Strike 3: Creative Problem Solving!

Can you see a pattern? Describe all possible as succinctly as you can. I was visiting a teacher in her classroom and was invited to observe the students working.

I arrived at a 9-year old boy's table who had just written this. When subsequently sharing this experience with teachers they were quick to identify the mistakes that the boy had made and which indicated his lack of understanding of place value.

But at the time I spoke to the boy, the following took place. Boy: "Its easy 7 and 8 make 15, put down the 5 and carry 1. Five 4 five and 1 make Me: "What does this say? Boy: "That's Tens and Units," said in an annoyed voice, he seemed to want to copy down the next similar sum from the work card.

I wrote 58 on a piece of scrap paper, as I wanted to see what he would call it. He said that it was another 5 and an 8. I tried to think of another situation in which he may have seen tens and units. I thought of bus numbers. Me: "Suppose a bus went by and on. Me: "Could we call this fifty-eight? Boy: "40 and 50 is The answer is So you can imagine the response of the teachers when they heard this, previously thinking he lacked much understanding of tens and units, and then realising he could do the calculation so quickly in his head!

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Nevertheless, feel free to include your favorite ideas in the initial list of ideas. Now get out that list of criteria you made earlier and go through each idea more carefully. Consider how well it meets each criterion and give it a rating of 0 to 5 points, with five indicating a perfect match. If an idea falls short of a criterion, think about why this is so.

Is there a way that it can be improved in order to increase its score? If so, make a note. Once you are finished, all of the ideas will have an evaluation score. Those ideas with the highest score best meet your criteria.

They may not be your best ideas or your favorite ideas, but they are most likely to best solve your problem or enable you to achieve your goal. Depending on the nature of the challenge and the winning ideas, you may be ready to jump right in and implement your ideas. In other cases, ideas may need to be developed further. With complex ideas, a simple evaluation may not be enough.

You may need to do a SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis or discuss the idea with others who will be affected by it. If the idea is business related, you may need to do a business case, market research, build a prototype or a combination of all of these. Also, keep in mind that you do not need to limit yourself to one winning idea.

Often you can implement several ideas in order to solve your challenge. At this point, you have some great ideas. However, a lot of people have trouble motivating themselves to take the next step. Creative ideas may mean big changes or taking risks. Some of us love change and risk. Others are scared by it. Draw up an action plan with the simple steps you need to take in order to implement your ideas.

Ideas that involve a lot work to implement can be particularly intimidating. Breaking their Strike 3: Creative Problem Solving! down into a series of readily accomplished tasks makes these ideas easier to cope with and implement. This is the simplest step of all. Take your action plan and implement your idea. Rewrite your action plan! Any effective innovation initiative or process will use CPS at the front end.

Our innovation process does so. Any effective and sustainable idea management system or ideation activity will be based on CPS.

Assuming that one person drinks water and one owns a zebra, then it is possible not only to deduce the answers to the two questions, but to figure out a complete solution of who lives where, in what color house, keeping what pet, drinking what drink, and smoking what brand of cigarettes.

By considering the clues a few at a time, it is possible to slowly build inferences that incrementally complete the puzzle's unique correct solution. For example, by clue 10, the Norwegian lives in house 1, and by clue 15, house 2 must be blue.

The Norwegian's house therefore cannot be blue, nor can it be red, where the Englishman lives clue 2or green or ivory, which are next to each other clue 6.

It must therefore be yellow, which means the Norwegian also smokes Kools clue 8. The March 25, issue of Life International contained the following solution, and the names of several hundred solvers from around the world.

They lose their distinctiveness. One way of dealing with this is to invent a brand-new pattern, a fresh way of seeing the commonplace. This technique of taking things out of their ordinary context and creating a new pattern for them is a way of making the familiar strange and opening them to a fresh and creative approach.

Brain specialists tell us that the brain-wave pattern of a preadolescent child in the waking state is rich in theta waves. These waves are much rarer in adults, occurring most frequently during the hypnagogic state—a twilight zone bordering on sleep, where dreams and reality mix.

Thus a child's waking consciousness is comparable to a state of Strike 3: Creative Problem Solving! adults know mainly during these dreamlike moments as they fall asleep. This may be one reason a child's reality naturally embraces the zany and the bizarre, the silly and the terrifying. A child's waking awareness is more open to fresh perceptions and wild ideas. With pubertythe child's brain changes to resemble an adult's.

The theta brain waves and the wildly creative flair of the child begin to fade. Some people, however, continue to tap the richness of theta states later in life. Thomas Edison Strike 3: Creative Problem Solving! the hypnagogic state to work when he was an adult.

He had an unusual technique for doing this: He would doze off in a chair with his arms and hands draped over the armrests. In each hand he held a ball bearing. Below each hand on the floor were two pie plates. When he drifted into the state between waking and sleepinghis hands would naturally relax and the ball bearings would drop on the plate. Awakened by the noise, Edison would immediately make notes on any ideas that had come to him.

When people reflect on those times when they have been most fully creative and expressive, they often describe it as a "letting-go" experience. It is at that point that creativity occurs. It may be in doing vigorous exercise or in concentrating on some simple, repetitive task. It may be just as you are falling asleep, in dreams, or just as you are waking up. Many find that they routinely get a useful insight in the shower.

Meditating, stretching, playing an instrument, dancing—these are other ways that people have of surrendering to their own creativity. It's like my life puzzle. I just dump that box out and go through it and begin to make an outline. In that process I begin to work what I would call creatively.

Or like a creative editor. What signals me that it's working is butterflies in my stomach. It's a feeling of being turned on. When I first started working that's how I knew that these stories were delightful, that they tickled me and would probably translate, although I was never worried about that. It's looking a little bit more into the thematic center of it.

It's looking into that and then shaping it so that it is a predominate feature. Almost like an obsession or something that is lighting like neon. The creative part is finding a structure and fabric that has resonance. I never pre-write the monologue. What happens is that I make public discoveries. And Strike 3: Creative Problem Solving! audience sees that I make that discovery. The creative part of things is the part you have the least control over.

Always, I find I'm smarter and more creative publicly, in front of people. The monologue really grows and has its life. There are public discoveries because I'm forgetting myself in front of the people. The creative person always walks two steps into the darkness.

Everybody can see what's in the light I wake up certain that I have created something but I am unaware of what it is at the time. The creation becomes realized during a later conscious state in its entirety. But I recognize it as the memory of an earlier idea.

I write everyday from exactly eight o'clock to noon. I have to create that order to be able to do it. But thinking it up certainly happens all the time.

Sometimes it's like work for me so I carry little notebooks around. Generally I do it at the exact time everyday.

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