develop: Now you need to focus on development, which involves taking your ideas, evaluating them, determining which ones are workable, and transforming them into solutions.
- Implement: Last comes the most tactical part of the process, in which you move the solutions from your own head into reality, using a plan that includes specific, measurable steps.
Learn the Tools of the Creative Trade
According to Professor Puccio, creative problem solving is a toolbox. As such, his fascinating lectures are packed with tools you can pick up and carry with you any time you find yourself in a situation that demands a more creative approach. You’ll learn how each stage of the creative-thinking process comes with its own set of equipment designed to maximize your creativity and increase your ability to solve problems and achieve your desired goals.
- Brainwriting: Traditional brainstorming sessions not fruitful enough? Try this silent method, in which participants write their ideas and swap papers with one another, using cross-fertilization to build on already written ideas or add entirely new ones.
- Solution enactment: A kind of dress rehearsal often used by tech developers, this tool involves acting out a proposed solution to see how it could be improved. It can also help you more effectively communicate abstract ideas and processes.
- Stakeholder analysis: To determine who can support (or hinder) the success of your plan of action, analyze the positions of those individuals who have a stake in your plan. Then, devise a set of specific actions aimed at gaining their support.
- How-How diagram: Designed to help move your solution forward, this webbing tool forces you to be more concrete by repeatedly asking yourself, “How do I achieve this solution?” in order to shift your perspective into concrete action steps.
Using simple exercises, in-studio demonstrations, hypothetical scenarios, and the real-world experiences and successes of creative giants in business, science, and the arts, Professor Puccio teaches you how to wield these and other fascinating tools. He also shows you how to select the tools that work best for your unique situation, and invites you to take a step back and see how the lessons of creative thinking can help you become a better leader and live a more creative life.
Learn from an Inspirational Master of Creative Thinking
As you explore the creative-thinking process in great detail, you’ll gain more than just a framework with which to tackle tomorrow’s professional and personal challenges. You’ll also discover a little more about yourself.
The Creative Thinker’s Toolkit comes complete with access to FourSight, a short self-evaluation measure developed by Professor Puccio that can help determine what kind of creative thinker you are. Are you an ideator who thrives on playing with possibilities? Or are you more of a developer; someone who can quickly spot ways to enhance and improve an idea?
Whatever kind of creative thinker you are, you’ll find yourself in the hands of a master educator who has devoted his entire career to researching and instructing others about creative thinking as the road to success. Professor Puccio’s outstanding work as a scholar has won him The State University of New York’s Research and Scholarship Award and the Buffalo State President’s Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. He’s also delivered training programs and keynote speeches on creativity to major corporations, universities, and school districts.
But what you’ll likely find most enjoyable about learning with Professor Puccio is his inspiration and encouragement. Throughout these lectures, he proves that with a little hard work, anyone can become a more creative thinker.
“If you wish to see change, you have to model the way for others to see,” he says. “I encourage you to embrace your creativity, model it for others, and be a creative force in your work. And all that you do.”