Notes from Gary Davis's Creativity is Forever -
1998 Kendall Hunt
The strategy originally was formulated by Alex Osborn (1963),
creator of brainstorming, founder of the Creative Education
Foundation (CEF) and co-founder of a highly successful
New York advertising agency.
Sidney Parnes, a bright and creative person who followed Osborn
as President of CEF, invested nearly 40 years teaching creativity
workshops and course and thinking about the creative process.
The model is usually presented as five steps, but sometimes a
preliminary step is added called mess-finding which involves
locating a challenge or problem to which to apply the model.
The total six stages are:
The steps guide the creative process. They tell you what to do at
each immediate step in orde to eventually produce one or more creative,
workable solutions. A unique feature is that each step first involves
a Divergent thinking phase in which one generates lots of ideas
(facts, problem definitions, ideas, evaluation criteria,
implementation strategies), and then a convergent phase in which only
the most promising ideas are selected for further exploration.
- Mess-finding (Objective Finding)
- Solution finding (Idea evaluation)
- Acceptance-finding (Idea implementation)
The Osborne-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process
Notes from the CPSI 1998 brochure.
|Identify Goal, Wish, Challenge
||Clarify the Problem
||Select & Strengthen Solutions
||Plan for Action
What is the goal, wish, or challenge upon which you want to work?
||What's the situation or background? What are all the facts, questions,
data, feelings that are involved
||What is the problem that really needs to be focuses on? What is the concern
that really needs to be addressed?
||What are all the possible solutions for how to solve the problem?
||How can you strengthen the solution? WHow can you select the solutions to know
which one will work best?
||What are all the action steps that need to take place in order
to implement your solution?
Some suggestions for activities at the various stages:
OF - Use this checklist of questions prepared by Parnes in 1981
to prod your thinking:
FF - Use Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions
- What would would you like to get out of life?
- What are your goals, as yet unfilled?
- What would you like to accomplish, to achieve?
- What would you like to have?
- What would you like to do?
- What would you like to do better?
- What would you like to happen?
- In what ways are you inefficient?
- What would would you like to organise in a better way?
- What ideas would you like to get going?
- What relationship would you like to improve?
- What would you like to get others to do?
- What takes too long?
- What is wasted?
- What barriers or bottlenecks exist?
- What wdo you wish you had more time for?
- What do you wish you had more money for?
- What makes you angry, tense or anxious?
- What do you complain about?
PF - Listing alternative definitions of the problem
- Who is or should be involved?
- What is or is not happening?
- When does this or should this happen?
- Where does or doesnt this occur?
- Why does it or doesnt it happen?
- How does it or doesn't it occur?
- ...and so on
One principle of creative problem solving is that the definition of
a problem will determine th enature of the solutions. In this step it
helps to begin each statement with "In what ways might we (or I)...."
IF - The divergent-thinking, brainstorming stage. This is where
a variety of idea-generation ("creativity") techniques can be use. Ideas
are freely proposed without criticism or evaluation, for each of the
problem definitions accepted in the second stage.
- What is the real problem?
- What is the main objective?
- What do you really want to accomplish?
- Whay do I want to do this?
SF - Three related steps:
Criteria might include:
- Criteria for evaluation listed
- The ideas are evaluated (evaluation matrix is useful)
- One or more of the best ideas are selected
AF - ways to get the ideas into action.This may involved creating
an action plan, which is a plan containing specific step to be taken and
a timetable for taking them.
- Will it work?
- Is it legal?
- Are the materials and technology available?
- Are the costs acceptable?
- Will the public accept it?
- Will higher-level administrators accept it?
Return to the Brain Page or the Creativity Web.