Creative Problem Solving
Created by: University of Minnesota
One day, while I was struggling to find a technical solution to a problem, I heard the most feasible solution from a high level manager. That was when it striked me that it is not subject matter expertise which is going to take you to the top but creative problem solving does.
As always, once I set my eyes on something, I feel restless till I do something about it. That was when I decided to take up this course.
Did this course cure my curiosity?
I was excited in the beginning when the speaker told me that the course is all about practicals. After finishing the first week, I was all set to execute my plan on how to eat creatively. Unfortunately I could not execute till date. But then, they show you the assignments submitted by other students which gives you even more creative ideas. The most creative idea I liked was, one of the students put the food he prepared in to an empty toothpaste tube and kept eating the entire day. Even though I did not execute them, it turned on my creativity faucet by looking at ideas like this.
Creativity exercises mentioned in the course:
- Eat differently
- Generate 10 different ways to use an object
- Talk differently
- Give differently
Apart from the practicals, there was a lot of theory which made a few weeks boring. A part of the theory was required to set the basics right. I felt most of it boring because I already knew about it. In order to just increase the lecture time, they even told how to click pictures.
The main take away for me from the course is
- Start with divergent thinking and end with convergent thinking
- If you are stuck with a problem, list its attributes to think creatively
- When your mind fails to think creatively, look outside for inspiration.
- Write 10 different ways to use an item daily
- Maintain an idea journal
- Diversify your knowledge
If I have to sum up the course in one sentence, it is the quote by Linus Pauling,
“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas”
Why should you do this course?
- You have no idea about how creativity works
- You think that creativity is required only for artists
- You want to do something different
Do you have to be creative to start this course?
No, the course material is put in layman terms that anyone can talk it with no difficulty at all.
Happy doing creative problem solving!