Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo. אני סופר, ממציא, מרצה, מוזיקאי
Oct 2013
Member Since
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Published Books

Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE

by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג

In the World Economic Forum list of required skills, creativity has shot up from tenth place in 2015 to third place in 2020. Talma Vardi once defined creativity as “Something that humans can do that machines cannot. Yet.”  To continue to be relevant we have to stay one step ahead of the robots and computer programs that we ourselves create.

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

1. Creativity is usually a two step process – not just problem solving or design thinking 

Before the solution you need the problem.

Before the design, you need the brief.

Before the experiment, you need the hypothesis.

Before the answer, you need the question.

 

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

2. We tend to concentrate on the ‘less creative’ second step (problem solving) because we are better at it. 

Most creativity techniques focus on problem solving. It’s what we’ve been learning all these years. There are finite numbers of ways to solve a problem. Can you solve the riddle on the next page? If so, does that mean you’re creative, or have you been exposed to these kinds of problems before?

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

So how would you characterize a creative person?

 

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

You might say that they:

Are highly observant, notice small details

Very curious, ask a lot of questions.

Have flexible thought boundaries

Challenge authority

 

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Here is a more extensive list from the DLD meetup (Thank you Maria Howard):

Observant

Multi Disciplinary

Wondering…Wandering

Innovative

Optimistic

Different Angle

Flexible Boundaries

Sense of Humor

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Curious

Tries new things

not afraid of failure

Unexpected

Out of Comfort Zone

Brave

Risky

Stubborn

Petulant

Courageous

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Crazy

Bold

Expressive

Emotional

SILLY

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Who have we just described? Children, that’s who!

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

3. Kids excel at the first (idea/question/new hypothesis) stage, we adults don’t. 

New ideas appear ridiculous, wacky and childish. To be creative adults, we must embrace the possibility of appearing silly and ridiculous. Like barking.

Have you barked lately? No? Well, you’re never too old to start.

 

 

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

4. Creativity has a high failure rate (often >99%).

VCs vet hundreds of promising companies before choosing one. And yet their success rate is usually 20% or less. Only one out of 5000 manuscripts end up getting published. And only about 10% succeed. You do the math. How do you turn the <1% into 100%?

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

5.Creative people don’t do ‘thinking outside the box‘.  They do ‘thinking between boxes‘ 

They connect things in unanticipated ways. They move something from one field into another and find a new use for it. The riddle on the next page (which originated the expression ‘to think outside the box’) is now doing more damage than help.

 

 

 

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

6.  Thinking between boxes: ‘Everything is coming up roses’. 

I challenge you to think of five things that are connected with a given item (re.g., chocolate). That should be easy. The problem is finding five things that aren’t connected.

You think chocolate vs. spaceship are unconnected?  17,000,000 results:

 

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Here are just a few:

Astronauts want to eat chocolate in space.

The dark side of the moon is made out of chocolate.

If you throw a bar of chocolate fast enough, it will go into space (how fast?)

Both space and chocolate can be very dark.

 

 

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Can you list ten things that you can’t do with chocolate? Here’s my list:

 

 

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Can you write a story about chocolate? Here’s mine.

 

 

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7. Creativity is usually a very personal, competitive affair. Not a team thing. People get ideas, not teams of people. Teams can prevent people from having ideas. 

Most companies run on inertia. Yes, there are a few companies that really encourage creativity, but they are the exception to the rule, and usually the creativity is done on a separate day, time of day, or in a separate department, or building.

 

 

 

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8. Creative people do not learn from mistakes. They turn them into inventions. 

Creative people don’t laugh at mistakes. They use them to come up with unanticipated ideas and leads. Most inventions come from mistakes or accidents (although the inventors rarely admit it). Show me one artificial sweetener that was invented on purpose.

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9. The muses don’t appear out of nowhere

You need the right city, the open culture, the right coffee house, the right sofa, the right friends and family, the right time of day. Or our rooftop!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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10. A lot goes on behind the scenes

The brain is never on ‘off’, even when we think it is. Shower moments, day dreaming, night dreaming are key. Ideas often pop up when are doing something routine or mundane.

 

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Here is a list of 20 additional ways to practice and bolster your creative skills:

 

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  1. Invent new words
  2. Read a book about your creative hero.
  3. Observe everything in your immediate surroundings
  4. Observe young children. Speak to them. Learn from them.
  5. Spend an hour a week ‘getting lost’ on Google (going from hyperlink to hyperlink).
  6. Surround yourself with supportive individuals
  7. Find your creative environment
  8. Be more curious
  9. Doubt everything, at least initially
  10. Fail elegantly
  11. Develop another skill, interest, profession
  12. Move to another country
  13. Look for connections and associations, even when none are apparent.
  14. Re-read your favorite children’s books.
  15. Be silly, at least once in a while
  16. Don’t ridicule mistakes made by others, or yourself.
  17. Chase opportunities with a vengeance.
  18. Creativity is a way of life, not a course. Get some of the things here into your daily “DNA”
  19. Play 48Create
  20. Create your own creativity technique!!
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And more disorganized stuff in the following pages….

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And now, let’s play 48create.

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Complex problem solving

Critical Thinking

Creativity

People management

Coordinating with others

Emotional intelligence

Judgement and decision making

Service orientation

Negotiation

Cognitive flexibility

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Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Artwork from the book - Mel’s Ten Secrets of Creative Thinking – with WIZE by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

6.  Thinking between boxes: ‘Everything is connected with everything’. 

I challenge you to think of five things that have no connection whatsoever to yogurt. Then have a look on Google to see just how many associations there are.

yogurt vs. spaceship?

over two million results linking them:

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More in the next pages!





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