Essence of Creativity: A Guide to Tackling Difficult Problems

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Overview

Challenging problems both attract and repel us. They frustrate us, accelerate our pulses, cause ulcers, and perhaps even curtail our lifespans. On the other hand, the knotty problems of life offer us food for thought, sustaining our creativity, and adding emotional spice to the human experience. We encounter difficult tasks day in and day out. The solutions to these problems must be sought with resourcefulness and creativity, for until now we have had little insight into the nature of these tasks, and even less into methods for resolving them. This unique book explores the nature of challenging problems in all walks of life, and describes the creative techniques for addressing them. It is particularly relevant for problems that admit no obvious solution, whether they concern scientific knowledge, technology, the arts, or social situations. By understanding the dynamics of problem solving in general, the author argues, we can better organize the pursuit of specific projects. The initial phase involves crystallizing our objectives and developing a coherent plan. The next step is to evaluate the results and determine whether the work should be concluded, begun anew, or given up altogether. With this general strategy, even seemingly overwhelming problems can be approached systematically and efficiently. The author goes beyond the normal distinction between routine and innovative activities, defining the role of creativity in novel decision-making. In addition, he distills the existing literature on creativity, innovation, and project management to present a concise set of strategies and practices that can be applied in a myriad of settings ranging from university laboratories to corporate planning centers. For the sake of concreteness, a number of examples from research and development environments demonstrate the book's basic principles in action, showing how even the most difficult problems can yield to knowledgeable ingenuity. Written in a clear, readable style, Essence of Creativity will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers: engineers, business managers, computer scientists, executives, cognitive psychologists, and educators in many fields, as well as general readers seeking effective ways to handle difficult problems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Quite detailed and useful in a way that is reminiscent of that half century plus old favorite found in kitchens everywhere—The Joy of Cooking—for this is a recipe book for being a winner through creative problem-solving behavior . . . . If you are involved in or supervising creative processes in any field, this book is a must. Buy a copy and see for yourself." —Journal of Management

There are practical observations in this book on the research and research supervision processes which will be of value to many researchers in the business world. The broader notion of a creativity support system is one which is becoming increasingly important in information technology. I would recommend the book for such interest groups." —Leadership & Organisation Development Journal

"Worthwhile reading this book to see if you are missing something and to see what the state of the art in 'Knowledge Engineering' is like—the extensive bibliography is useful." —Structural Chemistry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195060171
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1990
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Attributes of Creativity
3. Quality of Ideas and Solutions
4. Factors of Creativity
5. Tactics for Individual Productivity
6. Managing the Project
7. Strategies for Research
8. Supervising the Researcher
9. Conclusion

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