Posts Categorized: Blog

Creativity and Mental Blocks: Why You Think the Way You Do

By Sarah Thurber, Managing Partner, FourSight On family vacations, my dad planned our trips down to the minute. I thought dads were natural planners. Imagine my surprise when I married someone who traveled around the world with nothing but a backpack and a good attitude. People are different. And they solve problems differently. While some problem-solving behavior is a result of training, much of it is actually a reflection of hardwired thinking preferences. We all have them. They are invisible, but very real. And they are as intractable as handedness. When it comes to solving problems, we all reflexively grab at the challenge with whatever type of thinking we instinctively prefer. Researcher Gerard Puccio, director of the International Center for Studies in Creativity, and current chair of the first graduate program in the science of creativity, studied this phenomenon and figured out a way to measure it. He created the FourSight Thinking Profile, an assessment that measures your preference for each stage in the Creative Problem Solving process. It sheds light on why people behave the way they do. Clarifiers ask questions. Ideators come up with ideas. Developers plan family vacations. And Implementers just grab their backpacks and go. When […]

The Business Impact of Creative Problem Solving

By Thom Gonyeau, Principal, Mountain View Group “Oh, do not ask what it is. Let us go and make our visit.” – T. S. Eliot When I first was enticed to attend the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) – after lots of prodding from friends – I didn’t really know what to expect. One never does, but it looked and sounded fun. I figured it would be training that would provide some mix of personal and professional development. That was a good hunch. What I didn’t realize at the time was the impact CPSI and Creative Problem Solving would have on my business. As an entrepreneur and creative agency owner, I thought maybe I’d pick up a few new skills. CPS, however, gave (and continues to give) me so much more, in part because it has taught me how to reframe the very essence of what we do for our clients. That, in turn, has led to deeper and richer engagements and has altered our key offerings. I used to look at our team as writers, designers, producers – people who made stuff. Now, I see us primarily Creative Problem Solvers who work within our talents, skills, and knowledge. The difference […]

Why Nurturing Our Natural Creativity Matters

By attending the Creative Problem Solving Institute as I aged out of elementary school, I was able to grow and develop my creative thinking, taking what I was learning in the abstract and applying my new knowledge to a more practical setting – my life.

Lifelong Learners in Creativity Find a Home at CPSI

By Duane Wilson, Program Manager, Office of Continuous Improvement, Notre Dame University; and Board Chair, Creative Education Foundation I am amazed by those who have attended the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) for more than 25 years. Their commitment to professional and personal growth is impressive. I must admit, at my first CPSI in Atlanta, I was both amazed and surprised. I was surprised because I could not understand how after 20 years, the same conference could continue to have an impact. Well, this year will be my sixth consecutive CPSI and I think I get it. While I’m still young in CPSI years, I continue to find great value as it serves two very important purposes in my life: lifelong learning and personal innovation. I hope CPSI’s continued success will allow me to one day be a 25-year participant. Like many of you, I am committed to being a life-long learner. I believe what Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Each year as I choose the sessions to attend, I look for sessions that will introduce me to new content, as well as sessions that will deepen my knowledge of what I already know. […]

New Year, New You: Keep Your Resolution with Creativity

By Beth Slazack, Manager, Creative Problem Solving Institute How many times do we utter, read, or even think “new year, new me!”? And what has it ever done for us? Not much, if truth be told. And why is that? Well, it’s not really designed to be helpful. It’s designed to be catchy – and catchy isn’t usually helpful. Let’s look at some phrases that do help – the challenge phrases or statement starters, such as: “What Might Be All the Ways …?” or “How Might We …?”. We teach people these phrases, we talk about them, we may even (actually) use them. But have we internalized them? Noel Burch’s Four Stages of Learning – the progression from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence to unconscious competence – leads us from not knowing, to not having to think about it. Unless you were one of the lucky YouthWise participants at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), there was a time when you didn’t know that you didn’t know there was such a thing as Creative Problem Solving. When many of us were introduced to CPSI, we became conscious of our incompetence. And the next challenge was to move toward […]