Let’s Create New Knowledge
Dr. Roger Firestien’s Blog, Innovation Espresso ™
and Additional Creative Resources
I travel on airplanes a lot. You know the airplane routine. You settle into your seat. The plane takes off and the person next to you strikes up a conversation. For me it goes like this…
History of Creative Problem Solving
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Every year my family gives an award to outstanding graduate students at the International Center for Studies in Creativity. Meet this year’s recipients.
Would you be willing to spend $1.50 to save $200,000 a month? Have I got a deal for you. Read on. No, this isn’t a gimmick. It’s real, it works.
What problems are staring you right in the face? Did you ever notice that mirrors and elevators usually show up together? I can’t think of a hotel that I have stayed in that didn’t have a mirror near the elevator. Do you know why? In their book, Turning Leaning Right...
Want to celebrate your 88th birthday AND be incredibly creative? Then do what Ruth does.
Join Dr. Roger Firestien at St. Joseph University Parish on Wednesday, March 27th at 7pm for a free session on Creating Your Future. The difference between the winners and the “also ran” are the visions and powerful images they create about their future. This is true...
The results are in! Thanks to all of you who entered the contest to choose a tagline for my upcoming book. But, wait! There’s more!
My new book, Create in a Flash has four tag line possibilities. I need your help deciding which one to use. Enter, the Competition.
Can cows help you to become more creative? Read on to see how driving a tractor, or herding cattle can increase your creative productivity.
Want to sell your new idea? Give your customers a taste first. Lighting designer Philip Colarusso, owner of Luminated Landscapes, lights houses and landscapes. Phil has turned night landscapes into works of art throughout Western New York since 1989. He lit my friends...
I was honored to deliver an Innovation Work Session at the Fort Collins, Colorado All Managers Meeting on October 4. Two hundred fifty leaders in Fort Collins government generated thousands of ideas to help the city maintain and sustain its innovative edge.
Health and fitness trainers are a lot like Creative Problem Solving facilitators. Can you run effective Creative Problem Solving sessions consistently without someone managing the process and keeping the group on track? My experience is, no.
You have the answer, but you don’t know how to access the answer. You need to bring someone in from the outside who has a proven track record of solving these kinds of problems.
Meet Father Jack Ledwon, Pastor at St. Joseph University Parish in Buffalo New York. Several years ago, my graduate students and I worked with St. Joseph University Parish to help them craft a vision for their future. We worked with the Parish leadership team and then conducted a series of town hall meetings with members of the congregation.
by Ashley Cournyea I spend a lot of time talking to my bulldog, Tucker. Whether he understands me is not important, but how he responds is. If am brainstorming for a personal challenge, I tell Tucker everything I come up with. Guess what he does? He defers judgment....
How many ideas do you need to get a good one? Do you have to come up with hundreds of ideas to get a breakthrough? It all depends on the kinds of ideas you want. If you want to find ways to improve the way you are currently doing business, you will need fewer...
Creativity is desperately needed in agriculture. There’s too much of this of the wine cellar mentality always whining about complaining about too hot too cold out. No no no no. Stop the complaining. Let’s focus on solutions. Let’s be creative. That’s what makes things work. So, it could be used on every farm in this country.
Dr. Roger Firestien will be leading a one-day program on June 19 at the 2018 Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI). The program, Mastering the Inside Moves of Creative Problem Solving Facilitation is for anyone who wants to improve their ability to facilitate the Creative Problem Solving Process.
Dr. Roger Firestien will be delivering the keynote address at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Research Discovery Day on May 3 in the Jacobs Research Institute on the BNMC Campus.
While pursuing my doctorate, I became very interested in the effects of Creative Problem Solving training on the communication behaviors that occur in small groups. In organizations, it is in the small group where new ideas are born and, in many cases, where new ideas die.
Meet Dr. Robert Gatewood. Robert is board certified in Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo; author of more than 50 presentations and co-author of two books. Dr. Gatewood took one of my Creativity courses at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State.
Meet Dr. Susan Whittaker principle of the Summit Academy in Getzville, New York. I conducted a Creative Problem Solving workshop with all 300 staff members of the Summit Academy. This session lead to a year- long project that was designed to infuse Creative Problem Solving methods into the academy.
Meet Jane Fischer. Jane is Chair of the Local Economic Development Initiative of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation in Dunkirk, New York. Jane hired me to lead a Creative Problem Solving workshop with about 100 members of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Local Economic Development Initiative at their annual summit.
Meet Mary Bennett unit director of the Summit Academy in Amherst, New York. Mary took one of my Creativity courses at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo state and was then instrumental in bringing me into the school to infuse Creative Problem Solving methods into the organization.
Creativity isn’t some mysterious ability that only a few people possess. Creativity is a skill. Just like you learned to ride a bicycle, you can learn how to be creative. You can turn on your creativity at will instead of waiting for ideas to happen.
Dr. Roger Firestien, Senior Faculty Member at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State speech at the Creativity Expert Exchange, October 2017. I fell in love with creativity in 1977.
Great sport teams practice. Great symphony orchestras practice. Fire departments practice. They practice so that when they must perform at peak effectiveness under extremely stressful conditions, they can execute extremely well.
A number of years ago, Dr. Donna Hamlin at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute did a study on the reading habits of scientists. She grouped the scientists into three categories. The first group was labeled “innovative”; these scientists exhibited the highest...
Dr. Roger Firestien, Innovation Consultant – Keynote address at Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Economic Development Summit, May 2017. Creativity and Innovation isn’t just for corporations. It is for anyone looking to improve their community—whether in business, government, nonprofits, or education.
This program took the audience of the Disrupt HR community on a five-minute innovation “excursion” that was designed to help them come up with new ideas for solving a problem that was confronting them. Try it. Watch the video and take a five-minute creativity...
What does a doctor, a teacher, a government leader, an advertising executive, a priest, and a farmer all have in common? They are all using Creative Problem Solving to create breakthroughs. Take a look at this four-minute video. AND WATCH OUT FOR THE COWS.
I was honored to be able to provide the voice-over for the 50th-anniversary celebration animation video for the International Center for Studies in Creativity that debuted at the Creativity Expert Exchange conference at SUNY Buffalo State, October 13-15. Watch this...
As a native Coloradan, it was my honor to deliver the keynote address and facilitate an innovation session for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado on September 28. The group generated thousands of ideas for dealing with issues of affordability and growth in Fort...
I recently had the pleasure of joining my friend, Amy Climer of Climer Consulting on her podcast. Listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast service.
After you have generated lots of ideas and then selected the best ideas for solving a problem, how do you evaluate those ideas to build the idea instead of destroying it in the process of evaluation? The method that I have used for years, and invented with my...
An Innovation Consultant applies a process that is designed to help an organization increase its innovation output. Put another way, an Innovation Consultant helps you solve the toughest challenges facing your organization. So, what is innovation output? It depends on...
Clearly defined roles are one of the most important aspects when applying Creative Problem Solving in a group, just as clearly defined roles are essential for a rescue squad or a sports team. There are three essential roles for an effective CPS session: client, facilitator, and resource group.
Every year we host a holiday party at my house. We invite clients, friends, students and interesting people that have become friends. Al comes to our party. Find out why.
There have been many attempts to define creativity. In 1961, a researcher named Mel Rhodes set out to find the single unifying definition of creativity. He couldn’t do it, and that’s probably a good thing. Otherwise, we would continually judge ourselves against one...
I spent the first 22 years of my life on this land. It was the place where I learned to drive tractors and trucks, irrigate corn and spread manure for fertilizer.
What did you do when you were growing up that helped you to be creative now?
Where are you when you get your best ideas? I will bet you one-hundred dollars that you don’t get your best ideas at work. Michelle’s answer is: “Hanging Upside Down on My Medicine Ball”.
On Saturday May 13, as part of SUNY Buffalo State’s graduation ceremonies, I was honored to present the Firestien Family Creative Achievement Award to Jocelyn Tejeda and Najja Bouldin.
Dr. Roger Firestien, Creativity Consultant was recently featured in an article by Observer Today.
If you want to be creative, you need to find your creative space. Have you ever walked into a place, rubbed your hands together and said to yourself, “I could really do some great work here?” Artists and musicians have studios, craftsmen have workshops, professors and...
This is just a week away. I'm energized by the new approach to the summit this year. Thank you, Dunkirk Observer for the great article about my upcoming event, “Forward Thinking, Forward Movement: Applying Creativity and Innovation to Community and Economic...
The sure-fire way to get new ideas is by using Forced Connections. Forced Connections is the essence of creativity; the practice of combining ideas that don’t appear to be related in a new way. This method helps you get those ideas flowing when you are stuck.
This study investigated differences between communication behaviors of small groups trained in Creative Problem-Solving and groups not trained in creative problem-solving. Communication behaviors investigated were: amount of participation; verbal indications of criticism; verbal indications of support; verbal indications of humor; and nonverbal indications of humor. Groups were also evaluated on the quantity of ideas generated. Results indicated that groups trained in creative problem-solving participated more, criticized ideas less, supported ideas more, exhibited more verbal and nonverbal indications of humor, and produced significantly more ideas than untrained groups.
His quote was not, “The survival of the fittest.”
Darwin actually used the words, “The survival of the best fit.”
by Cher Ravenell “The ideas that come out of most brainstorming sessions are usually superficial, trivial, and not very original. They are rarely useful. The process however, seems to make uncreative people feel that they are making innovative contributions.” A....
Creativity is a strategic business weapon. The companies that will survive and thrive will not be the ones with the deepest pockets, but the ones that can utilize the creativity of their workforce. This article explores a model for unleashing creativity in organizations, illustrates the vital link between quality and creativity, and introduces creative problem-solving, a method to help individuals and organizations become deliberately creative. It also illustrates the benefits of successfully applying creative problem-solving in organizations and provides recommendations for those who want to embark on any type of change program.
Buffalo Rising did a great piece about the i4 Studio at the Innovation Center. In case you missed the Launch Party on Tuesday, you still have opportunities to come check out Buffalo’s Idea Lab. Let me know if you would like to come by and take a look.
Albert Einstein was once asked, “If some imminent disaster threatened the world and you had one hour in which you knew you could save it, how would you spend your time?” Einstein replied, “I would spend the first fifty-five minutes identifying the problem and the last five minutes solving it.
Dr. Firestien facilitating a creative problem solving session with Of the Sea.
A music director once told me that when he rehearsed, he preferred the musicians to make mistakes confidently. He wanted the mistakes to be big and loud so he would notice them quickly, provide coaching and help the ensemble improve. In the end, the concert audience would only hear the orchestra at their best.
The classic view of creativity is that an idea comes to us after we have been working on a problem for a long time, have made little or no progress and then we step away from the problem and INCUBATE. After a period of incubation – a time when you are not consciously working on the problem. Eureka. The idea hits you!
Hey gang! Did you happen to see the i4 Studio piece in The Buffalo News this week? There's a nice article that talks about how the i4 Studio is the first "idea lab" of it's kind in Buffalo, and includes information about upcoming events. Take a few moments to read...
“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” —Helen Keller Some of the most notable creative people in the world share one hallmark. They are risk takers. But, the problem with taking risks is the naysayers that surround them....
The Creative Problem Solving process that we use is not new but has been tested, validated and refined over the last 60 years. It is the most researched and applied Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process in the world.
A major focus within the field of creativity has been on the development of methodologies aimed at deliberately nurturing creative thinking. These methodologies have attempted to mirror the creative process in ways that allow individuals and groups to explicitly call...