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The role of novelty: Part one

From: Creativity Training: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality

Video: The role of novelty: Part one

If relevance is a degree by which a problem is solved The first bump in the graph represents This exercise is called decked-out doghouse, and

The role of novelty: Part one

If relevance is a degree by which a problem is solved thoroughly, novelty is the degree of uniqueness or originality in that solution. It's often seen as the most important measurement of the quality of an idea. Why is that? Because novelty, by its very definition, is new and new is exciting. New makes things noticeable and we value ideas that cut through the normalcy of an experience. Relevance while necessary is often assumed in the solution, solving problem with relevance has become second nature to us.

The first bump in the graph represents more relevant ideas, the ideas that came easy. The second bump in the graph references ideas that are considerably more novel They're the ones that came after you exhausted the obvious low hanging fruit, but they also tend to be less relevant than the others. How do we learn to generate ideas that are still relevant but more novel? Like anything we desire to learn, we practice the extreme. Have you ever seen a baseball player in the on-deck circle swinging a bat with a heavy doughnut on the end? Why does he do this? So then when he takes the weight off the bat it'll feel lighter and he can swing it faster when he gets to the plate.

Let's practice novelty with creativity's version of a doughnut in this next exercise. You're going to need a piece of paper and a writing utensil for this exercise. So if you need to, go get those now. This exercise is called decked-out doghouse, and you're going to have six minutes to complete it. The doghouse gets a bad rap. People in trouble have been sent there by their bosses, their spouses, even their mothers. Regardless of the number of unwanted houseguests, however, Fido is accommodating. At least, he will be when you get done with his new abode.

Your task is to design the world's greatest doghouse. Money is not an issue. You recently found out that your dog's rich uncle unexpectedly passed, and left Fido with an uncountable fortune explicitly designed to fund his new domicile. Anything is possible. You can document this doghouse however you like. You can sketch it out, write down features. Even create a floor plan. Use whatever method you feel most comfortable with. You can even break the laws of physics if you like.

Just design the greatest doghouse man's best friend has ever seen. But you only have six minutes to complete it. We'll discuss the results of this exercise in the next movie. Ready? Go.

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