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Creative thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions. Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

Creative Thinking Involves 4 Stages:

  1. Preparation – formulate the problem and collect facts and materials necessary for finding new solutions.
  2. Incubation – the unconscious thought process of finding a solution to the problem.
  3. Illumination – the sudden flash of idea i.e. the ‘eureka’ experience.
  4. Verification – evaluate the validity of the solution.

The 3 Keys to Creative Thinking Process:

  1. In-the-box: This applies knowledge accumulation and critical thinking to the problem. Based on their expertise, innovators can generate many relevant ideas and make connections later.
  2. Out-of-the-box: This is a wide-angle and unfocused thinking process. It allows the innovators to imagine an entire universe of possibilities.
  3. New-box: Once ideas are evaluated, they need to be synthesized by rearranging and reconstructing through dot-connecting, then refined and put into place in a new context.

8 Creative Thinking Techniques:

  1. Mind Mapping – brainstorming or spider diagram
  2. The Checklist – why, where, when, who, what, how
  3. Thinking Hats – facts, emotions, judgment, logic, creativity, control
  4. Lateral Thinking – side stepping
  5. Random Word – imagine association
  6. Picture Association – imagine association
  7. Change Perspective – in other people’s shoes
  8. Get Up and Go Out – let your mind wander
Martin Shum