Wellcome to the Creative Thinking Toolkit

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This is an experimental set of tools based on extensive literature on nature and practice of creative problem solving and insight. The toolset is by no means exhaustive. Most tools are independent and any number of them can be used for a problem. Different ways of stimulating creativity may work better for different problems or different people so we encourage you to try different tools and see which one work better or are more fun to apply

In general it has been shown that trying to generate more ideas leads to higher chance of creative breakthrough. So it is recomened to go for quantity and defer judgement until later stages

The problem solving process used by this toolset is envisioned as a sequence of 3 stages. Although stages can be re-visited in iterative fashion.

  1. Calrifiy - during this stage the focus is on better undestanding of the problem itself, its' components, parts, and interactions as well as assumptions behind the problem. Some tools offered on this stage are more systematic, while others (like storytelling) are more free form. In either case the goal is to move from "problem as given" to "problem as understood".
  2. Ideate - tools for this stage intend to facilitate idea generation by stimulating imagination thought associations, connections, or systematic analysis of problem components. At this stage we invite you to defer judgmenet about practicality, viability, feasibility, or even how realistic ideas are and just generate as many ideas as possible.
  3. Converge - this is the stage to evaluate ideas, wear the practical or critical hat and shortlist ideas for implementation or development. We recommend working on this stage at a separate time from the ideate stage.

In addition there are tools that are not linked to specific problem. These are useful either to warm up, clear the mind, or brainstorm general tendencies that might be broadly applicable. The tools here include:

Useful resources