Richard Bach’s story Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a very insightful work about innovators and innovation. I’m not going to give a lengthy review of it except that I recommend reading it. Leave the breakfast flock and learn how to truly fly.
I have been reading Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight and began thinking about creativity and convention as right brain parallel and left brain linear functions respectively. I also began to think about David Bryson’s Circadian Theory of Learning and related research where left brain linear learning seems to dominate the waking state and right brain parallel learning seems to dominate the sleeping state.
Concludes Walker, “These findings point to an important benefit [of sleep] that we had not previously considered. Sleep not only strengthens a person’s individual memories, it appears to actually knit them together and helps realize how they are associated with one another. And this may, in fact, turn out to be the primary goal of sleep: You go to bed with pieces of the memory puzzle, and awaken with the jigsaw completed.”
My work with systems has me thinking about Cursive and Recursive relationships and how they might play out as right brain and left brain phenomena as well where right brain cursive relationships interrelate and left brain recursive relationships intrarelate.
Finally, I am thinking about John Zachman’s Enterprise Architecture and the creation of Collections, Associations and Attributions as right brain functions and Objections, Definitions and Operations as left brain functions.
Here is the video of Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED.com presentation
I have just finished reading a Cutter Consortium white paper entitled The Psychology and Motivation of Creativity and Innovation by Paul Robertson. I found it quite interesting and it gave me some insight into the Six Hats model.
Paul describes a three ring model as illustrated below:
The Substantial World is the external world of your senses. The Structural World is the Substantial World you have accepted as rational. The Conceptual World is the Structural world you think within habitually. It should be noted that the Substantial World is a subset of the Real World, the Structural World is a subset of the Substantial World and the Conceptual World is a subset of the Structural World.
When we are thinking habitually we are using intelligence:
When we cross the boundary between habitual and rational thought we are using innovation:
When we cross the boundary between rational and external thought we are using creativity:
The Creative world is the world of values that do not fall within the domain of the Innovative world and the Innovative world is the world of values that do not fall within the context of the Intelligent world.
Here is the same concept represented as the Six Focuses of Database Design:
From the above illustration you can see that creativity involves incorporating data manipulation and data definition into the domains and attributes; innovation involves incorporating data domains and data attributes into the relationships and entities; and intelligence involves utilizing existing relationships and entities.
I want to point out that I do not necessarily agree with this concept because I believe the six hats can be top down as well as bottom up. What I mean to say is creativity can come from the front lines as well as from senior positions.
I first became aware of Amy Tan’s work through the movie Joy Luck Club. In this TED.com video Amy Tan attempts to answer the question “Where does Creativity Hide?” and I think she answers the question very well. Creativity lies in surrendering your viewpoint and adopting another to find the void of uncertainty that resides there and discovering a new incomplete truth that fills it. The viewpoint, the void and what fills it are obvious all along.
I have just come from Hong Kong University’s Critical Thinking Web which offers OpenCourseWare on critical thinking, logic and creativity. It may seem strange to use such a source at first, but where better than right on the political firewall between China and the world.
Check your firewalls, anti-virusware, anti-spyware; read your constitution; holy book and enjoy.
Came across the Open Source Innovation blog today. It is not the way I would present innovative thinking, however it introduces many different techniques and good books on the topic.