What great ideas did you have

Key Competencies Kit
for Facing Lifelong Learning


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Lesson 3




Key factors of creativity

3 TU

Creativity and innovation in identifying problems and researching possible solutions;

What is creativity There are many definitions of creativity and all of them relate to inventiveness and originality.
We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing our view of the world and our relationship with it. Creativity doesn't just have to be about developing new things, it actually has more to do with developing new things about ourselves.
Creativity is the ability:

  • To produce something new through imagination, either a new problem-solving or a new method or an object or an artistic object.
  • Bringing up ideas or alternatives that help solve problems through communication and engagement with others and with ourselves.

Creativity and innovation are closely related, but different. Innovation requires creativity in order to turn new ideas into new products or processes.
To be creative you have to be able to see things in new ways or from different perspectives. Among other things, you need to develop new possibilities or alternatives. This ability does not come about by chance; it is tied to basic ways of thinking, flexibility and open-mindedness in thinking.
Creativity can be nurtured, encouraged, and cultivated, just as it can be weakened and even destroyed.
Most of us were very creative as kids. But as they grew up, many lost the ability to approach things with fresh and new ideas. No matter what work we currently have, we need the ability to be creative in order to find new or better ways to do things. Would you like to improve your creativity? Do you think more creativity would enrich your life?
Take some time to figure out what creativity means to you before answering yes or no to this question.
Perhaps you think a creative person should be a painter, an artist, or a book author. All of these people express themselves artistically and can be called creative even if no one else likes what they are doing.
What about a single mother who conjures up healthy meals for little money? Isn't that creative?
What about an entrepreneur who has an idea for a new product, sets up a company to produce it and may employ hundreds of people? Doesn't that require creativity?


Can we improve our creativity? Yes, it is actually fun and easy to learn to be more creative.
As mentioned earlier, most of us were very creative as children, even before we learned the official rules of how things should be. We can revive our ability to be creative by exploring some of the many techniques that have been developed to encourage creativity and problem-solving skills.
Techniques for promoting creativity are e.g. brainstorming and creative thinking.
Creative problem solving is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is not learned with the support of others, but is found completely independently.
Creative problem solving always includes creativity, but conversely, creativity does not always include creative problem solving. Especially in areas such as art, poetry and music, creativity requires novelty as a characteristic of what is created, but does not automatically imply that the result is valuable or appreciated by other people.
All innovations begin as creative problem solutions, but not every creative solution becomes an innovation.



The problem-solving process consists of a number of steps that fit together depending on the nature of the problem to be solved. These are:

  • Definition of the problem.
  • Analysis of the problem.
  • Generating problem solutions
  • Analysis of the solutions.
  • Choosing the best solution (s).
  • Planning the implementation

You can learn more about problem solving in module 6 "Social skills" (unit 4 problem solving).



A normal problem-solving process requires that you first define what problem you want to solve. You have to decide what you want to achieve and write it down.


Often people keep the problem in mind as a vague idea that is then lost again so that no solution seems to really fit. But just writing down a problem forces you to think about what is really going to be achieved.
In addition, you need to check that you are really looking for answers to the real problem. It cannot be a side problem or part of the problem, for which quick solutions can often be found. It is often forgotten to check whether solving the problem really solves the fundamental problem.
Recognizing the cause of a problem is crucial to whether or not a problem resolution will be effective later. You also need a number of criteria for assessing solutions, otherwise you will not be able to tell whether an idea is feasible or not. Often, on closer inspection, one discovers that the problem is very different from what the initial interpretation suggested.
The process we use when we have a new idea is called creative thinking. And through the use of special techniques, creative thinking can also be used to further develop creativity.
New ideas arise when two or more ideas are combined that have never been combined before. The creativity process then looks like this:

Once you have a new idea, the harder part comes, which is making the idea feasible and usable as a problem-solving tool.

Practical steps towards creativity:
Almost every creative idea includes a possible solution to the problem.
Before you start developing solutions, make the problem a task. When you start coming up with solutions to the wrong problem, you might have great ideas, but you might also have bad solutions.
1. The best way to turn a problem into a task is to write the problem in the center of a white piece of paper and then ask yourself, “Why is this a problem?”, “Who or what is causing this problem ? "," What's behind this? "," What other things are at stake? "And so on. Keep asking" Why? "Until you can no longer find the answers yourself. Write all the answers on this piece of paper Now you will see the basic problem and the key question, let's call this the "big problem."
2. The next step is now to divide the “big problem” into one or more small tasks. Tasks should be written down in the following way:

  • "In what way can I / can we ...?"
  • "How can I / can we ...?"
  • "What kind of ... could I / could we ...?"

Keep your tasks as simple as possible. Avoid:

  • Limiting Criteria. Limiting criteria block creativity. Keep this out of the task and only use it when it comes to evaluating the ideas later.
  • Combining one or more tasks into a single task. Combining one or more tasks into a single task (e.g. "How can we earn more and work less?") It is best to divide such tasks into several individual tasks and then go through them individually. Start with the most important task.
  • Ambiguous tasks. A task like "I need money" is unclear and is likely to result in unclear ideas. Make your tasks clear to everyone. And formulate the tasks as shown above.

Once you have formulated your problems, you will find it remarkably easy to generate solutions that solve the problems. Before you start thinking about it, however, there are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • First, just come up with ideas, nothing more. Only when you really can't think of anything new can you choose and think about which ones could be realized.
  • When developing ideas, whether alone or in a group, refrain from any criticism. It is important that you allow any idea, no matter how nonsensical or impossible. The dumbest ideas are often the most creative and inspiring ideas.
  • Don't stop right after the first idea that occurs to you. The first idea is seldom the most creative, if only because it was the most obvious. It is better to collect many ideas and then choose them.

So the secret behind it is to come up with big ideas, to start with a big task. And then to come up with ideas, come up with ideas, come up with ideas.




Common myths about creativity

1. "I'm not creative". The truth is, of course, we are all creative. And while some of us are more creative than others, we can all have very creative ideas. The problem is that as we grow up we learn to hide our creativity, because of work or good manners, or simply because we grow up.
2. “That's a stupid or ridiculous idea”. This is what people say to each other and to themselves. Hence, many believe that they are not creative because they have adopted censorship habits that forbid them to have “stupid” ideas. The next time you have an idea, even if it sounds "stupid," allow yourself the idea and think about how you could improve the idea.
3. “Creative people always have great ideas”. Like it or not, creative people always have ideas and share them with other people (often with those who then think the ideas are “stupid.” Of all these ideas, a few are very good. Some are mediocre, and some are really stupid. But over time we forget the stupid ideas of creative people and only remember the great and good ones, and it looks like these people have only had good ideas.



There are a number of reasons why good ideas often don't turn into real innovations. Sometimes it is because an idea that is excellent in concept then shows weaknesses in implementation.



Answers to the questions and exercises for unit 3


Exercise 1


Exercise 2


Exercise 3