Essence of Creativity: A Guide to Tackling Difficult Problems

Oxford University Press, 15 de mar. de 1990 - 144 páginas
Challenging problems both attract and repel us. They frustrate us, accelerate our pulses, cause ulcers, and perhaps even curtail our lifespans. On the other hand, the knotty problems of life offer us food for thought, sustaining our creativity, and adding emotional spice to the human experience. We encounter difficult tasks day in and day out. The solutions to these problems must be sought with resourcefulness and creativity, for until now we have had little insight into the nature of these tasks, and even less into methods for resolving them. This unique book explores the nature of challenging problems in all walks of life, and describes the creative techniques for addressing them. It is particularly relevant for problems that admit no obvious solution, whether they concern scientific knowledge, technology, the arts, or social situations. By understanding the dynamics of problem solving in general, the author argues, we can better organize the pursuit of specific projects. The initial phase involves crystallizing our objectives and developing a coherent plan. The next step is to evaluate the results and determine whether the work should be concluded, begun anew, or given up altogether. With this general strategy, even seemingly overwhelming problems can be approached systematically and efficiently. The author goes beyond the normal distinction between routine and innovative activities, defining the role of creativity in novel decision-making. In addition, he distills the existing literature on creativity, innovation, and project management to present a concise set of strategies and practices that can be applied in a myriad of settings ranging from university laboratories to corporate planning centers. For the sake of concreteness, a number of examples from research and development environments demonstrate the book's basic principles in action, showing how even the most difficult problems can yield to knowledgeable ingenuity. Written in a clear, readable style, Essence of Creativity will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers: engineers, business managers, computer scientists, executives, cognitive psychologists, and educators in many fields, as well as general readers seeking effective ways to handle difficult problems.

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1 Introduction
2 Attributes of Creativity
3 Quality of Ideas and Solutions
4 Factors of Creativity
5 Tactics for Individual Productivity
6 Managing the Project
7 Strategies for Research
8 Supervising the Researcher
Creativity in Science and Technology
Creativity in Humor
The Memory Agent
Creativity Support System
Selected Bibliography
Direitos autorais

9 Conclusion

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Página 34 - the words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. . . . The physical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be 'voluntarily
Página 34 - The above mentioned elements are, in my case, of visual and some of muscular type. Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a secondary stage, when the mentioned associative play is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will.
Página 68 - I believe with Schopenhauer that one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever shifting desires.
Página 97 - Therefore, — since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, — I will be brief...
Página 108 - ... purpose, cannot possibly have formed many associations with other things in the mind. Their brain-processes are led into by few paths, and are relatively little liable to be awakened again. Speedy oblivion is the almost inevitable fate of all that is committed to memory in this simple way. Whereas, on the contrary, the same materials taken in gradually, day after day, recurring in different contexts, considered in various relations, associated with other external incidents, and repeatedly reflected...
Página 34 - ... voluntarily" reproduced and combined. There is, of course, a certain connection between those elements and relevant logical concepts. It is also clear that the desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play with the above-mentioned elements. But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought...
Página 88 - The advance of science is not comparable to the changes of a city, where old edifices are pitilessly torn down to give place to new, but to the continuous evolution of zoologic types which develop ceaselessly and end by becoming unrecognizable to the common sight, but where an expert eye finds always traces of the prior work of the centuries past. One must not think then that the old-fashioned theories have been sterile and vain.
Página 108 - Things learned thus in a few hours, on one occasion, for one purpose, cannot possibly have formed many associations with other things in the mind.
Página 53 - When a new system concept or new technology is used, one has to build a system to throw away, for even the best planning is not so omniscient as to get it right the first time.
Página 28 - Youths who achieve eminence are characterized not only by high intellectual traits, but also by persistence of motive and effort, confidence in their abilities, and great strength or force of character.

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