LTI Session Focuses on Creative Problem Solving

By Sheinberg, Sheila | Nation's Cities Weekly, July 30, 2001 | Go to article overview
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LTI Session Focuses on Creative Problem Solving


Sheinberg, Sheila, Nation's Cities Weekly


LEADERSHIP TRAINING INSTITUTE

Creativity is the ability to look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary. Creativity is a lot like falling in love! Today's challenges facing local government and the requirement to plan for tomorrow, makes both problem solving and creativity a necessity across the spectrum of local government. Creative problem solving combines both the strategy of creativity and the hard-hitting necessity for problem solving, into one systemic approach.

Creative problem solving taps everyday creativity by identifying "keys" to creative problem solving. These keys provide both a technique and a framework to "frame the problem" and to "solve the problem" using "everyday creativity."

The keys to creativity are introduced by a world-renowned photographer for National Geographic - DeWitt Jones. DeWitt uses his camera to illustrate "the minds eye." Building on his professional work for National Geographic, DeWitt Jones beautifully illustrates how to recognize and apply these keys to creativity in everyday life. The keys are:

1. Recognizing that creativity is the ability to look at the ordinary, and see the extraordinary. Every one of us has the capacity to see the extraordinary. Yet, most of us don't even look at the ordinary.

2. It is important to recognize that every act can be a creative one. A new mind-set, a connection to the playful, provides the context to be creative in everything we do.

3. Creativity is a matter of perspective. It is important to recognize that perspective can change one's world-view.

4. Creativity requires that one recognize there is always more than one right answer. There isn't just "one" right answer! There are many right answers. The real creative act is to keep on looking for that "next right answer."

5. Creativity allows you to reframe problems into opportunities. Almost any problem, from a new perspective, can present new opportunities.

6. Creativity requires that you try ... so don't be afraid to make mistakes. If there is more than one right answer, then don't be afraid to explore, experiment, or take a risk. Only by taking that risk can we truly find the "next right answer."

7. Creativity requires you to break the pattern. By breaking the pattern we add texture, contrast, context. It is this contrast and texture that grabs our attention. It is the "break in the pattern" that keeps our interest. It is only by "breaking the pattern" that we can move in new directions.

8. Creativity requires that one train their technique. Without technique, without knowledge, experience and readiness, it's difficult to seize the moment, break the pattern, or even seize an opportunity.

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