Creatively Ever After

Creatively Ever After


Creatively Ever After.

A guest article by Alicia Arnold.

My interest in creativity developed at a young age, though I didn’t know it was called “creativity” back then. When I was 9 years old, a teacher explained there was no such thing as a one-legged stool. Being a curious youngster with a strong imagination, I raised my hand and shared, there was indeed, such a thing as a one-legged stool (picture a flared leg). My feedback was met with disdain. Although I would have hoped an elementary school teacher would have encouraged out-of-the-box thinking, this was not the case. This initiated my behavior of holding back and filtering my ideas. After all, ideas seemed to get me into trouble.

It wasn’t until I studied at the International Center for Studies in Creativity that I realized my “affliction” had a name. It was called creativity. And, creativity wasn’t an affliction after all. As it turns out, creativity is a much-needed skill. In fact, CEO’s around the world cite creativity as the number one leadership competency for the future.

After scanning all the reading materials I could get my hands on, I came to realize there were very few resources for teaching creativity. And, in case you’re wondering –yes, it has been scientifically proven that creativity can be taught and learned! With that in mind, I set out to write a how-to book to teach creativity. My book is titled, CreativelyEverAfter: APathtoInnovation.

 

One of the first obstacles I faced was what technique to teach. Knowing there were many fly-by-night creativity techniques, I was determined to choose a proven method. I landed on the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process. (CPS)

This method has been tested over the last 50-years in education, military, for-profit, and not-for-profit settings. CPS was also proven to increase creativity skills across global populations of all ages.

My next challenge was how to make learning fun. After all, if learning isn’t engaging and easily applicable, it isn’t absorbed. To solve this challenge, I chose to weave the fictional tale of Jack and Jill (from the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill went up the hill) around the nonfiction creative problem solving process.

Though melding fiction and nonfiction is not a widely used format, I found including a narrative and dialog among different characters helpful in portraying the nuances within creative problem solving. This helped illustrate how people who love coming up with ideas can have a difficult time relating to people who like to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s.” The dialog also helped to describe tools readers could use to overcome objections and creative roadblocks.

Now that my book is launched, I’m starting to get reader feedback. Many readers comment on how they see themselves in the characters. Readers have also commented on how CreativelyEverAfter, has helped them close sales, improve cross-discipline team relationships, and give children a creative advantage in school.

What started out as holding back ideas has blossomed into a book helping readers’ tap into creativity to solve the problems that plague them. Thank goodness for curiosity!

 

Alicia Arnold is the author of Creatively EverAfter. She holds Master of Science in Creative Studies from the International Center for Studies in Creativity. She has written over 100 articles on the topics of creativity and innovation a thttp://aliciaarnold.com Alicia can be reached onTwitter at http://twitter.com/alicarnold

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