American vision, Dilemas, Learn

Creative Problem Solving, week 1. A Coursera.org class

I joined the curse “Creative Problem Solving” at Coursera.org/ 8 hrs. ago. A different thing to do, imagine that. Soon discovered that class had started a week earlier and Homework was due in few hours. With 3 hrs left and feeling the pressure it was good to read and evaluate  a few of my peers, a divergent  solution. That exposure to different ideas did prime the creative side. The idea that just emerged was not connected to any process of analysis nor focusing an any problem. My problem was time,  a linear issue.

But what do we mean by being Creative?  *   What is this Creative Mind thing?

My personal belief is that Creativity is one side of the coin of Leadership.

We often view Creativity as an Insight Machine. So we look for ways to increase creativity(read this short Scientific American article) written Jul 21, 2009 |By Oren Shapira and Nira Liberman

We can see a contemporary meaning for creativity as the ability to find solutions that are brilliant and by that we mean solutions that enhance our lives to a new level. This solutions can be from inventing tools to managing resources, like the set of bow and arrow for tools or managing fire. Life has plenty of dangers, insurmountable  obstacles and just plain re-occurring complications.

How do we fix this? How do we make it better?  These are key thoughts.

And there is the rub, isn’t it? Our thinking. In particular our habits of thinking.  Much has been discovered and said about what aids the blossoming of this valuable skill. Even meditation has been suggested to help.  So I think today Creativity has come to crystallize one of 2 things:

  • for some the understanding that creativity is a birth quality
  • for others the challenge that creativity is a learning and a teachable process

This Coursera.org class on Creative Problem Sollving will examine both Divergent Thinking and Convergent Thinking, that Creativity can easily be acquired by changing habits of action and thinking. And we can develop Creativity as a skill just as we develop muscles to become strong. DSD, Do Something Different, Think different.

Divergent Thinking: the creativity engine under my rusty hood suggested several solutions after reading several posts from my class peer’s difficulties, and reading and identifying with their resolve. But one one suggestion had a louder voice.

On this first week’s lesson we are tasked to change how we eat.

Questioning the sources of opinions about ‘eating’ was first. Second: definitions.

What is eating? Eating means health now, but scratching the surface you will reveal the word Dining.
Dining and the cultural imprints of etiquette, cuisine, manners, social mores and style. These were strongly stressed in my family who had pride in gastronomical finesse.

You never ate in the bathroom and you never would,  … this is different!
This idea just showed up and I rejected quickly because it was a stupid and lame suggestion or not good enough to impress others and get a good grade.
What was stupid?  The idea intrinsically or the challenge of…” me doing such a thing! ” ?

It felt difficult to go through with it, yes easy activity to accomplish physically but not one a civilized human would do willing. Because

  • Eating in the Bathroom. It goes against everything I was taught on the subject of manners and have taught my children and struggle with my gran-children. Manners and a modicum of class.
  • This project has another difficulty, a personal one: I had to ask someone else to help me with the project. I hate to ask for help, it makes me feel dependent it makes me feel I owe something, unnecessary. My daughter and her fiancé, even worse. Did I mention that I hate to ask for help? Well I do. It is irrational, I know…may the time to change has come. But I hate it! di I tell you that already?

This project pushed me out to habits, my comfort zone and pride. If one was to solve one unsolicited problem, to my thinking then, submitting the homework within few hours after joining the class.

 So here is the proof I actually went through with the suggestion, and that I listened to that voice of creativity not the voice of my Habits and fears.

marenco1 a

Preparing the food. I don’t eat hamburgers, So I fixed one with green cold beans and carrots. The buns were spread with humus…yup roasted peepers humus.

Image Lime over cold burgers. Never had it before. I like limes but on a burger without salt? No..ok yes

No wordds are necessary. Did you say Hi-gene? I was cringing, but it got done.  It did not kill me.

Image In an clean environment  yet the mind has associated ideas with unclean and demeaning, rooted ideas that have emotional force.

  Summary for this lesson: 

  • A problem is a set of seemingly unbreakable physical conditions or/and mental rules that stand between achieving an agreement
  • The agreement can be a cognitive understanding of a value or material acquisition
  • There is a demand we call goal, a pressing urging from self or others
  • The creative process is the game of respecting the rules that contain us while finding a “Back Door” a …Hack!
  • There is no creativity without change through effort. Even accepting that one’s dire condition contain a hidden gift requires a paradigm change. Ask any Cancer survivor.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Creativity is a CHOICE. It speaks to us as well as our habits and fears and desire speak to us. Developing the habit of listening and following through the suggestions of your creative voice

Fin de camino.  Thank you and good night. Till next class.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s