Creativity & Creative Problem Solving as 21st Century Skills

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    • 00:02

      [MUSIC PLAYING][SAGE video tutorials][Creativity & Creative Problem Solving as 21st Century Skills]

    • 00:11

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO: I'm Dr. Gerard Puccio.I'm professor and chair of the International Centerfor Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State. [Dr Gerard J.Puccio Department Chair & Professor InternationalCenter for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo state]I've worked at the International Center for Studiesin Creativity for 25 years, and there's neverbeen a better time to be in the field of creativity.The world is changing fast.In this tutorial, you're going to learnabout creative thinking and creative problem solvingas 21st century workplace skills.

    • 00:37

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: We'll begin by exploring why creative thinkingand creative problem solving are so crucial in today'sworkplace, and we'll look at whatwe can do to enhance those important skills.[Life in the 21st Century]So let's look at life in the 21st century.I would argue that the pace of change in the 21st centuryexceeds any other point in history.Let's look at two facts related to that.

    • 00:58

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: First of all, when we look at the numberof life-altering change that's been introduced,if we look at the last 200 years,there have been 25 life-altering inventions or social creations.In the previous 2,000 years, there were a total of 10.I'm sure we can all attest to, in our own lives,the number and amount of change thathas impacted us in such a way that we'vehad to alter how we live.

    • 01:28

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: When we look at product life cycles, in today's world,manufactured products go through fundamental redesignevery 10 years.And in technology, products like cellphones and laptops,go through fundamental redesign every 6 to 12 months.The world that we live in demands that wethink flexibly and creatively.

    • 01:54

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: If you look at how economists describe different eras,let's go back about 50 years.In the 1950s and '60s, we lived in an age of efficiency.That was followed, in the '70s, by the age of quality, whichtook us through into the 1980s.

    • 02:15

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Today, we live in an age of innovation, a creative economy,and change driving the need to continuously producenew ideas, new products, new services.Let me give you some numbers.88% of corporations have innovationin their mission, vision, or values,but innovation doesn't happen just because we have itin our mission, vision, or values statement.

    • 02:46

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Creativity is needed to drive innovation.Without the creative ideas first, innovationdoesn't happen.[What is creativity]So what is "creativity"?The most common definition of "creativity"is the ability to produce new ideas thatadd value, that solve a problem, that meet a need.That might be personal.

    • 03:06

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: It might be a group problem.It could be an organizational issue,or it could be world-changing.In other words, it's adopted by all of humanity.Creativity drives innovation.First, we need the creative ideas in order for innovationto happen.So there's an intimate connection between creativityand innovation.

    • 03:27

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Many organizations talk about the importance of innovation.It's in many strategic plans both in the private sectoras well as universities and schools.But if we don't first pay attention to creativityand nurture the creativity of those membersof the organization, frankly, innovationisn't going to happen.Recently, there was an international studydone of 5,000 adults.

    • 03:52

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: And when asked to what degree they were living upto their creative potential, only 25% of adult employeessaid they were living up to their creative potential.When asked about the impact of their educational experienceson their creativity in the world that demands creativity,of those interviewed, surveyed internationally,59% said that their educational practicesstifled their creativity.

    • 04:22

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Their schooling experiences did moreto undermine than to facilitate their creative thinking.In the US, because we like to lead the world,the results were even higher in that62% of adults interviewed in the USsaid that their educational experiences hadstifled their creativity.

    • 04:45

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: [Workplace skills]Thought leaders and business leaders in the 21st centuryhave consistently argued that creative thinking,creative problem solving are now considered essential workplaceskills.I have numerous reports, dozens of reports, all of which--as they describe what's necessary to be professionallysuccessful in the 21st century-- include creative thinkingand creative problem solving.

    • 05:12

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Here is one example.This comes from the P21 collaborativewhere business leaders and educational leadersgot together to identify-- what is it that individuals needin order to be successful in the workplace in the 21st century?And when we look at the three basic skill areas,the very first one that they identifyis learning and innovation skills,which includes problem solving and alsocreativity and innovation.

    • 05:43

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: So the question becomes, if that'swhat's necessary to be successful professionally,how well are schools preparing?How effective are our educational practicesin preparing students to join this kind of work world?[How well prepared are we?]Mark Runco, who's a preeminent researcherin the field of creativity and hasdone a lot of research looking at educational practices,says that, "Most educational efforts emphasizeconvergent thinking, and therefore maydo very little, if anything at all, for creative potential."So what this quote points out is that, often in schools,we point students to the right answer.

    • 06:28

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: The single right answer, assumingthat there is only one single right answer or, as theygo into life and work, that they'llbe working on problems that have single right answers.The reality is that life is much more complex,and what we do at work is much more complex than situationsthat have single right answers.

    • 06:49

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: [Creativity is an ability]So when we begin to look at creativity,creativity is an ability.Creativity is an ability, like any other ability,which implies three things.First of all, we all have it.You're human.Therefore, you're creative.When you look at the human species,we're not very strong, fast.

    • 07:10

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: We don't have amazing eyesight.We can't naturally change our lookso that we blend into the backgroundand camouflage ourselves through a personal transformation.We had to be creative in order to survive.So all humans have the ability to engage in creativity.The second characteristic of an abilityis it's normally distributed.

    • 07:33

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Bell-shaped curve.We're not all great creators.Most of us fall in the middle.But the third characteristic should give usall hope because creativity is an ability.It can be enhanced.It can be taught.It can be drawn out.It can be facilitated.So to summarize, we all have it to varying degrees.

    • 07:55

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: And whatever degree of creativityit is that we bring into the world,we know, through educational practices,we can promote that ability.[How can we develop creativity?]So the question becomes-- how can we train or developcreativity?The research shows that those educational practices, programsthat are most effective focus on cognition.

    • 08:18

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: They're cognative models in that they'reteaching us about thinking.So let's look at a diagram.There are two basic forms of thoughtthat humans can engage in.One form of thought is called "divergent thinking."This is the top portion of the diamond.It's where we think laterally.We generate many original options.

    • 08:38

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: That form of thought is then followedby "convergent" thinking, which is finding the mostpromising options.Now, the reality is we all engagein these two forms of thought, but often, notvery effectively.In other words, we often think of an option or an ideaand then immediately shift into evaluating it.It's sort of like trying to drive a car-- acceleratingand applying the brake at the same time.

    • 09:03

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: So a more effective way of engaging in creative thinkingis to separate in time.First, we engage in divergent thinkingso we can get into new areas of thoughtto escape what's familiar.Because the research shows, when you'represented a problem, what you think of firstare those things you've already thought of.Creativity comes through an extended effortof engaging in lateral and divergent thinking.

    • 09:29

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Now, we can take that a step furtherand break creative thinking down into discrete steps or stagesbecause creativity is very much aligned to problem solving.In fact, creativity is a special kind of problem solving.[Creative problem solving]Creative thinking helps us to solve those problems thatdon't have easy answers.

    • 09:50

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: So we begin to think about creativity as a process.We can break it down into four areas of thought, which we call"creative problem solving."The four areas are, first, to clarify.What's the exact nature of the problem?Because how you frame the problemimpacts all of the thinking and your approach afterwards.

    • 10:10

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Then we begin to ideate.What are the potential solutions?How might we resolve this issue?Then we move into develop.Taking that one idea or synthesizing a number of ideasinto a more robust solution and perfecting it, crafting it.This is where the hard work of creativity occurs.And then we have to put it into action.

    • 10:33

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: And the fourth step of, if you will,the universal creative process, is to implement.And the divergent and convergent thought that we just exploredhappens in every one of these stages.So to be a truly effective creative thinkerand creative problem solver, it'simportant to diverge and explore lots of views of the problembefore settling on one.

    • 10:57

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: It's important to diverge and explore lots of ideasbefore settling on one and so forththrough this entire process.The research is absolutely clear.There are 70-some studies that clearlyshow that, when you engage in learning cognitive models,you can unequivocally enhance creative thinking skills.

    • 11:20

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: I think the most important point,the most important takeaway from this tutorial--and it often challenges people's conceptions of creativity--is that creativity is teachable.It's trainable.It can be developed.You don't have to be a great creator in orderto be creative.[Key points Life in the 21st century What is creativity?Workplace skills How well prepared are we?

    • 11:41

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Creativity is an ability How can we develop creativity?Creative problem solving]In conclusion, we explored life in the 21st century,the pace of change, and the fact that we live in an innovationera, which makes creative thinking and creative problemsolving no longer a luxury.It's a must professional skill, and I wouldargue it's a must life skill.

    • 12:04

      DR. GERARD J. PUCCIO [continued]: Life's complex and full of challenges,and we can learn to be more creative by exploring modelslike creative problem solving, which you were introducedto in this tutorial.For further information on this model,a real in-depth exploration, check out Sage's book CreativeLeadership, Skills That Drive Change.[SAGE video SAGE Publications 2015]

Creativity & Creative Problem Solving as 21st Century Skills

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In this tutorial, learn creative thinking and creative problem solving as 21st century workplace skills. Explore why creative thinking and creative problem solving are so crucial in today's workplace and what can be done to enhance these skills.

SAGE Video Tutorials
Creativity & Creative Problem Solving as 21st Century Skills

In this tutorial, learn creative thinking and creative problem solving as 21st century workplace skills. Explore why creative thinking and creative problem solving are so crucial in today's workplace and what can be done to enhance these skills.

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