The Creative Thinker's Toolkit

Course No. 5955
Professor Gerard Puccio, Ph.D.
The State University of New York, Buffalo
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Course No. 5955
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Course Overview

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.”

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24 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    The Creative Person—Practice and Passion
    What, exactly, is creativity? Take a closer look at what makes a creative person in this introductory lecture that explores ancient ideas about creativity (including the muses of the ancient Greeks); debunks common myths about the sources of creativity; and examines how play, passion, practice, and purpose can enhance your own creative thinking. x
  • 2
    Lateral Thinking Is a Survival Skill
    First, investigate the evolutionary history of creativity in human beings and the fascinating paradox of conformity and creativity—both essential to the survival and development of our species. Then, learn about how modern education approaches creativity in our youth, and several lateral thinking skills to promote more playful ideation. x
  • 3
    Creative Styles—Adaptors and Innovators
    Using examples of real-life creative icons, investigate two major “styles” of creativity exemplified by Norman Rockwell and Pablo Picasso. The first: adaptors, who are precise, reliable, and detail oriented. The second: innovators, who approach problems from novel angles. Where do you fall on the adaptor-innovator style spectrum? Why is it so important to be flexible? x
  • 4
    Combining Opposites—Diverge, Then Converge
    Focus now on the nature of creative thinking itself, with a look at divergent thinking (which involves intuition and associative thought) and convergent thinking (which selects and develops the most promising ideas). Along the way, you’ll learn skills for balancing these surprisingly complementary ways of thinking in your own life. x
  • 5
    Principles for Unleashing Your Imagination
    There are times when we all want (or need) to be creative on demand. And with the right approach, it’s possible. Here, use Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway as a lens through which to explore four key principles of creativity training: defer judgment, go for quantity, make connections, and seek novelty. x
  • 6
    Principles for Converging on the Best Ideas
    What mindset and attitude do you need to decide which of your ideas to pursue? Professor Puccio reveals the four key principles you need for success: practicing affirmative judgment, keeping novelty alive, checking your objectives to make sure they meet the needs of reality, and—of course—staying focused. x
  • 7
    Stages of the Creative Process—and You
    Learn explicitly about creative problem solving, a research-based process that can help close the gap between what you have and what you want. There are four stages: clarify (identifying the challenge), ideate (generating tentative solutions), develop (turning good ideas into great solutions), and implement (moving your solutions from your head to reality). x
  • 8
    Clarifying the Challenge
    This lecture focuses on the clarification step of creative problem solving, in which you identify your goal, gather data, and formulate your challenge. Professor Puccio shows you how to use a variety of helpful tools, including finding out the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of a problematic situation and developing a powerful challenge statement. x
  • 9
    Clarify Even More—Webbing and Storyboarding
    Continue learning about clarification with a closer look at some more advanced tools to add to your toolkit. One is webbing, which leverages two probing questions to broaden your perspective and think in abstract terms. The other is storyboarding, a tool designed to tell your story in a visual sequence. x
  • 10
    Classic Brainstorming and Brainwriting
    Learn how to brainstorm the right way. Explore the three roles in a classic brainstorming session (the facilitator, client, and resource group members) and try your hand at brainwriting, a variation on brainstorming that involves silent cross-ideation—all while peering over the shoulders of an actual brainstorming session in action. x
  • 11
    Tools for Enhanced Brainstorming
    Get three more advanced tools to help you generate bold, creative ideas. The first is reverse brainstorming, a variation that helps shake things up. The second is forced relationships, which facilitate associative thought and recharge thinking. The third is visually identifying relationships, which uses images and pictures to stimulate ideas. x
  • 12
    Borrowing and Modifying Ideas
    True creators don’t work in isolation. Instead, they often borrow from or modify the ideas of their predecessors. Here, learn how to incorporate solutions from other people (as well as nature) into your specific challenge with the power of tools in Synectics, which rely on the use of direct and personal analogies. x
  • 13
    Systematic Tools to Generate New Ideas
    Attribute listing, which makes small variations to an idea. Morphological matrix, which combines two attributes to create new outcomes. SCAMPER, a mnemonic for idea-spurring questions (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other uses, Eliminate, and Rearrange). Put these fascinating idea-generation tools to work in a series of fun, real-world exercises. x
  • 14
    Developing Ideas—Toward Great Solutions
    How can you best transform a broad idea into a workable solution that resolves your challenge? Find out ways to make development even more efficient. The main focus in this lecture: the POINT tool, an acronym for a smart, flexible evaluative process that can be used in a variety of ways. x
  • 15
    Prototypes—How Designers Test Ideas
    Continue to spur your creative development—this time from the perspective of a designer. You’ll learn the principles of the design-thinking process (including reframing, ideating, and user understanding); explore the benefits of foresight scenarios, prototyping, and solution enactments; and discover how best to leverage the power of design thinking’s user-centered approach. x
  • 16
    Evaluating Creative Solutions and Making Decisions
    Creative work involves many difficult decisions. Improve the way you make creative development decisions with the use of several advanced tools that make this natural process more formal and systematic: the seven-step evaluation matrix, solution mapping, targeting, and more. x
  • 17
    Giving Ideas Legs—Implementation Planning
    What’s so creative about implementing your idea? Find out here, as Professor Puccio shares strategies and techniques for moving your solution forward, including using a How-How Diagram to drill down your plan into specific action steps and creating a performance dashboard to visually “monitor” your plan as you’re implementing it. x
  • 18
    Persuasion and the Selling of New Ideas
    Assistors and Resistors—a tool that uses contextual thinking to put yourself into the future so that you can examine the forces that will influence the creation and execution of your breakthrough idea. Learn how to leverage forces that propel you toward success, along with other persuasive ways (including the application of stakeholder analysis) to help get your proposed solutions and changes accepted. x
  • 19
    Tools for Bringing It All Together
    Now that you’ve learned the steps of the creative-thinking process, learn how to arrange everything in your toolkit using metacognition and several “metaprocess” skills. You’ll see these tools in action in a variety of scenarios, and you’ll also get the inside scoop on how to dodge common metacognition mistakes. x
  • 20
    Lifting the Emotional Lid on Creativity
    To maximize the power of creative thinking, you need the right emotional mindset. Professor Puccio offers you tips for doing so by investigating emotional intelligence, revealing the dangers of emotional hijacking, and stressing the importance of reflecting and redirecting to help stave off your fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. x
  • 21
    The Environment—Physical and Psychological
    Are you in the right environment to maximize your creativity? What do we mean by creating the right physical and psychological climate? How can sound, light, and time of day affect your creative thought process? What 10 specific psychological dimensions are predictors of high levels of creativity? x
  • 22
    Creative Leadership—Regardless of Title
    Today’s complex world demands more creative leaders. First, explore how evolving theories of leadership have started to embrace the importance of creativity. Then, look at why leadership itself is so crucial to the creative process. Finally, discover how creative problem solving is widely viewed as a core competency of any effective leader. x
  • 23
    Overcoming Blocks and Barriers
    There are many internal and external barriers out there that can inhibit us from effective creative thinking. But you don’t have to let these physical and perceptual blocks and habits deter you. Instead, learn how to beat them back with research-backed strategies that involve deferring judgment, defocusing, and distancing. x
  • 24
    Living a Creative Life
    Finish the course with a capstone look at how one can live creatively as well as think creatively. Some of the inspirational principles of a creative life that you’ll look at include reclaiming your creativity, going big or going home, creating multiple options for yourself, and suspending disbelief in order to live and practice a more creative approach to every aspect of your life. x

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Your professor

Gerard Puccio

About Your Professor

Gerard Puccio, Ph.D.
The State University of New York, Buffalo
Dr. Gerard Puccio is a professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo for Studies in Creativity, a unique academic department that offers the world’s first and leading Master of Science in Creativity. Professor Puccio holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The University of Manchester in England. Professor Puccio’s research interests include the identification of creative thinking...
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Reviews

The Creative Thinker's Toolkit is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 41.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Interesting Titles and content The content is very interesting, excellent presenter but for me the first two disc have only played the first four lectures of the six on each disc. I have requested 3 replacement disc in past few weeks. Usually happens when you invite someone else to watch with you. Hard to brag about something when you have to look for Plan B. Great Courses support folks have been good about replacing the disc but wo wants to skip around and wait for the replacement.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A course to change your life! Everyone should listen to this course. Creative thinking is so important to improving your life. This course is so well done, I give it a standing ovation.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Excellent Course! I really enjoyed this course. It inspired me to get back into writing after many years. It got my creative juices going!
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bought as a gift. They were pleased. Getting pretty picky aren't we??
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Smart and Sharp I thought I had put together five very sharp ways to be creative after reading Mosart's Brain and How to think like Leonardo De'Vinci, but these ways have gone beyond my creativity. IF ONLY these before my beginning college training. Add: Science of Mindfulness and Beginning Meditation
Date published: 2016-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creative Thinking is a Must As a problem solver, I am always thinking about how to think differently and how to be more creative. This course gives me a good framework for how to be a creative problem solver. The first couple lectures were slow for me and I was worried I wouldn't like this course, but I found the course got better and Dr. Puccio gives nice frameworks for many topics like divergent thinking, convergent thinking, brainstorming, evaluating solutions, implementing solutions, etc. These are essential tools for the workplace environment. If you find yourself facilitating or leading projects that need creative thinking, you'll benefit from this course!
Date published: 2016-06-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Drags On I'm one of the many The Teaching Company customers who have purchased 20, 30 or more courses but have not had posted many reviews, whether negative or positive. This course gets me going. It's not that it doesn't contain some good content because it does. It's that the course just drags on and becomes so boring in places that I will recommend that one not listen to it while driving. It's about twelve lectures too long in my opinion. I suppose that there might be people like advertising professionals who could benefit greatly from the repetitive parts of this course.
Date published: 2016-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Practical tips for creativity In the past, I have waited for inspiration when solving problems. But this course has practical techniques for developing creative solutions. For example, in one of the early lessons the professor made the point that we often suppress creativity by saying "yes, but..." Instead, the professor says that it is better to say "yes, and..." There are also lots of exercises in the guide book. The professor says that creativity can be learned just like any other skill, but just like any other skill it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to develop. Obviously, the course will not make someone instantly creative. In the meantime, though, the practice does help in solving problems.
Date published: 2016-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall! Not only does Professor Puccio understand the creative process thoroughly, Professor Puccio's course, "The Creative Thinker's Toolkit" provides real life answers towards jump-starting one's creative process. He recognizes, addresses, and even has names for the inevitable problems one encounters while engaging the creative process on the job or otherwise, and this course teaches proven techniques that will break through these problems and free your creative process for success and honest expression. Professor Puccio has amassed a huge quantity of literature from disparate fields, including the latest from the creativity literature, behavioral, corporate and business worlds. He has harnessed and organized all of this information into intelligent presentations with real life examples in every lecture. Dr. Puccio provides specific techniques in a step by step manner that zero in on different components of the creative process that need improvement or have outgrown their usefulness for us; there are many studies he brings to life that provide specific examples illustrating for us how the creative process can be coaxed and nurtured to our advantage in real time. These techniques and solutions, under Professor Puccio's tutelage, become new daily tools for us. By the end of his course, Prof. Puccio has armed us with enough of these useful tools that, yes, we feel as if we do have a brand spanking new tool kit packed with the latest tools ready to fix anything awry in the creative process. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Course will Change Your Life. A wonderfully fascinating and intriguing course superbly taught and presented. the graphics animations and video clips were awesome. Highly entertaining and highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-03-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Some good ideas but the pace is way too slow. This course presents some good ideas for harnessing creativity but the pace was way too slow for me. The information contained in these 24 lectures could easily be covered in 12 sessions or less with no loss in content. It is frustrating to try to stay focused when the lectures move at such a slow pace. I was also expecting a course on creativity to be a little more ... well, creative! Most of the newer TC courses make excellent use of computer graphics and other production techniques to enhance one's learning - this course did not. There were plenty of on-screen graphics but I just didn't feel they added much to my learning or enjoyment. Creativity is such an important topic in our modern world I applaud the effort this course represents but I was disappointed in what I got for the 12 hours I invested in watching this course.
Date published: 2015-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Course Was Life Changing This course was chocked filled with ideas, suggestions, exercises and ways to develop true creativity skills. It changed how I approach all problems in my life, both personal and professional, giving me a new energy and tactic. Can't say enough great things about the course.
Date published: 2015-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Fascinating and instructive. Hope to use concepts in teaching abroad. Brings creativity alive. Breaks down and discusses aspects.
Date published: 2015-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Course with helpful tools!!! Professor Gerard Puccio, Ph.D. did an excellent job teaching this course and the tools were very helpful. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, I am constantly looking for new methods to involve people in creative problem solving. I found this course to be very helpful and interesting!
Date published: 2015-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Excellent--5 Stars! Full of supporting evidence and peppered with interesting real-world examples, this is one of the best Great Courses. Don't let the few detractors in this review section deter you from making this purchase. I honestly don't know what they're thinking--it must be a misalignment of expectation vs what the course is actually about. If you apply the knowledge available here, there's no way you can't find new, creative solutions to your work and life dilemmas. Well done! Please make more like this. BarbD.
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from "Creativity" in Dr. Puccio's toolkit? Missing! I struggled to get through this course. Why? Because Dr. Puccio lacked enthusiasm, lacked spontaneity and, sadly, lacked the scholarship we expect from the Great Courses. I wanted to learn how to bring out my own creative juices, but this course does nothing of the sort. In fact, the presenter's poor pronunciation, poor grammar, and lack of knowledge in the field of creativity made me cringe. This course made me wonder if something is missing from Dr. Puccio's toolkit. Creativity?
Date published: 2014-11-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What I Was Expecting Absolutely not what I was expecting. The material and the instructor were extremely boring. I cannot believe one could cover so many courses on 'creative thinking'. The instructor really lost me when he mentioned 'evolution'.
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Scam I purchased this course after excellent experiences with "Skepticism 101" and" The Philosopher's Toolbox". What a disappointment. This professor is running a large scam with this course and, based on his stories, also at the conferences and seminars he produces. If you are a fan of clichés, buzzwords and worn out sayings, you will like this class. This man is the epitome of what is wrong with education in America. His presentation makes one believe that he is making it up as he goes along. His "toolkit" is nothing more than the wishful thinking of a lifetime, tenured instructor. It took me a long time to get through this course as I had to force myself to listen to the second set of CDs, hoping something good would happen. It never did. As a professional educator myself, I am appalled that a fine company like yours would market a dud like this. Like all of education, on this one, you lowered your standards. I will purchase more courses, but the next one like this will be my last.
Date published: 2014-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another winner If you don't need to walk away with a diploma, these course provide a wealth of information that is equal to any class I've taken.
Date published: 2014-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Applicable to everyday life I bought this course hoping it would help me organize my creative impulses, but I was half afraid that it would focus only on business-type creativity, things like developing business products and supervising projects. It's exactly what I was looking for. The instructor uses examples of lack of creative thinking from many different areas, such as the way Deca Records passed up on signing the Beatles because "guitar bands were on their way out," and gives examples of applications in a variety of situations from deciding on a weekend activity with his kids to the way Bob Hope decided what jokes to use in his routines. There are business applications, too, but it's not limited to them. It's well-organized, dividing his tools into discrete sections and then building on them as he progresses.
Date published: 2014-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive Creativity Course Techniques for developing creativity are explained well in this course, supplemented by illustrations and stories. The myths that are constantly spread about the creative process are discussed and debunked. For instance, the notion that creativity occurs because of unknown forces is tackled. Many people have the perception that those who are creative produce their output easily and that it just happens. The professor does a great job explaining how this is a myth and gives good illustrations of how people regarded as creative geniuses work hard, using many iterations of their ideas, to produce a final product. The section on leadership and facilitating creativity was very enlightening to me.
Date published: 2014-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This one can change you for the better I bought this course, because I thought it would be good to learn about creativity and maybe be a little better about how to use creativity in my job. Professor Puccio went far beyond my expectations! 1) The course invites all people to be creative and leverage the specific strengths and preferences each of us brings to creative problem solving 2) It is chock full of practical application tools and techniques 3) Professor Puccio presents the material in a very positive and inviting manner 4) Professor Puccio does a great job of bringing research to bear while balancing that with very personal tales. If you come to this course with an open mind, I believe anyone can walk away with specific things they can do to improve both personal and professional problem solving skills.
Date published: 2014-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't Miss This Course I became very interested in this subject a few months ago and read a few books on the subject. The books raised my interest enough to enroll in a college course. The course was awful. I then found this course and immediately bought it! I am totally glad I did. One big point needs to be clarified. There is a division among people who gravitate toward this subject. Some believe it needs to be all about problem solving. And, if you subscribe to that, you will expect this course to add to your business skill set. Others believe that creativity is all about artistic freedom and the more distant from the norm, the better. That was what drove me from the other class I started. The student population was contantly pushing the 'creative' aspect but totally rejecting the thinking! Be free! Let loose! No thinking! Creative thinking is part freedom to venture out into the wild, never before imagined AND part thinking about practical solutions to real problems. Some people have a hard time reconciling those two things. This course is the exact, perfect balance of the two. We need to develop our ability to think divergently but then there is a time to converge on reality. This course teaches a process for not only developing creativity, but also how to harness creativity to reach useful outcomes. Anyone could benefit from this course. Yes, both the artist and the executive can improve their thinking by employing techniques which can be learned. There's the good news! We can actually learn to be more creative. The course has been very valuable to me and it will surely benefit you too. The course is very well presented and a lot of fun to take. I highly recommend the investment.
Date published: 2014-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Tools for This was the most comprehensive presentation of creative thinking I have come across. The professor reveals an assortment of tools that like a swiss army knife can be used to handle a broad range of problems. Each tool can be used singularly or in combination, which means they are practical and can be put to use wherever applicable. Truly a useful course for me.
Date published: 2014-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Has some monumental moments I really enjoyed this course, especially the first half, which was about instilling methods of creative thinking. The second half, though valuable, was more about project management. The highlight of the course was learning about random word generation and it's use in stimulating creative thought. This concept has markedly improved my ability to come up with new activities for my children. It is a stunningly simple and effective method which alone is worth taking the course for. The professor is knowledgeable and easy to listen to. He has put a lot of effort into the lectures and enjoys teaching them.. I do recommend this course. It is one of those TC courses that will affect the way you live your life!
Date published: 2014-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Usable and Valuable Program for Everyone I have multiple titles from The Great Courses, finding many a joy to watch, singling out this title as one of my absolute favorites, a program that is interesting, insightful, and highly useful. If you are looking to purchase any program on general usability I would highly recommend, "The Creative Thinker's Toolkit."
Date published: 2014-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This will make you think Of 20+ “Great Courses” I have sampled, this is one of the most thought provoking, insightful courses I have taken, one of my “most recommended” to family, friends and colleagues. The creative process fascinates me and Dr. Puccio puts forward the best of research-based creativity theories with an engaging style and great stories. Everyone can benefit form these ideas. A self-administered survey is included with this course, it provides meaningful insight into understanding ones own creative style, and adds a personal dimension to the course material. It also adds depth to the discussion on how ones personal styles relates with others: positives and negatives. I recommend taking this survey before the lectures; it will help to ground the subsequent discussions, better direct how to generate "creativity on demand" Current theory, personal insights into problem solving techniques, relationships with others, creativity obstacles, creativity accelerators, this program works for me at many levels: personal, interpersonal, work.
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from For Corporate NOT Artistic it's my fault. i should have read the course description and reviews instead of trusting the graphic. this may be an excellent course for corporate climbers, but it does (at least the first half which is as far as i got) nothing for those interested in artistic creativity.
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from For the boss, not your "inner Mozart" Video download. When many of us think of creativity, famous examples jump readily to mind such as Mozart or Einstein. Dr Puccio's THE CREATIVE THINKER'S TOOLKIT covers such outstanding talents only briefly. They lie at the extreme end of a large continuum — "big C" to "little c" creativity — where humbler levels of originality can dramatically improve our collective standard of living if they are properly encouraged, managed and evaluated. That is what TOOLKIT is about — the collective, messy, social nature of creating and sharing ideas in the office, preferably practical suggestions with a quick pay-back. Puccio's perspective is thus primarily managerial. Creativity is not the preserve of a few. It means different things in different departments. A time and place should be set aside for generating ideas without judgment even though evaluation will come into play eventually. At that level, TOOLKIT is a good starting point. It is filled with many interesting distinctions and useful techniques. Of course, the nature of group creativity is so varied, depending on the nature of our work responsibilities, that the value of his many suggestions may feel uneven. Carefully check the course description before buying. ________ But what about the individual level? Does this course help you become more creative? He offers plenty of hints. Creativity is fostered when you • aim for quantity. Good ideas tend to come from many ideas. • work on several projects at the same time. • enjoy the work process for its own sake, with less attention paid to comparisons or authorities. This is only a small sample. Given his focus on the professional perspective and collective work situations, however, individual creativity is often buried in management-speak. PRESENTATION was fine. Since visual aids are sparse, audio download gives you all you need, as long as you refer to the guidebook too. __________ To sum up, this is a course on creativity designed for managers. Dr Puccio's bibliography at the end of the guidebook led me to read "Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity" by Keith Sawyer. This is a fantastic resource for those of you primarily interested in developing your personal creativity — at work, in retirement or whatever. If that is the kind of training you seek, skip the course and go for the book. I thank Dr Puccio for guiding me in that direction.
Date published: 2014-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent resource! I purchased this course before any reviews were posted. After receiving it, I looked online and saw that the first review gave it only 2 stars. I feared I might've made a mistake in purchasing it. I admit that as of this writing I have only watched the first 5 lectures and I have never posted a review of any of the other Great Courses that I do own. The reason I am writing this review now is that I could not possibly disagree more with the 2-star review. After only 5 lectures, I have found this course to be of great value and I think others will as well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I think that lectures 3 and 4 are so good that those two alone are worth the cost of the entire course. Lecture 3 is about the different styles of creativity-adaptive and innovative. I thought the instructor's presentation was excellent. His comparison of Norman Rockwell to Pablo Picasso was an absolutely perfect demonstration of adaptive versus innovative styles. I'd even say it is impossible to watch this lecture and not gain a clear understanding of exactly what he means. Lecture 4: "Combining Opposites-Diverge, then Converge" was also an excellent presentation of how the quantity and quality of ideas relate to each other. The exercise where he gives you 3 words and asks you to stop the DVD and write the 3 most creative sentences that you can with those words was also a perfect exercise to make the point that he later goes on to make. Yes, I am only about a quarter of the way through the course and I have never posted a review here before but I already feel like I've gained a great deal from this course.
Date published: 2013-12-25
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