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Archive for the ‘Great Creative Minds’ Category

Seek Simplicity in Creativity and Innovation

Posted by Plish on December 5, 2008


There is no doubt that in order to be creative we need to suspend judgement.  Children are great at it.  Innovators are as well. 

Think about Goofy and Pluto….

…Both dogs. 

One is anthropomorphized, the other is, well, a dog.    But children don’t look for reasons why one dog is literate and the other is, well, a dog.  They see the deeper reality, they see the relationships, they see the deeper truths being communicated through what many adults perceive as dogs separated by eons of evolution. They see things simply.

According to Leonardo da Vinci,

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

When trying to be creative, let go of the complicated and go for the simplicity.  Don’t look at the surface incongruencies in the relationships.  Look for the deeper meaning.  Look for the truths.  Look at the essence.

Plato said:

 “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

What are we striving for in our problem solving, in our designs?  Isn’t it beauty in style,  harmony and grace?

How often have you heard the words ‘style, harmony and grace’ used in context of solving a difficult problem, of innovation? Not as often as they should be. 

I once worked with an non-degreed engineer who would judge all his ideas through the lens of ‘style, harmony and grace’, through the lens of simplicity.  We would discuss if a design had that zen quality to it where we just knew it was right.  We didn’t stop brainstorming until it did.  But the hard work wasn’t the brainstorming, per se.   It was in ignoring the obvious while looking for the deeper simplicity that screamed to be discovered if only we got out of our own need to justify our creative endeavors.

 Children recognize it.  Walt Disney used it. 

Can we?

Posted in Creative Thinking Techniques, culture of innovation, Design, Great Creative Minds, idea generation, innovation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Creative Gems: An Interview with Creativity Expert, Michael Michalko

Posted by Plish on October 23, 2008

 I had the pleasure and honor to interview Creativity Expert, Michael Michalko. Michalko is one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best sellers Thinkertoys (A Handbook of Business Creativity), ThinkPak (A Brainstorming Card Deck), and Cracking Creativity (The Secrets Of Creative Genius). His web-page is http://www.creativethinking.net . I hope you enjoy this first interview of the series , Creative Gems. – Michael Plishka

(The entire interview is in PDF format here.)

(Plishka) In your experience, what is the most common obstacle to creative thinking?

(Michalko)The dominant factor in the way our minds work is the buildup of patterns that enable us to simplify the assimilation of complex data. These patterns are based on our reproducing our past experiences in life, education, and work that have been successful in the past. We look at 6 X 6 and 36 appears automatically without conscious thought. We examine a new product for our company and know it is a good design at an appropriate price. We look at a business plan and know that the financial projections are not good. These things we do routinely, because our thinking patterns give us precision as we perform repetitive tasks, such as driving an automobile or doing our job. – Click here to keep reading!>

Posted in Creative Gems, Creative Thinking Techniques, Great Creative Minds, idea generation, Interviews, Nature of Creativity, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paradox- again…

Posted by Plish on October 15, 2008

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. -Niels Bohr

In Bohr’s mind, the paradox was an essential part of coming up with solutions to problems.  This point cannot be overstressed.  Paradox is the nursery from which the most brilliant ideas come forth.     When we are confronted with a problem is which increasing “A” decreases “B” and yet we need A and B to both increase, we are forced with having to redefine the problem and find solutions outside the way we’ve been thinking. 

Einstein once said,

 “You can never solve a problem on the level it was created.” 

This goes hand in hand with Bohr’s statement.  Where do you see problems that are seemingly insurmountable?  Look beyond the origins of the problem, into the paradoxes present, and then you’ll truly start seeing solutions.

Posted in Creative Thinking Techniques, Great Creative Minds, idea generation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Niels Bohr and Creativity

Posted by Plish on October 11, 2008

Physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962)  is the father of Quantum theory as he theorized that the electrons of an atom were in various shells of energy and they didn’t emit radiation unless they changed energy states- they jumped to another orbit level.  This Nobel Prize winner was once said:

“When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.”


Bohr hits on two interesting points here.

1. The language of poetry.  Poetry is…well…poetic.  Its genius lies in being able to describe something with a wholistic precision when the language used is often less than precise.  Sounds paradoxical but that’s the genius of it.  That leads to point 2.

2. Poetic language creates images – and often many of them.  The words of poetry show us, almost in a simultaneous fashion, all the facets of a crystal at once, with all their perspectives in tact.

When your stuck and can’t think of anything, use crazy ideas to get the ball rolling, and try using poetry to describe your problem.  Let the poetry lead to images and from the images, connect them together, shuffle them around to concretize your ideas.

What do you think about Bohr’s statement and its implications to creative thinking?

Posted in Great Creative Minds, idea generation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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