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Practical Creativity and Innovation in Systems Engineering by Avner Engel

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Part IIICreative Methods

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

3.1 Introduction to Part III

Fundamentally, creative methods may be partitioned along two axes, (1) divergent versus convergent creative methods and (2) creative methods primarily appropriate to individuals versus creative methods primarily appropriate to teams. These general partitions are not absolute, but it is quite convenient to partition the creative methods into these four categories.

Along the first axis, divergent creative methods help in generating multiple creative solutions characterized by the following attributes: (1) fluency – the generation of many responses or ideas, (2) flexibility – changing the form or modifying information, or shifting perspectives, (3) originality – generating unusual or novel ideas, and (4) elaboration – augmenting ideas with details. Convergent creative methods differ qualitatively from divergent methods, in that they attempt to identify one or very few optimal solutions from a larger set of available ones for a given problem. Along the second axis, some creative methods are primarily appropriate for individuals, whereas some other creative methods are primarily appropriate for teams.

The following “Part III: Creative Methods,” describes 21 creative methods organized in four chapters (Chapter 3.2 to Chapter 3.5) as depicted in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1 Structure of the first four chapters in Part III

In addition, there ...

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