As humans, we may represent “a new beginning, the first creatures in the history of life on earth to participate consciously in the ongoing creative process” (Templeton, 2000, p. 41). We seek to address the question of how we may foster such creativity which distinctively nurtures our collective potential. We approach this through an international longitudinal investigation of mindfulness and its impact on creativity. Mindfulness as operationalized by Langer (1989) represent one’s active awareness of context and situationality. It provides both a simple and elegant approach toward expanding the perceived variability and novelty of information processing. By actively seeking more from our environments we begin to seek more from ourselves. This inevitably impacts one’s capacity for creativity and cascades toward increased psychological and physical well-being. Accordingly, along the course of this study we will teach participants to cultivate a state of mindful creativity. In this way, we hope to not only come to a better understanding of creativity and its components, but also to establish a robust, broadly applicable means, through the practice of mindful creativity, to increase our human potential creativity. Continue Reading
In a recent Newsweek article, ”The Science of Making Decisions,” Sharon Begley argues that an excess of information, like the volume of information we are flooded with by social media sites, for example, may actually do us more harm than good. She says it eventually causes our brains to freeze and shut down, a phenomenon called “information fatigue” — not exactly what most people hope to accomplish by using Twitter or Facebook.
New research shows that sites like Twitter may actually do the opposite.
I have always loved John Dewey’s statement:
Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving.
It’s eloquent, hard-hitting and uses the word gadfly in a sentence—something you just don’t see every day. However, as I look at conflict through the lens of Dr. Elias Porter’s Relationship Awareness Theory, I must humbly suggest that Dr. Dewey’s use of the language of conflict could be more precise. Bold as it may be to challenge an intellectual giant of his stature, a more accurate definition of our terms determines whether conflict is a creative spark or a cold bucket of water that extinguishes people’s desire to engage in imaginative problem solving in the first place. Continue Reading
Starting about 60 years ago, a study of the world’s patent literature (which is where we document breakthrough innovation and creativity, right?), which continues to this day, has determined that there a limited number of “inventive principles” or ways that we solve difficult problems. This analysis of 8 million patents has identified only 40 inventive principles that we use to solve problems. TRIZ (Russian algorithm for “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”) is a problem solving algorithm and collection of inventive tools that allow virtually any problem to be solved. One of the ways this is done is to generalize the problem at hand and ask, “Who else has a problem like I do?” Let’s take a look at an example. Continue Reading
When wrapping a gift the hard part is finding the right wrapping paper. Every season, holiday or occasion has needs its own paper. You probably have tons of different rolls of paper laying around. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can have one roll that works for every occasion? Designers Fabio Milito and Francesca Guidotti saw a solution to this problem and came up with universal wrapping paper. Continue Reading
Design thinking is becoming more mainstream, yet many in the business and creative communities are unclear about what design thinking really means or how powerful it can be. In this article, we will provide a basic understanding of design thinking, discuss three key mindsets of design thinkers, and present an example of how design thinking is helping to save millions of lives. Continue Reading
There is one huge battle most people face in the morning: waking up. The tool that helps you accomplish this is the good old alarm clock. People have tried numerous ways to make this battle slightly more pleasant. There is a gadget out there that might qualify as the best alarm clock in the world. Continue Reading
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