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Using Creative Thinking to Solve Problems

July 24, 2013 8:00AM 9:15AM Anna Thiele


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SESSION DESCRIPTION
Thinking creatively can be a challenging task yet it can produce high-

quality solutions to difficult problems. This session, designed for both


Senior Corps and AmeriCorps program staff, provides a high level overview of why creative thinking is important to our work, outlines tactics/questions that will help break away from our normal thinking patterns, and demonstrates a hands-on creative thinking activity that can be used as an effective strategy for coming up with out-of-the-box solutions for challenges we face in National Service. This is a very interactive session and attendees should come prepared to practice creative thinking (early in the morning) so be sure to caffeinate!
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Mission
OneStar Foundation connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas.

Vision
OneStar Foundation envisions Texas having the strongest, most effective nonprofit sector in the country.

SESSION OUTCOMES

Understand why creative thinking matters and how this relates to our work. Identify a toolkit of strategies to encourage creative thinking.

Practice creative thinking via an interactive exercise.


Understand how to adapt the toolkit of strategies and the interactive exercise to encourage creative thinking at your commission/program.

SESSION AGENDA

Why is Creative Thinking Important? Creative Warm-ups Mental Blocks

Creative Strategies
Unloading The Plane Activity

WHY PRACTICE CREATIVE THINKING?

Why do you think its important to practice thinking creatively?

WHY PRACTICE CREATIVE THINKING?

Promotes emotional, social, cognitive and physical development. Encourages openness to diversity and new ideas.

Promotes compassion.
Encourages ongoing learning. In an increasingly challenging grant and financial environment, we have to do more with less.
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WHY PRACTICE CREATIVE THINKING? Most important leadership qualities over the next five years

http://www.fastcompany.com/1648943/most-important-leadership-quality-ceos-creativity
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CREATIVE WARM-UPS

If we eliminate all plastic bags in the world, then . And that would mean that .

List ways to drink water WITHOUT holding the glass with your hands.

CREATIVE WARM-UPS

Think of ways to remove a mouse stuck in a 3 foot


pipe without injuring or killing the mouse or destroying the pipe.

Why do we have eyebrows?

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NATIONAL SERVICE CHALLENGES

Your supervisor/federal agency/state


commission tells you that you need to come up with a plan to do ________________________.

Fill in the blank with a very challenging yet measureable goal that youve been given.

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MENTAL BLOCKS

What other mental blocks have you heard

from others (or yourself)?

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MENTAL BLOCKS

Im not creative. Being wrong is bad. Being a serious person.

Following rules.
Being practical/logical. Trying to find the right answer. Play is not work.
http://www.copyblogger.com/mental-blocks-creative-thinking/
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CREATIVE STRATEGIES

Combine Reverse: Eliminate: Alternative: Twist: Extend:

Can I combine something in a new way? Can I reverse some parts of process here? Can I eliminate or remove some part or process? Can I use alternative methods or materials? Can I twist things around a bit? Can I extend, elaborate or add something?

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UNLOADING THE PLANE

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UNLOADING THE PLANE

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UNLOADING THE PLANE

Idea Generation
100% 80%

Brain Usage

60% 40% 20% 0% 0 Minutes 1 Minutes 2 Minutes 3 Minutes

Minutes
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UNLOADING THE PLANE

Asset Utilization

Grant Funds Spent Grants Funds Unspent

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UNLOADING THE PLANE

Lets do some creative thinking


about the National Service

challenges you face!

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SESSION OUTCOMES

Questions? Feedback?
Credit: Franz Ehrhardt CASCA Consulting

Anna Thiele Senior Grants Officer 512-287-2016 anna@onestarfoundation.org

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www.onestarfoundation.org

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