Let’s Create New Knowledge

Dr. Roger Firestien’s Blog, Innovation Espresso ®
and Additional Creative Resources

The Latest:

Suspended from School for Two Months: Let’s redefine this problem

Suspended from School for Two Months: Let’s redefine this problem

She had never been in a fight before. But as a result of her fighting, a fifteen-year-old we’ll call Crystal, managed to get herself suspended from school. And not just suspended for a week. Crystal’s suspension was for two months. Enter Kelly Heinze, an eighth-grade...

More Innovation Espresso ®

Want to get creative? Then practice.

Want to get creative? Then practice.

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.

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Don’t be a slug.  Read weird stuff.

Don’t be a slug. Read weird stuff.

  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...

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VIDEO: DISRUPT HR – Buffalo New York – Roger Firestien

VIDEO: DISRUPT HR – Buffalo New York – Roger Firestien

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...

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Igniting Creativity Around the World

Igniting Creativity Around the World

I was honored to be able to provide the voice-over for the 50th-anniversary celebration animation video for the Center for Applied Imagination that debuted at the Creativity Expert Exchange conference at SUNY Buffalo State, October 13-15. Watch this video for a...

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Fort Collins Innovates

Fort Collins Innovates

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...

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The Power of the PPC

The Power of the PPC

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...

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Watch out for Gunslingers when hiring an Innovation Consultant

Watch out for Gunslingers when hiring an Innovation Consultant

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...

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Roles in a Creative Problem Solving Session

Roles in a Creative Problem Solving Session

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.

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The 4 P’s of Creativity; or a working definition of Creativity

The 4 P’s of Creativity; or a working definition of Creativity

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...

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The Biggest Gambler in the World is… A Farmer.

The Biggest Gambler in the World is… A Farmer.

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?

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Hanging Upside Down on My Medicine Ball

Hanging Upside Down on My Medicine Ball

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”.

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Find Your Creative Space

Find Your Creative Space

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...

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The Sure Fire Way to Get Breakthrough Ideas

The Sure Fire Way to Get Breakthrough Ideas

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.

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Creative problem-solving and communication behavior in small groups

Creative problem-solving and communication behavior in small groups

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.

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Why Brainstorming without a Facilitator Usually Fails

Why Brainstorming without a Facilitator Usually Fails

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....

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Using a Formula for Creativity to Yield Organizational Quality Improvement

Using a Formula for Creativity to Yield Organizational Quality Improvement

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.

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i4 Studio Featured by Buffalo Rising

i4 Studio Featured by Buffalo Rising

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.

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Solve the Right Problem

Solve the Right Problem

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.

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Making the Right Mistakes

Making the Right Mistakes

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.

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The Power of Incubation

The Power of Incubation

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! 

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