Creativity Notes

Creativity is a process that results in a novel product that is accepted by a significant group of others as useful, tenable or satisfying at some point in time.

-Mo Stein

(Source: “Ignite Your Everyday Creativity”  offered by Coursera)

Photo Source: own painting

  • If you are;
    • able to sense gaps around you
    • enthusiastic about finding solutions to those gaps
    • good at forming ideas and putting them into practice

Then congratulations! Your creativity is waiting to be unlocked!

  • According to Ruth Noller ( who is she: Ruth Noller):

C=fa(K, I, E) where fa represents that this is a function (like in maths), K stands for Knowledge; I stands for Imagination and E stands for Evaluate. This means, Creativity is a combination of these 3 assets.

  • Approach “creativity” as a process and do not forget that even baby steps help you to improve your creativity.

First things first, get rid of all the inhibitors in your mind!! They are toxic! You need to be confident and let your creative mind flow. The most dangerous inhibitor is YOURSELF!

Second step is “sharing”. Share it with someone. This can be your mom, your significant other, your neighbor, your friend, a random person that you see in your favorite coffee shop or etc. You know why? Because feedback is really important to improve your creative mind.

Third step of this process is to continue down the road. As always, practice makes it better.

Last but not least, of course, time. Give yourself and your creativity time to develop.

  • Like 4 P’s in Marketing, there is a 4 P’s approach in Creativity (for more info click here) :

People – The entrepreneur

Product – It is built by the entrepreneur 

Process – The method to build the product used by the entrepreneur

Press – The environment in which the entrepreneur controls the whole creative process 

  • Characteristic of a “Creative Person”
    • Needs *me time*
    • Detail oriented
    • Knows own capacity and creativity
    • Emotional
    • Has an artistic soul
    • Always Curious
    • Fun
    • Able to be independent if it is needed
    • Risk-taker
    • Energetic
    • Tolerates ambiguity
    • Able to fantasize
    • Open-minded
    • Original
    • Ethical
  • Experimentation, Reflection, Incubation → Help to Improve Creativity
  • Think extra-ordinary : A glass doesn’t need to be used for only drinking purposes. A pen may be more than a pen. Think out of the box 🙂


When I was a kid, I played with my Barbies all day everyday. One time, I used my mom’s umbrella as a ship for them. It was a Titanic-y scenario and my “umbreaship” made it to the land and saved their lives 🙂

  • BRAIN-STORMING is the key to increase your creativity. Create *Idea Time* for yourself. And don’t forget to take risks!
  • Don’t be afraid of having conflicts. It will help you to be more creative.
  • MOTIVATION is important and there are 2 types of it:
    1. Intrinsic – You do it, because you enjoy or you find it interesting.
    2. Extrinsic – You do it, because you don’t want to deal with the negative consequences or you are after some external rewards.

So, how can you implement your creativity into problem solving? It is pretty straight-forward. Here you go:

1. Clarify the problem → 2. Design solution(s) → 3. Develop solution(s) → 4. Implement


1. Clarification: I have too many sunglasses and do not have a place to store them all together.

2. Designing: I have multiple options. I might throw away the old ones. I might donate half of them. I might put them separate places. I might buy a huge sunglasses box.

So I choose the last solution as my best and go to a mall. I learn that there is no such a thing as sunglasses box (let’s say this is the case).

3. Development: So I am going to design a sunglasses box. I don’t want drawers, It should be one layer and transparent since I want to see all at once. I start browsing online and on-site. I google it, I go to stores (both high end and mediocre ones), I look at Pinterest (of course!). I learn wood cutting etc (there a lot of MOOC or Youtube videos for that purpose! Internet is limitless and is your friend).

4. Implementation: It is time to get my hands dirty, meep meep! I go to stores to see the price differences. I choose the best store in my price range. I buy all the materials and start building it!

  • Also don’t forget that a creative product should be: Novel, Utility, Surprising
  • Last but not least, do not let BLOCKS to get you down (Blocks: things stopping you down from getting your final step with your creative mind).
    • Perceptual blocks – you are graduated from electrical engineering department but you want to work in fashion industry. Your degree is stopping you.
    • Rules and traditions – you get a job in the US but your working visa will be expired after a year. You cannot work there next year.
    • Cultural blocks – your family’s expectations from you are way too different than your future goals. You feel responsible and don’t know which way to go.
    • Confirmatory pressure – you want to move to California to be an artist but hello, there is an issue: Money
    • Emotional blocks: all your fears

If you are interested to dig down:

Alex Osborn, Creativity Theorist

MS Program in Creativity and Innovation (very interesting) → Drexel University

Torrance Test of Creative Thinking

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