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Generally, most creativity techniques use associations between the goal (or the problem), the current state (which may be an imperfect solution to the problem), and some stimulus (possibly selected randomly). There is an analogy between many creativity techniques and methods of evolutionary computation.
In problem-solving contexts, the random word creativity technique is perhaps the simplest such method. A person confronted with a problem is presented with a randomly generated word, in the hopes of a solution arising from any associations between the word and the problem. A random image, sound, or article can be used instead of a random word as a kind of creativity goad or provocation.
The history of the development of various creative problem-solving techniques extends as far back as antiquity. See Creativity timeline for details.
Inventory of creativity techniques
All known creative techniques (as far about 90 !) can be categorized depending on the methods and means utilized:
- Randomization (Brainstorming, Synectics, Image streaming )
- Focusing techniques (Morphological analysis, Osborn questionary, Attribute listing)
- Evolutionary directed techniques (HBGA, Laws of system evolution)
- knowledge-base techniques (Altshuller matrix or Contradiction table and 40 Innovation principles)
- Conceptual blending techniques. Michael Michalko
Summarised in table view:
|Osborn’s direction||Miles’ direction||Altshuller’s direction|
|Methods of reducing psychological inertia.
|Methods of collecting and organizing knowledge about a problem and the system.
Knowledge-base approach (Contradiction table, Innovation principles)
TRIZ analytical tools
Random stimulus, Analogy, Brainstorming, Bionics, Lateral thinking, Mind mapping, TRIZ, Problem solving, HBGA, Basadur SIMPLEX, Biomimetics, Creative Aerobics, Thinkertoys, Six Thinking Hats, Object Pairing, Oblique Strategies, IMPROVisation, Project Renaissance CPS, Synectics, Techniques for Creative Thinking, Thinking Maps, Using Metaphors
- American Creativity Association
- Aha! Puzzles - Original creative puzzles by Lloyd King
- Best100Ideas - Practical creative ideas and techniques
- CreativeThink by Roger von Oech
- Creativity techniques notebook by David Weeks
- Creativity Techniques - an A to Z
- Creax.net - An inspirational list of links on creativity
- Don The Idea Guy
- Free Knowledge Exchange (implements HBGA)
- Global Ideas Bank
- GoCreate.com by Peter Lloyd
- Overview of Creative Methods
- The Swedish Morphological Society
- Visionjuice creativity page
- http://www.creativethinking.net/ by Michael Michalko
Commercial products to facilitate creativity
- Smart Thesaurus English A comprehensive English dictionary and thesaurus with Random Word generator integrated. Random Creativity based on 145,000 interrelated terms and 110,000 meanings. With an integrated MP3 player to open a door to a new dimension of creativity - inspiration, stimulation and the power of music.
- Be Creative! Adults Exercises
- Free The Genie (tm) Creative Thinking Cards (Idea Champions)
- Project KickStart
- International Center For Studies In Creativity
- Creator Studio(tm)
- Michael Michalko's ThinkPak: A Brainstorming Card Deck
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