Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

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About Course

In today’s ever-growing and changing world, being able to think creatively and innovatively are essential skills. It can sometimes be challenging to step back and reflect in an environment which is fast paced or when you are required to assimilate large amounts of information. Making sense of or communicating new ideas in an innovative and engaging way, approaching problems from fresh angles, and producing novel solutions are all traits which are highly sought after by employers.

This course will equip you with a ‘tool-box’, introducing you to a selection of behaviours and techniques that will augment your innate creativity. Some of the tools are suited to use on your own and others work well for a group, enabling you to leverage the power of several minds. You can pick and choose which of these tools or techniques suit your needs and interests, focusing on some or all of the selected approaches and in the order that fits best for you. The practical approach of this course enables you to acquire an essential skill-set for generating ideas, with plenty of:

– Fun e-tivities and exercises; – Practical lectures and tips;

– Video representations of the techniques in action.

By the end of this course you should be able to: – Pick a type of brainstorming you think will be useful to apply to a challenge – Use alphabet brainstorming in tackling a challenge – Use grid brainstorming in tackling a challenge – Use a morphological chart to synthesise a solution to a challenge – Use the TRIZ contradiction matrix to identify recommended inventive principles – Apply SCAMPER to a range of challenges The greatest innovators aren’t necessarily the people who have the most original idea. Often, they are people- or teams- that have harnessed their creativity to develop a new perspective or more effective way of communicating an idea. You can train your imagination to seize opportunities, break away from routine and habit, and tap into your natural creativity. Join this course and a community of practitioners in CREATIVITY!

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What Will You Learn?

  • Understand what creative thinking techniques are
  • Comprehend their importance in tackling global challenges as well as in everyday problem-solving scenarios
  • Select and apply the appropriate technique based on the opportunity to seize or the problem to tackle

Course Content

Introduction to the Principles of Creativity
In the first week, we focus on the basic principles of creativity and highlight its importance in tackling global challenges. Creativity is explored and applied at two different levels, lower and higher-level creativity. Learning Objectives Understand how the learning journey will be structured and what the main takeaways are Be familiar with some of the basic principles of creativity Engage with the course and provoke thought

  • Welcome to the course
  • Course Structure and Syllabus
  • Type of Assessments and Grading
  • About Imperial College London and the Team
  • How to Be Successful in this Course
  • Glossary and Helpful Resources
  • Nice to meet you!

Principles of Creativity

Creativity Tools
In this week, we will look at how we can augment our creativity using different methods of Brainstorming, a creativity approach that aids the generation of ideas in solving a stated problem. We particularly focus on the application of brainstorming tools in group activities, with the aim of enabling you to understand, evaluate and apply different types of brainstorming techniques in your own context. Learning Objectives Understand the principles of different brainstorming techniques Evaluate what type of brainstorming technique is needed at different stages of a project

Thinking Styles
There are many thinking styles which can be helpful in creativity. We will focus on the principles as well as application of a variety of thinking approaches that can be used at both at an individual level and in a group, under various professional and personal situations, allowing you to develop competency and accelerate proficiency in the use of some different thinking styles. Learning Objectives Be familiar with different thinking styles Develop competency in applying a series of different thinking styles within personal contexts Accelerate proficiency in thinking styles

Morphological Analysis
You will become familiar with the Principles of Morphological Analysis and learn how to apply it in various life scenarios, from design to developing movie plot-lines, whilst developing a more systematic approach to idea generation. Learning Objectives Understand the principles of Morphological Analysis Apply Morphological Analysis to a defined context Develop and generate a more systematic approach to idea generation

TRIZ – The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving
In week 5, we continue to enhance your fluency, flexibility and originality of idea generation by introducing you to another creativity tool called the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ). We will particularly focus on application of TRIZ and the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix and how it can be used in problem, both at an individual and in group level. Learning Objectives Develop competency in the use of 40 inventive principles, selection of parameters and use of the TRIZ contradiction matrix. Effectively use the TRIZ contradiction matrix to identify preferred principles for the solution of a challenge

This week, we will introduce you to the final creativity tool in the course and its importance in generation of ideas and improvement of the existing ones; SCAMPER. You will become familiar with the concepts of SCAMPER and gain proficiency in its application in various unusual, personal or professional situations, whilst inspiring related ideas. Learning Objectives Understand the principles of SCAMPER and what it stands for Apply SCAMPER to your own context

Using the Tools in Combination
Now that you have mastered a wide range of creativity tools and developed competency in their application over a wide range of situations and domains, we will wrap up by asking you to use these tool in combinations and apply these in context and scenarios that are also related to your own discipline or context. This will help you reinforce the concepts that you have learnt so far and enable you to use the creativity tools freely in problem solving and idea generation. Learning Objectives Understand how the creativity tools you've learnt can be applied in the real world Frame the creativity tools you've learnt within a practical process Develop confidence in applying a combination of the creativity tools to every context Use creativity tools in problem solving

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