Creative problem-solving is the process of redefining problems and opportunities, coming up with new, innovative responses and solutions, and then taking action. Responses from the Adobe-commissioned global Creative Problem-Solving study highlight that creative problem-solving is “the one skill that’s critical to success, now and in the future.” For seniors as well as youth. For society as a whole as well as for us individually.
Thinking Outside the Box
Posting in City Lab, May 8, Amal Ahmed applied lateral thinking to a complex and divisive issue. So many Americans are lining up on one side or the other of the decision about whether or not to build a border wall. Ahmed’s creative problem-solving approach was to side step the yes or no debate altogether. Asking “What if?” opens the conversation lens and enables us to see a bigger picture. His solution might just pull many of us into greater harmony. Old and young, left and right, urban and rural, north and south.
Don’t fail to read Ahed’s idea. Use it to inspire your own creative problem-solving to fly free. Instead of a Border Wall, How About a ‘Clean Energy Corridor’?
Older Adults are Good Problem Solvers
“Researchers have discovered that older adults tend to be better at creative problem solving compared to younger adults. Scientists researched over 100 studies of people involving problem solving and aging from 1960 to 2016. They reviewed data on people’s behavior and evidence from their brain scans.”
The study revealed that people who had poorer concentration and who were easily distracted were better at tasks that required creativity. Lynn Hasher, a co-author of the paper and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto said “This is especially surprising because the ability to focus has previously been seen as a basic requirement for learning.” So next time you’re in the kitchen and get distracted by a canister out of line on the counter then can’t recall what you came in for in the first place, don’t be so hard on yourself.
The researchers found that older people’s concentration and their capacity to avoid distraction was weaker than younger adult’s. However, people who had poorer concentration and who were easily distracted were better at tasks that required creativity. This may have helped the older people to achieve better results on some creativity and problem-solving tasks. The scientists were amazed at the strength of the findings. We older adults may forget where we put our keys, but when it comes to thinking up creative ways to raise funds for our passion projects, we’re on it.
Are You a Critical Thinker?
Want to assess your creative problem-solving skills? Your ability to apply critical thinking as you work with a team? Try this, Reflecting on Personal Creative and Critical Thinking Skills.
Information for this post was adapted from:
The Adobe Blog, 9-5-2018, Why Creative Problem-Solving and Lifelong Learning Should Anchor 21st Century Education.