Join Stefan Mumaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Creative basics: Problem solving, part one, part of Creativity Training: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality.
What is creativity? Most believe creativity is a mystical force that randomly visits only the enlightened few. But creativity is not only tangible and recognizable, it's learnable. You can get better creatively because creativity, at its core, is problem solving with two characteristics. Relevance and novelty. Relevance is the degree by which a solution actually solves the problem thoroughly. Novelty is the degree of difference or originality that that solution exhibits.
Practice solving problems with higher degrees of relevance and novelty, and you'll train yourself to generate ideas in greater quantity and quality. In short, you'll improve creatively. Artistry is often mistaken for creativity, but artistry is the skill of creating beauty, not the ability to solve problems. Just because you can't draw or paint doesn't mean you're not creative. These are two separate skill sets. But instead of just telling you, let me prove it to you. I'm going to give you a fun, little, creative exercise that will teach you three significant things about creativity, artistry, and behavior.
You're going to need, a piece of paper and the writing utensil of your choice. If you need to gather those materials just pause the movie here. Ready? Here's the exercise. It's called medieval kid's meal, and this'll take three minutes. The kid's meal has become a staple of fast food chains worldwide. A miniaturized meal for children is accompanied by a cheap, useless toy, what could be better? But what would a kid's meal look like a few hundred years ago? Your goal is to write down as many toys as you can conjure up for the kid's meal of a slightly older era, Medieval times.
I'm talking knights, horses, castles, the whole nine yards. If your kids' meals were around during Medieval times, what would or could be in those boxes as prizes? You've got three minutes to write as many as you can. Keep writing. Just keep moving. We'll discuss the results of this exercise in the next movie. Ready? Go!