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The following is the definition attributed to Creativity in the Cambridge Dictionary.

Creativity: Producing or using original or unusual ideas.1

Looks quite daunting from the outset! Does it not? For centuries man has toiled with
creativity, shaped and revolutionized his immediate and foreseeable future at most times by sheer
ingenuity and at other times by unusual methods replete with the elements of uncertainty. If there
has been one trait that has continuously marked the evolutionary rise of mankind from the proverbial
hunter-gatherer to the data munching, information crunching multi-faceted organism of the
collaborative internet efficient world today, it has been his creative streak or ingenuity or innovation
or call it what you may.

Having chosen this ubiquitous and all pervasive topic as a choice for a term paper, a task as
daunting as the definition cited previously, the writers of this paper have traversed paths closer to
the unusual than the original to present a short and concise introduction and treatment of Creativity
and its management in the collaborative and business world of today in the following pages.


The millions of creations that enthrall our very senses, both perceivable and non perceivable
to the human senses, are stellar models of creativity and innovation. The various forms of art –
Poetry, Dance, Literature and Music to name a few could only be the works of highly imaginative
and creative minds without denial. One would only have to visit museums in Greece and Egypt or
switch on his window to the world, the internet, to marvel at the results of creativity. Even more
enthralling have been the various discoveries and inventions as byproducts of science. The
classification of light into different spectrum (non perceivable to the senses) and the development of
the airplane which has taken mankind to the skies (perceivable to the senses) are examples of
creative and innovative minds at work.

One would only have to walk the streets of a modern city to marvel at the architectural creativity
evident in its skyline. Alternatively, one could also see the effects of creativity on the different
WebPages of the internet. The modern concepts of file sharing and video uploading though quite
ripe in out times were inconceivable about a hundred years back. Such is the power of creativity and

1 27’th Apr’09
it does make one wonder what creativity actually is. Although dictionaries attempt to define it, it is
truly a mammoth task as describing a phenomenon or a series of phenomena is not within the reach
of languages at least yet.

The different meanings and parallels that exist for the word creativity could be viewed from the
perspectives of Technology, Management, Psychological studies, scientific research, Neuroscience,
linguistics, the advertising industry, marketing and sales just to name a few.


The business world as we see today is a world of co-operation, shared success and benefits.
We have entered an era where businesses are no more confined to one geographical location. Any
innovation made today in one part of the world is made available to the other parts and this comes
with economic laurels never before imagined. This era has witnessed innovations on scales
unparalleled thanks in part to the strides made in the field of science and technology. This is sharp
contrast with the capitalistic era where businesses could not expand beyond geographical boundaries.
Those countries that are involved in global business interests reap economic benefits that liberate
their populations economically and help bring the world closer together. Of huge importance is the
exponential developments made in the computer industry and nothing captures it better than the
famous Moore’s law. Every field has brief formulas or relationships that are useful for back-of-the-
envelope calculations.2 Moore´s law in its simple form states that

2 May 2’nd 2009
The complexity of integrated circuits doubles every 24 months. 3 4

This particular development in terms of satisfying technological needs for mankind comes with a lot
of advantages albeit a few disadvantages. The number of industries which have also seen rapid
growth (though not exponential as in the case of the semiconductor industry) by having been in the
software industry’s shadow has been large. Aided industries include medicine, Physics,
Biotechnology, Architecture, Oil drilling and petroleum among those that readily come to mind. 5


The DELL direct model is almost ubiquitously one thing that has been retained by DELL
through all the fluctuations that it has seen from the year 2000 until now. It is a model that relies on
the Just in Time model sought after by TOYOTA Japan and has almost nullified the existence of
retailers. The parts are made to order as there is no major warehouse and once the customer has
placed his order the parts are ordered to suit the customers’ needs. Dell has its manufacturing plants
set up in almost 5 countries. Dell leverages the creative workforce around the world through a model
of off shoring and outsourcing. It has plants in Brazil, the U.S, China India and Ireland. It has its call
centers located all over the world for efficient customer service. 6This is a truly global scenario. To
sustain its growth and success DELL has to continuously pursue a policy of honing its creative
workforce and utilizing the right people at the right time in order to reap benefits out of the ‘low cost
& high revenue ‘model.

And for employees that look for a great place to work they need not look beyond Google Inc. which
has been for 2 years in a row until now voted as one of the top 100 places to work.7 8 Google even
has 20% innovation time off for all its employees and claims to have brought out a majority of its
innovative products from this 20% time. 9

What this growth has brought forth is the increased number of people who contribute towards
continuous expansion in their respective fields. Obviously, such an expansion cannot be the work of
a few people. This proves that more and more people are entering “the creative and innovative
Lecture Microsystems Engineering. Professor Dr. Michael Rüb Fachochshule Jena WS 2008.
Lecture Microsystems Engineering. Professor Dr. Michael Rüb Fachochshule Jena WS 2008.
5 May 2’nd 2009
6 ,,
n&s=corp 2/05/09
7 May 02’nd 09
9 May 2’nd 09
changes that shape the world” ring. This also augurs for cutthroat competition among companies in
different industries. In such a scenario only companies that value creativity and help mould a
creative workforce can sustain success in the long run. Again innovation in terms of products and
sales involves imaginative minds across all departments. The old capitalistic model of “The R & D
coming up with ideas for increased sales and functionality of the marketing department” does not
hold sway in the modern context.

In the world of business today it is all about increased customer satisfaction, increased revenue and
increased cost benefits whilst catering to the tastes of people globally. It is no more a world where
products are patronized only by consumers confined by geographical boundaries. What is available
in one part of the world is available in the other part within a few hours. There is more than one way
to have an entourage of creative and innovative workforce in the ranks for a company. One would
be to recruit highly creative minds at the expense of large salaries and wages. Though it is a highly
beneficial ploy, recruiting highly creative minds does not serve the need of cost cutting for increased
profit ratio. The second strategy is to have the best minds across the world working for you. This is
what is now called a globalized collaborative business model. Precisely what DELL does!

It is thus clear as to what the need of the hour is. Managing creativity for large, medium and small
organizations that want to grow and sustain success is not just about a dedicated R & D anymore. It
is about being able to have the right people at the right job and at the right time to cut costs, improve
revenues and satisfy customers. Companies that are growing and want to grow in the future have to
be able to look beyond stereotypical management techniques and be able to manipulate and manage
the workforce at their disposal better. In a globalized world if a group of English speaking
Americans cost a company more for a customer service job, the company goes to India or
Philippines where they find English speaking people at much reduced costs. In a collaborative world
if the cost of setting up a plant in Europe costs more, the company goes to china to reduce costs.
This improves the demand for the company’s products in new markets as well and improves
visibility. However, to move beyond cultural barricades and mould and employ a creative workforce
in a globalized world calls for a work culture that helps transform regular employees into creative


This section of the paper focuses on 2 business models that have been highly successful and
have been major cornerstones and benchmark models for a lot of businesses all over the world. The
management concepts described in each of the models here have evolved with time and continue to
evolve. The industries focused on here are the automobile and the computer industries. There a
variety of other successful business models that come from other industries as well but the focus of
this section is to see how creativity and management of creativity has been viewed from the
capitalistic era through to the collaborative era.


Twice in this century [the auto industry] has changed our most fundamental ideas about
how we make things. And how we make things dictates not only how we work but what we buy, how
we think, and the way we live.
- Womack, Jones, and Roos (1990: 11) 10

Henry ford was once a popular symbol of the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial,
mass production, mass consumption economy. Ford was the creative force behind the growth to
preeminence of the automobile industry, still the world's largest manufacturing activity.

The first of these transformations was from craft production to mass production. This helped to
create the market as we know it, based on economies of scale and scope, and gave rise to giant
organizations built upon functional specialization and minute divisions of labor. The hallmark of his
system was standardization. Standardization required nearly perfect interchangeability of parts. To
achieve interchangeability, Ford exploited advances in machine tools and gauging systems. These
innovations made possible the moving, or continuous, assembly line, in which each assembler
performed a single, repetitive task. Machines that were previously arrayed about a central power
source could now be placed on the assembly line, thereby dramatically increasing throughput. The
moving assembly line was first implemented at Ford's Model-T Plant at Highland Park, Michigan, in
1914, increasing labor productivity tenfold and permitting stunning price cuts -- from $780 in 1910
to $360 in 1914. Hence, the term Fordize: "to standardize a product and manufacture it by mass
means at a price so low that the common man can afford to buy it."


10 2’nd May ‘09
parts are

Car Industry :Mass

production and
More jobs are Standardization
created in other
CYCLE OF leads to increased
industries like Steel
, Glass Rubber and car sales
- More oil is used
- More Roads are

More people with jobs

means they can afford
to buy a car

Ford ultimately made everything he needed for his cars from the raw materials on up. Ford vertically
integrated for two reasons. First, he had perfected mass production techniques and could achieve
substantial economies by doing everything himself. Second, given the information processing
capabilities of the time, plus Ford's skepticism about accounting and finance, direct supervision
could more efficiently coordinate the flow of raw materials and components through the production
process than arms-length relationships. .11

Although this was highly celebrated for until the end of the Second World War, a reform was in
vogue and the deskilling of workers down to a level of machines was seen both as inhuman and as a
method that could be refined to reduce costs and improve revenues. IBM was the first company to
implement it, way before Toyota joined the wagon. Eventually the capitalistic Ford model fell out of
reckoning due to the new creative taskforce enabling management policies that were introduced
partly by Toyota and partly by the economic and socio political systems that evolved after Fordism.

11 2’nd May ‘09

The Japanese industrial leader Konosuke Matsushita said:

We are going to win and the industrial West is going to lose out; there's not much you can do about
it because the reasons for your failure are within yourselves .With your bosses doing the thinking
while the workers wield screwdrivers, you're convinced deep down that this is the right way to run a
business. For you, the essence of management is getting ideas out of the heads of managers and into
the hands of labor. We have gone beyond [this] model. We realize that business has become so
complex, the survival of firms so precarious, and our environment increasingly unpredictable,
competitive and dangerous, that firms' continuing existence depends on their day-to-day
mobilization of every ounce of intelligence. 12

Flexible production, the second of the 20th century's great transformations in the organization of
work, was, like mass production, brought to our attention by a revolution in the automobile industry.
In this revolution, mass production and its champion, mighty General Motors, was utterly routed by
the Toyota Production System.

Flexible production rests on the presumption that a competitive edge cannot be gained by treating
workers like machines and that nobody in the manufacturing process, but the assembly worker, adds
value, that the assembly worker can perform most functions better than specialists (lean
manufacturing), and that every step of the fabrication process should be done perfectly (Total
Quality Management), thus reducing the need for buffer stocks (JIT) and producing a higher quality


The following illustration depicts the 4P model of the Toyota production method.

Originally called ‘Just In Time Production,’ it builds on the approach created by the founder
of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and the engineer Taiichi Ohno. The founders
of Toyota drew heavily on the work of W. Edwards Deming and the writings of Henry Ford.

12 David
Wheeler and Maria Sillanpaa 2’nd May’09
Improvement & Learning



challenge and grow them) KAIZEN






The 4P method is outlined on the following principles:

1. Long-Term Philosophy:
Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term
financial goals.

2. The Right process will produce the right results:

a. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
b. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
c. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
d. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
e. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.

3. Add Value to the Organization by developing your people:

a. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to
b. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
c. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping
them improve.

4. Continuously Solving Root Problems Drives Organizational Learning:

a. Go and see for you to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).
b. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement
decisions rapidly (nemawashi).
c. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous
improvement (kaizen).13

It is quite clear that the Toyota Production System is a continuous evolving model because it
looks at every aspect of its company as a possible resource. Look at how stages 3 and 4 emphasize
on learning and therefore treat every worker as a possible source of innovation and creativity. Stage
3 also emphasizes on challenging your partners to allow for growth opportunities. Either ways one
looks at it, it is a win – win situation.

The following table illustrates the supremacy of Toyota automobiles in the year 2008, a year that
was plagued by the great real estate driven economic recession. It also brings to mind the
importance of enabling a creative workforce.

The following table from the library of the official website of Toyota shows us why the Toyota
model is exemplary.

Consolidated Vehicle Sales:

Vehicle Sales by Region:

Japan 2,364 2,273 2,188 -3.7

Overseas Total 5,610 6,251 6,725 +7.6

North America 2,556 2,942 2,958 +0.5

Europe 1,023 1,224 1,284 +4.9

Asia 880 789 956 +21.2

Central and South America 233 284 320 +12.7

Oceania 251 268 289 +7.8

Africa 253 304 314 +3.3

Middle East 406 433 597 +37.9

Others 8 7 7 0.0

Consolidated Total 7,974 8,524 8,913 +4.6

13 3’rd May’09

Obviously the results are there for everyone to see. It goes on to show why molding a creative
workforce and following a policy of continuous learning and growth is paramount for large, medium
and small sized companies in today’s business world.

The Toyota production system also brings to light the important elements of creativity. It includes
problem identification, problem solving and evaluation of the solution. It allows for a
reconsideration of the problem solving tool if the solution is not satisfactory. Here in, it can be seen
how an effective problem solving and critical thinking model has evolved. In today’s competitive
world businesses that do not learn from their mistakes will eventually find it difficult to survive.


This section attempts to throw light on factors that limit creative thought and how to get
over them. There is also a part on a few key techniques or ways to draw inspiration for creative

Now that the phenomena of creativity have been discussed, it is an interesting question to ponder

Are all humans capable of creativity?

The world is full of people and it is full of different kinds of people. 1. Some of us are naturally
gifted when it comes to creating or innovating. 2. Some of us need only a little motivation or
inspiration to create and innovate. 3. The others among us lie in self abashed ignorance in the inner
recesses of our primordial mindsets and refuse to accept the fact that we are capable of producing or

There are several works of literature that cater to the needs of the third kind and make great business
and profit out of them. However one need only follow in the footsteps of some established creative
minds to realize that creativity, although a copyright tag ,can be a piece of re engineering or
adaptation to suit individual needs.


The average man would rather face death or torture than think. – Bertrand Russell15

14 2’nd May’09
The purpose of the brain is to enable us to survive and to cope. The purpose of the brain is not to be
creative. Cutting across established patterns to produce new ideas is not what the brain is designed
to do. 16More often than not, the human brain tries to see patterns across problems. Our perceptions
of problems arise from our past experiences and what our brain perceives of the problem. If the
problem we are trying to see is similar to the one we have solved already, we are likely to attempt to
solve it using what Edward de Bono describes as Vertical or logical thinking. 17

The next car tyre to enter the market is almost guaranteed to emerge from a hole labeled “molded
rubber, radial wound reinforcement”. The next driver protection system from a hole named
‘Steering wheel mounted inflating bag’. Each of the products or solutions that emerge will generally
have been obtained by digging the hole a little deeper. The automobile industry right now is the size
of the deepest crater seen on the planet. -Edward De Bono 18

Psychological Inertia takes on different forms, many of which are quite invisible to personal
observation. Different forms of PI, although they are quite subtle during problem-solving, can be
recognized in, and exemplified by, simple problems and ‘brain-teasers.’ The following simple
problems, puzzles and brain-teasers each illustrate a different form of psychological inertia.

The Retarding Power (or Inertia) of a Word:

For years shopping bags used to have strings attached for carrying purposes. When the bag
contents reached a certain weight, the strings caused damage to the carrier’s fingers. The word
‘strings; implied that all shopping bags must have strings (the idea of using strings was attractive
from a cost point of view), and served as a form of psychological inertia to prevent progress in
designing a ‘shopping bag system" that did not have this problem. An entire family of new shopping
bags - based on the inventive principles of ‘Segmentation’ and Merging’ - ultimately emerged. One
is tape-like: ‘many strings (lines) that form a surface.’ Another is a fluid-filled (from one line, to
many molecular fluid particles) carrier that, like the tape solution, also distributed stresses over a
broader area. Words themselves (like ‘strings’) are often enough to halt progress in a given
technology for decades, because "this is the way it has always been understood.’

Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darell mann Lazarus press UK 2004
P.No 3
Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darell mann Lazarus press UK 2004
Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darell mann Lazarus press UK 2004
Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darell mann Lazarus press UK 2004
A Partial Restriction Becomes a Blanket Restriction:

There are two groups of people. Each member of group # 1 weighs exactly 150. Each
member of group two weighs exactly 200. Three people selected from these two groups have a total
weight of 550 - but one of these persons cannot be from group #1! How many people are selected
from each group? It is left to the reader to answer this question; if you cannot, then you may be
operating under one of the laws of psychological inertia.

Words and Their Assumed Properties or Characteristics:

How can a pipe fit through a square hole (the area of the pipe and the whole are just about
equivalent, with the square hole only having slightly less cross-sectional area)? Many persons will
think of ‘pipes’ as being "round." But a pipe need not be round - it could be square. This is yet
another form of psychological inertia.

Inadmissible Range of Data:

Scientists were conducting a test. They had one end of a rope attached to a frying pan, and
the other end of the rope to the pulling-harness of a dog. At what speed should the dog run so that
the frying pan won’t rattle? Some problem-solvers are ‘stuck’ in the psychological inertia of
inadmissible data points. The problem as stated may imply to them that the dog must be moving,
when in fact this is not a constraint. The answer: zero.

As it is observable the human brain tries to shirk innovative norms by reinforcing stereotypical
measures which are successful ENOUGH. It is this enough that the proverbial manager has to ward
against if the organization has to sustain success. It however takes dedicated practice and self
belief. 19


The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar there is to new ideas. – De Bono20

It is as important to know how the brain works as it is in a quest to identify problems and solve those
using creative models. The human brain is a wonderfully engineered tool and is the most complex
system of any kind in the world. As amazing a tool as it is, the desire to learn from mistakes and rise
out of conventional norms is a hard task for the brain as it is dictated at most times by factors which
are not entirely controllable. These factors might include:
19 3’rd May’09
Creativity and problem solving – Phil Lowe P.No 29
a. Peer pressure
b. Laziness to think beyond conventional norms
c. A primitive adaptation by the human brain – ‘Once a tool for success, always a
tool for success’
d. The overwhelming need to be right all the time.
e. Human adults, as they grow up tend to lose out on curiosity which is a major
factor in continuous learning.


Is creativity actually a level playing field?

The answer to this question lies in considering the different aspects that make creativity at once a
daunting as well as a mountable task. A look at some of the most influential people in the world
and what they have had to say about creativity and the different elements that are ascribed to a
creative mind would balance this lopsided field. We also need to acknowledge and accept that
creative works come from certain intangible yet achievable human traits that are very common.

Role of Hard work and Preparation:

There is an old English phrase that means hard work translates into success.

Well, it a known fact that Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity when he saw an apple fall
from a tree in his garden. But he discovering gravity as a result of mere co-incidence has to be
ignored. Newton was preparing for the eventual discovery throughout his life. It was just one event
that triggered the flow of his creative juices. As Louis Pasteur famously puts it ‘Where observation
is concerned chance favors only the prepared mind.’ Mentally Newton was ready to draw an
inference from any occurrence that might favor the object of the research. Also, Newton was able to
see something out of an ordinary event. A lot of people would shrug off an event like the falling of
an apple. But Newton was able to question this event with respect to his research and thus spawned
one of the most important events in human history.
The essence of the creative art is to see the familiar as strange. – Anon21
Indeed it pays to have a fresh perspective towards familiar things and draw inspiration from
the world around us.

The Art of Creative Thinking - How to be innovative and develop great ideas. John Adair. London ;
Philadelphia : Kogan Page Ltd, 2009 X, 133 S.; Page no. 10
Thou O god dost sell us all good things at the price of labor. – Leonardo da Vinci
A red clover blossom contains less than 1/8’Th of a grain of sugar. 7,000 grains are required
to make 1 pound of honey. A Bee, flitting here and there for sweetness, must visit 56,000 clover
heads for 1 pound of honey and there are 60 flower tubes to each clover head. When a bee performs
that operation 60 times 56,000 i.e. 3, 36,000 times, it secures enough sweetness for one pound of
That underlines the importance of hard work.
The Role of Learning and Questioning:

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward, they may be beaten but they may start a winning
game. – Goethe

The first limitations to creativity are self doubt and apprehension. It is important to get rid of
these dark horses by questioning things that exist around us. A child does not hold back from questioning.
It is curiosity combined with lack of apprehension that helps build a creative and an innovative mind. If a
man begins with uncertainties he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts he will
end with certainties. One of the great geniuses of the 20’Th century asked himself this question before he
arrived on the general theory of relativity.

If I was travelling on the back of a sun beam at the speed of light, what would I be seeing?

– Albert Einstein.

. Learning is like rowing upstream, not to advance is to fall back. Creativity is a process of developing
and expressing novel ideas that are likely to be useful. It is a major task for managers these days to put
together a team where creativity and innovation are appreciated by all team members. The composition of
the team has to be versatile yet in concordance with the goals and targets of the organization or the
department. The key word is contribution through co-operation. In the world of gaming, designing and
development are keys to both short and long term success. Electronic Arts is one of the leaders in the
industry and this is what Mr. R.J Berg, Producer at the games company had to say about creativity.
The complexity of software development and production today is such that even individual
contributions are not enough for success in product. People who are wonderfully skilled at English or Art,
Music, Production itself need to understand how their contribution intersects with those of the other

The Art of Creative Thinking - How to be innovative and develop great ideas. John Adair. London ;
Philadelphia : Kogan Page Ltd, 2009 X, 133 S.; Page no.95
members in the team. Success in product depends on the ability to see your own expertise for what it is
and the contribution it can make in conjunction with everybody else’s piece.23

A suitable environment is only a part of the task. It is very important to understand and be familiar with
certain tools and methodologies that help nurture creativity. The following section of the term paper will
attempt to throw light on some tools and methods that are used across a lot of organizations for problem
identification and problem solving.



In most businesses things run along smoothly until a roadblock comes along. Although
most organizations these days are adept at forecasting and planning, today’s world is so prone to changes
that a new instance of technology invented somewhere might change the way the entire supply chain is
being run and only those businesses that adapt to changes have a long run. A problem is defined as
something that which has no known solutions. Such a scenario calls for a set of skills that help an
individual or a team to identify the problem and it’s root cause, select a tool that can help solve the
problem, use tools to solve the problem and evaluate the solution against success and failure. And all
these steps have to have the element of retrospection about them for if a tool fails to deliver, there needs
to be another to recover lost ground.






When Sparks Fly- Leonard and Swap, Harvard Press P.No-6
24 25

All of these parts are flexible to a large extent and allow for possible reconsiderations at any point
of time. They are not mutually independent as can be seen, and they have to completely harmonious. In
the event of one part failing there is always visibility and the remedy can be readily supplied. There are a
lot of tools described in many literary works for problem identification and solution. This Term paper will
deal with a few important tools that are easy to use and deliver good results.


The definition of a problem helps identification and the subsequent action on it. Hence it is fitting
to say that problem defining is 90 % of the problem itself. Most often, problems appear shrouded in
elements of uncertainty. The more the effort put into identifying and defining the problem, the easier it is
to solve and evaluate. The Toyota Production method deals with problem solving and defining
exclusively and will also be considered in this segment. Lets define what problem identification is. This
word can be interpreted in 2 ways:
i) Tools for creative thinking.
ii) Tools for Problem identification.



Brainstorming can be described as a method of generating a flood of new ideas. It provides

conditions in which a group of open-minded people from as many different spheres of life as possible
bring up, without prejudice, any thoughts that occur to them and thus trigger off new ideas in the minds of
the other participants. Brainstorming relies strongly on stimulation of the memory and on the association
of ideas that have never been considered in the current context or have never been allowed to reach
consciousness. For maximum effect, brainstorming sessions should be run along the following lines:
• Composition of the group
• Leadership of the Group
• Procedure
• Evaluation

Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darell mann Lazarus press UK 2004
25 3’rd May’09
Composition of the Group:

The group should have a leader and consist of a minimum of five and a maximum of 15 people. Fewer
than five constitute a spectrum of opinion and experience that is too small, and hence produce too few
stimuli. With more than 15, close collaboration may decline because of individual passivity and
withdrawal. The group must not be confined to experts. It is important that as many fields and activities as
possible are represented, the involvement of nontechnical members adding a rich new dimension. The
group should not be hierarchically structured but, if possible, made up of equals in order to prevent the
censoring of such thoughts as might give offence to superiors or subordinates.

Leadership of the Group:

The leader of the group should only take the initiative when dealing with organizational problems
(invitation, composition, duration and evaluation). Before the actual brainstorming session, the leader
must outline the problem and, during the session, must see that the rules are observed and, in particular,
that the atmosphere remains free and easy. To that end the leader should start the session by expressing a
few absurd ideas, or mentioning an example from another brainstorming session, but should never lead in
the expression of ideas. On the other hand, the flow of new ideas should be encouraged whenever the
productivity of the group slackens. The leader must ensure that no one criticizes the ideas of other
participants, and should appoint one or two members to take minutes.


All participants must try to shed their intellectual inhibitions; that is, they should avoid rejecting as
absurd, false, embarrassing, stupid, well-known or redundant any ideas expressed spontaneously by
themselves or by other members of the group. No participant should criticize any ideas that are brought
up, and everyone must refrain from using such killer phrases as ‘we've heard it all before’, ‘it can't be
done’, ‘it will never work’ and ‘this has nothing to do with the problem’.

New ideas will be taken up by the other participants, who may change and develop them at will. It is also
useful to combine several ideas into new proposals. All ideas should be written down, sketched out, or
recorded. All suggestions should be concrete enough to allow the emergence of specific solution ideas.
The practicability of the suggestions should be ignored at first. A session should not generally last for
more than 30 to 45 minutes. Experience has shown that longer sessions produce nothing new and lead to
unnecessary repetitions. It is better to make a fresh start with new ideas or with other participants later.

The results should be reviewed by experts to find potential solution elements. If possible, these should be
classified and graded in order of feasibility and then developed further. The final result should be
reviewed with the entire group to avoid possible misunderstandings or one-sided interpretations on the
part of the experts. New and more advanced ideas may well be expressed or developed during such a
review session. Brainstorming is indicated whenever:
No practical solution principle has been discovered. The physical process underlying a possible solution
has not yet been identified. A radical departure from the conventional approach is required.
Brainstorming is even useful in the solution of sub problems in known or existing systems. Moreover, it
has a beneficial side-effect: all of the participants are supplied with new data, or at least with fresh ideas
on possible procedures, applications, materials, combinations, etc., because the group represents a broad
spectrum of opinion and expertise (for instance, designers, production engineers, sales persons, materials
experts and buyers). It is astonishing as to what a profusion and range of ideas such a group can generate.
The designers will remember the ideas brought up during brainstorming sessions on many future
occasions. Most of the ideas expressed will not be technically or economically feasible, and those that are
will often be familiar to the experts. Brainstorming is meant first of all to trigger off new ideas, but it
cannot be expected to produce ready-made solutions because problems are generally too complex and too
difficult to be solved by spontaneous ideas alone. However, if a session should produce one or two useful
new ideas, or even some hints in what direction to go looking for the solution, it will have achieved a
great deal. 26


What is a Mind Map?

Mind maps are tools that help us think and remember better, creatively solve problems and take action.
The mind map encourages creativity and flexibility. Mind maps help think outside the box.

Why Mind Maps work?

They help avoid thinking linearly. They open up creativity and new ways of thinking. They’re more
realistic, because most things aren’t orderly to begin with. They help in getting the big picture. They
naturally hook into the right brain, where creativity and intuition can help.

Design of precision devices Lecture WS 2008 – FH Jena – Nils Heidler
How to do Mind Maps?
Mind maps can be done on paper or for those computer users there is also mind map software available.
While doing mind mapping it is important to work without pausing, judging and editing because these
encourage linear thinking and analysis-paralysis and the idea that things have to be perfect before the
beginning. The idea behind the mind map is to think creatively in a non-linear manner. The central idea
should be written down in the middle. New ideas, action points and strategies that relate to it can be used
as branches that radiate out from the central idea. Focus on the key ideas, using own words, and then look
for branches. Using this visual method helps one understand and remember better, be open to possibilities,
and avoid the restrictions of an outline or list format. Later on the information can be modified, but first
just get every possibility into the mind map. The mind map does not require any specific order. There is
also no distinct beginning point. It can be begun anywhere; the point is to get a start. An example of a
mind map is given below.


Six hat thinking method is a method invented in the 1980’s by Edward de Bono. It is a framework
for incorporating lateral thinking. The six hats represent six modes of thinking and are directions to think
rather than labels for thinking. That is, the hats are used proactively rather than reactively. The method
promotes fuller input from more people. In de Bono's words it ‘separates ego from performance’.
Everyone is able to contribute to the exploration without denting egos as they are just using the yellow hat
or whatever hat. The six hats system encourages performance rather than ego defense. People can
contribute under any hat even though they initially support the opposite view.The key point is that a hat is
a direction to think rather than a label for thinking.

Here are six metaphorical hats and the thinker can put on or take off one of these hats to indicate the
type of thinking being used. This putting on and taking off is essential. The hats must never be used
to categorize individuals, even though their behavior may seem to invite this. When done in group,
everybody wear the same hat at the same time.

White Hat thinking:

This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. "I think we need some white hat
thinking at this point..." means lets drop the arguments and proposals, and look at the data base."

Red Hat thinking:

This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. The red hat allows the thinker to put forward
an intuition without any need to justify it. "Putting on my red hat, I think this is a terrible proposal."
Usually feelings and intuition can only be introduced into a discussion if they are supported by logic.
Usually the feeling is genuine but the logic is spurious

Black Hat thinking:

This is the hat of judgment and caution. It is a most valuable hat. It is not in any sense an
inferior or negative hat. The black hat is used to point out why a suggestion does not fit the facts, the
available experience, the system in use, or the policy that is being followed. The black hat must
always be logical.

27 5’th
Yellow Hat thinking:
This is the logical positive. Why something will work and why it will offer benefits. It can
be used in looking forward to the results of some proposed action.

Green Hat thinking:

This is the hat of creativity, alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and

Blue Hat thinking:

This is the overview or process control hat. It looks not at the subject itself but at the
'thinking' about the subject. "Putting on my blue hat, I feel we should do some greener hat thinking
at this point." In technical terms, the blue hat is concerned with meta-cognition. 28


The following tools can be used during a firefighting situation.

a. Fishbone Analysis or Cause and effect analysis b. Pareto Analysis. Note that these
methods again are interchangeable and do not fall into a specific order.


The fishbone diagram identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem. It can be
used to structure a brainstorming session. It immediately sorts ideas into useful categories.

When to Use a Fishbone Diagram:

a) When identifying possible causes for a problem b) Especially when a team’s thinking tends to fall
into ruts

Fishbone Diagram Procedure:

Materials needed: flipchart or whiteboard, marking pens.

The problem statement is agreed upon. This can be arrived upon after doing an analysis
either by Pareto or the 5 why method. The fishbone analysis could also be used to check against data
analysis.Brainstorm the major categories of causes of the problem. If this is difficult use generic
headings. These generic headings are of help most of the time.

28 5’th May’09

Policies Machines

Procedures Methods

People Materials

( Technology)

Mother Nature
( Environment)

Manpower ( People )

These generic headings could be used most of the time. When dealing with undefined
situations, the headings can be changed as per se.

1. Write the categories of causes as branches from the main arrow.

2. Brainstorm all the possible causes of the problem. Ask: ‘Why does this happen?’ As each
idea is given, the facilitator writes it as a branch from the appropriate category. Causes can
be written in several places if they relate to several categories.

3. Again ask ‘why does this happen?’ about each cause. Write sub-causes branching off the
causes. Continue to ask ‘Why?’ and generate deeper levels of causes. Layers of branches
indicate causal relationships.

4. When the group runs out of ideas, focus attention to places on the chart where ideas are few.

Fishbone Diagram Example:

This fishbone diagram was drawn by a manufacturing team to try to understand the source
of periodic iron contamination. The team used the six generic headings to prompt ideas. Layers of
branches show thorough thinking about the causes of the problem.

For example, under the heading ‘Machines,’ the idea ‘materials of construction’ shows four
kinds of equipment and then several specific machine numbers. Note that some ideas appear in two
different places. ‘Calibration’ shows up under ‘Methods’ as a factor in the analytical procedure, and
also under ‘Measurement’ as a cause of lab error. ‘Iron tools’ can be considered a ‘Methods’
problem when taking samples or a “Manpower” problem with maintenance personnel.


Pareto Analysis is a statistical technique in decision making that is used for the selection of
a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto Principle (also
known as the 80/20 rule) the idea that by doing 20% of the work can generate 80% of the benefit of
doing the whole job. The 80/20 rule can be applied to almost anything:

 80% of customer complaints arise from 20% of products or services.

 80% of delays in schedule arise from 20% of the possible causes of the delays.

 20% of products or services account for 80% of profit.

 20% of sales-force produces 80% of company revenues.

 20% of a system’s defects cause 80% of its problems.

The Pareto Principle has many applications in quality control. It is the basis for the Pareto
diagram, one of the key tools used in total quality control and Six Sigma.

Seven steps to identifying the important causes using Pareto Analysis [1]:

29 5’th May’09
1. Form a table listing the causes and their frequency as a percentage.

2. Arrange the rows in the decreasing order of importance of the causes, i.e. the most
important cause first.

3. Add a cumulative percentage column to the table.

4. Plot with causes on x-axis and cumulative percentage on y-axis.

5. Join the above points to form a curve.

6. Plot (on the same graph) a bar graph with causes on x-axis and percent frequency on y-axis.

7. Draw a line at 80% on y-axis parallel to x-axis. Then drop the line at the point of
intersection with the curve on x-axis. This point on the x-axis separates the important causes
on the left and less important causes on the right.

This is a simple example of a Pareto diagram using sample data showing the relative frequency of
causes for errors on websites. It enables one to see what 20% of cases are causing 80% of the
problems and where efforts should be focused to achieve the greatest improvement. 30


After having identified the problem and defined it using one of the techniques above, it is
time to solve the problem. There are a lot of tools available for problem solving. We are going to
look at 2 techniques which are easy to use and produce good results.

a) Options – Criteria Matrix b) Risk Payoff Matrix

30 5’th May’09

Also called weighted Matrix or Decision matrix, this tool is ideally used as a non
quantifying method. It is a matrix that pits criteria against options based on weighted scores awarded
to each after brainstorming with the team. It is useful in a situation when there are multiple problems
that have been identified and possible solutions have been discussed by the team. It helps lower the
scope of the actual number of issues. Criteria might include Cost, time, benefit, access etc.
a. Identify the criteria that will impact the implementation of the options. (Criteria)
b. Estimate the relative importance of the criteria. (Weights)
c. Estimate the difficulty of applying each criterion to the option. (Rating)
d. Calculate a value for the option by multiplying the option’s rating by the weight of its
criteria. (Score)



OF 4 4 16 2 8

GATHER 3 2 6 5 15

ACQUIRING 2 2 4 5 10

REUSE 1 1 1 5 5

e. The total score gives the value for that particular option and the option with the highest
total score can be chosen. 31


The risk / payoff matrix is a simple method that can be employed at the final stages of the problem
solving method. It is where, some solutions or ideas that have been arrived at and have been deemed
worthy of consideration, are individually fitted on a 2*2 Matrix where the risks and the payoffs
connected with the solution are weighed against each other and an action plan is drafted.

Let’s consider using computer notepads instead of traditional handheld notebooks in classrooms.



Notepads DO WITH


The risk involved here is most students might not be versatile with entering mathematical, biological
and chemical symbols on computerized notepads. The Payoff is class notes can be saved as
electronic data. The risk involved here is high because there might be situations when students have
to write and use a lot of symbols fast. Such important information can’t be missed out on. The
Payoff is storage although it is not great.

So the situation here is High Risk – Low Payoff. So it can be left alone. 32


31 10’th May’09
Creativity and Problem Solving Lowe Phil 1995 New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1995
To evaluate the given solution there exist quantifiable and non quantifiable methods. This
section of the paper will attempt to use one tool (non quantifiable method). Quantifiable tools are
those that can be used after software simulation. For these purposes there exist a lot of software
tools. One quantifiable method is the uses of cost benefit analysis.Non quantifiable tools include
general tools like the Quality – acceptance matrix.


This method of evaluation pits the costs involved in implementing a decision or a solution
against the benefits in the long and the short run. Some pointers to remember are:

There are direct costs and indirect costs. Direct costs are those that can be directly attributed to
purchasing machinery and labor. Indirect costs could include overheads and other factors including
time and life. When evaluating the costs and benefits it is important to have a common unit of
measurement for both the direct and indirect costs. Also important to remember is that there might
not be a return on investment (R.O.I) soon after implementation and one might have to wait for
returns and benefits depending on the scale of the project and its effectiveness. All these factors
have to be calculated on a common unit of measurement.


This method of evaluation compares and evaluates the quality of the decision or solution
being employed against the acceptance ratio. This evaluation method incorporates a human factor
into the equation. This could be used in places where an agreement has to be reached with the
people who are to be involved in the decision making and the implementing processes. The
following example considers the four results in different conditions.

1. High Quality / High Acceptance: A move to a new office involves satisfying specific
technical requirements and needs to be accepted by virtually everyone if it is to succeed.

2. High Quality / Low Acceptance: The purchase of a new computer will need to meet a
high quality threshold but not great acceptance from employees in general.

3. Low Quality / Low Acceptance: Solutions or decisions like hours of work (such as when
to set the lunch break) are of low quality but cause resentment among staff if not set right.

4. Low Quality / Low Acceptance: A simple solution or decision like changing the color of
the office wall is of low quality and does not need acceptance from everybody concerned.
Te following graph has the quality of the solution on the y axis and the acceptance on the x
axis. Four evaluations are possible in this method and therefore four results.








You have an apple, I have an apple. We share it and each of us ends with one. You have an
idea, I have an idea. We share it and each of us ends with two.

– Unknown.

This term paper has attempted to address the management of creativity in today’s context from the
perspectives of problem solving and critical thinking. The management of creativity gains
importance when it comes to successful leadership, innovative products and the eventual
sustainability of success for any company. Some of the tools that have been recommended here have
been proved to be highly successful and have been used and still continue to be used in a lot of
organizations for successful results. There are few techniques, methodologies, tools, software and
ideas that have found a mention in this analysis while many others have not owing to the scope and

Creativity and Problem Solving Lowe Phil 1995 New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1995
volume of this term paper. This term paper attempts to be a catalyst for further exploration and
understanding of the management of creativity and its importance for its readers.



3. Lecture Microsystems Engineering. Professor Dr. Michael Rüb FachochshuleJena WS‘08

David Wheeler and Maria Sillanpaa


7. Hands on System Innovation for Business and Management Darrell Mann Lazarus press UK 2004


9. The Art of Creative Thinking - How to be innovative and develop great ideas. Adair John.
London ; Philadelphia : Kogan Page Ltd, 2009 X, 133 S

10. When sparks fly: Igniting creativity in groups, Leonard Dorothy and Walter Swap, Harvard
business School 1999.

11. Design of precision devices Lecture WS 2008 – FH Jena – Nils Heidler






17. Creativity and Problem Solving Lowe Phil 1995 New York, NY: McGraw-Hill,