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Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

Imperial College London via edX

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Overview

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.

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.

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.

The practical approach of this course enables you to acquire an essential skill-set for generating ideas, with plenty of:
  • activities and exercises;
  • practical lectures and tips;
  • video representations of the techniques in action.

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.

Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s work or leisure, if you practice spending time applying these tools to anything you see or imagine, they will help you get into the habit of making space for observation and imagination.

No previous knowledge is needed. 

Join this course and our community of practioners in creativity!

We look forward to seeing you online

Syllabus

Week 1
In the first module 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. 
Throughout, we're aiming to provoke your thoughts and develop your creative mind through varied activities and interactions.

Week 2
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.

Week 3
We will focus on the principles as well as application of the 6 Hats thinking tool both at an individual level and in a group, under various professional and personal situations, allowing you to develop competency and accelerate proficiency on the use of technique.

Week 4
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. 

Week 5
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. 

Week 6
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.

Week 7
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.

Taught by

Peter Childs

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