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Conception of Creativity in Mathematical Problem

Question:

Discuss about the Conception of Creativity in Mathematical Problem.

Answer:

Introduction

The current assignment focuses on the different aspects of entrepreneurship and the application of the same within an organizational setup.  Entrepreneurship covers the different tactics and skills which are applied in order to solve the different business dilemmas. There are different approaches to entrepreneurship some of which have been discussed over here. The creativity approach to entrepreneurship has recently been gaining importance as it helps in the development of novel ideas which can help the organization gain a competitive advantage over its similar market players. Creation and creativity lies at the center of organizational success. The creative approach is not authoritative in nature rather it follows a facilitative environment. Therefore, the views and the opinions of the employees working within the organization finds a center place in the implementation of creative thinking skills and problem shooting approaches. 

However, there are a number of factors which hinders practicing of creative thinking skills within an organization. For example, the fear of social failure also prevents the individuals working within an organization to share their ideas. Therefore, at the center of applying the creative thinking skills lay factors such as social anxiety and fear regarding approval. For facilitating creativity an environment needs to be developed which is free of judgments and criticisms.     

Different theoretical approaches to creative problem solving

There are different problem solving process of creativity within an organization. Some of which have been discussed with regards to different theories and models such as the brainstorming approach of problem solving and Walla’s model of the creative process.  In this respect, brainstorming can help in generating a number of ideas on a specific issue. As commented by Brenkert (2017), the ideas generated through brain storming can be reviewed in order to analyse which amongst them is the best fit approach. The brainstorming activities are performed within a small group of people of 8-12 and within a relaxed environment. It is based upon the concepts of applied imagination. The implementation of the brainstorming sessions are associated with a huge number of benefits such as boosting morale, enhancing work enjoyment and improving overall team productivity. For effective brainstorming sessions a facilitator is required along with a suitable and relaxing environment (Kirzner 2015). The classic brainstorming sessions are held for a maximum of 90 minutes time. From the bucket list of ideas generated five best possible ideas are selected and are rated on a scale of 1-5. As mentioned by Savery (2015), the best idea is the one with highest score. As mentioned by Edwards-Schachter  et al. (2015), a number of minds thinking over the same topic could result in dead ends and confusions. One of the biggest challenges associated with brainstorming is that most of the times the participants in a team are afraid to provide risky solutions, which stems from a fear of group criticisms.

Additionally, a model was proposed for creative problem solving by the researcher Graham Wallas. There are four different stages of the model which could be describes as follows such as the preparation stage, the incubation stage, the illumination stage and the verification stage. In the preparation stage, the problem is defined and a criterion is set up for verifying the acceptability of the solution. In the incubation the solution to the specific problem is contemplated and can last to minute, weeks or even years.  As commented by Anderson  et al. (2014), in the incubation stage the unconscious thought process is at work.  During the incubation stage, the conscious mind takes a backstage and the sub-conscious mind does the mental processing (Edwards-Schachter  et al. 2015). The illumination stage is the moment when the thought actually comes to the mind. In the verification stage the activities are carried out to ascertain whether all the ideas, which emerged through the incubation and the illumination process actually satisfies the need. Therefore, depending upon the organizational situations the creative thought processes are applied. For example, the business organization is going through a number of different turmoil; the combinatorial thought process can help in resolving the issue. The implementation of the brainstorming activities and sessions helps in the collaboration of different minds which could help in the generation of a creative and new idea (Chuang et al. 2015). However, the role of the facilitator is of immense importance in ruling out the biases during the brainstorming sessions. In this respect, the decision making skills and expertise of the facilitator plays the central role in removing the different biases.

Comparison of different theoretical approaches in workplace setting

The different theoretical approaches could be compared with respect to a business organization. The affectivity of the theories applied within an actual workplace could be further discussed over here with respect to brainstorming and Walla’s model. The brainstorming session and activities have been particularly helpful in generating new and innovative ideas, which can help the organization come out with better products and services.  Additionally, the thinking of like minds together can help in promoting effective team binding which can further enhance the productivity and the creativity of an organization.   Since more than one person is involved in thinking and the trouble shooting a huge number of ideas are generated. Therefore, from many of these ideas one is selected which is justified as the most novel idea. However, the bunch of ideas generated in the thought process helps in the development of preferences (Csikszentmihalyi and Sawyer 2014).As supported by Goetsch and Davis (2014), some of the ideas generated could be involved in advanced contingency planning. Additionally, the brainstorming sessions can enrich the thought process of the employees. This further helps in enhancing the interpersonal skills of the employees. However as supported by Janssen  et al. (2015), there are a number of limitations of brainstorming as too much of speculation on a single topic or issue can even make a small problem look big. The influence from peers acts as a major drawback in implementing and conducting effective brainstorming sessions (Edwards-Schachter et al. 2015). This is because the opinions of an individual can hugely influence the perspective of a different individual.  As argued by Brenkert (2017), most of the times individuals are afraid to share or confront their original idea within a group.

On the other hand the Walla’s model of the creativity process centers around an individual self and progresses though a number of slow gradual steps. As commented by Goetsch  and Davis (2014), the level of creativity is low over here due to limited think tanks. However, the model mainly places importance upon the power of sub-conscious mind to come out with a best fit solution. In this process, the individuals are contributing at their own level without much interference or suppression from the group. As mentioned by AlMutairi (2015), the implementation of the Walla’s creative thinking cycle is associated with generating high quality and at length thought about ideas.  The entire model had been divided into a number of stages which provides the problem solver with sufficient time to think more constructively. Additionally, the incubation phase shifts the focus to the sub-conscious mind where all the activity begins (Gilhooly et al. 2015).  However, there are limitations as the entire process is centered on one person. Therefore, there is much pressure on the problem solver to come up with a widely accepted idea.  Additionally, the entire process is executed in a delayed manner whereas in the brainstorming sessions there are stricter time limits.

However, within an organizational setup brainstorming activities have been seen to produce better results. As mentioned by Montag-Smit and Maertz (2017), the brainstorming activities could be conducted in some simple easy sessions such as – knowing the user, detailed thinking and prototype formation. This kind of an approach has been picked up by Google for bringing forth more creativity to the table. At Google freestyle brainstorming is the process of innovation rather than throwing around simple random ideas. It has adopted a linear process for brainstorming which starts with knowing the customer better. For example, Google uses the stories, emotions and ideas of people for building and development of a process or solution (Janssen et al. 2015).  In this  respect, the  aspect of effective communication may vary across different countries,  as some  countries  may like  the certain features of  digital communication  more  than others. For example, in Brazil people spend a lot of time in commuting. Hence, they emphasized more upon the provision of great interface and voice control. On the other hand, accessing connectivity   is still an issue in certain parts of India.  Therefore, the customers have placed more emphasis upon some of the offline features.

The different problem solving processes can be further evaluated depending upon the current organizational situation. In this respect, the practice of brainstorming has been seen to be more productive compared to the Walla’s creative thinking process. However, the success of the process depends much upon its mode of dissemination. For example, at Google the brainstorming activities are supported by 10X thinking process. It is implemented in order to improve the process gaps by 10 times rather than 10% (Burke 2017).  As argued by Montag-Smit and Maertz (2017), most of the times the brainstorming sessions end on a note of meeting up next time. However, instead a prototype development can help in dealing with the problem more effectively. Here, much of the thought process is transformed into physical manifestations. As argued by Mann  et al. (2017), in the brainstorming sessions participation from each and every member in the think tank committee is an absolute necessity. In the lack of effective support and participation the organization fails to arrive at an approvable decision.  Brainstorming supports frees speech and creativity within the employees which helps in the generation of new ideas (Sadler-Smith 2015). One of the most positive attributes of brainstorming is that it calls for equal participation from each and every employee. Therefore, it helps in furnishing a positive and effective work environment within the organization.

On the other hand, the Walla’s creative thinking process is a stepwise and gradual process which focuses upon idea generation through gradual steps. However, undertaking the Walla’s creative thinking process could be beneficial as it helps in arriving at detailed concepts through analysis of facts and numbers. Therefore, the processing is much more detailed over here through application of effectively worked out logic, whereas in brainstorming randomly thought ideas are put forward.  However as argued by Runco (2014), in the brainstorming sessions there are constant arguments and critics of the theories and ideas proposed by individuals, which can lead to removal  of the gaps in the individual thought processes.

Conclusion

The current assignment focuses on the aspect of different problem solving approaches within organization and the manner of generation of new and innovative ideas. Therefore, creativity has been placed at the centre of the organizational processes. The organization in order to gain a competitive advantage over others needs to come out with innovative products and services.  However, the thinking and the decision making skills forms an integral part of the problem solving approaches of an organization. A number of different theories and models have been discussed over here such as the process of brainstorming and Walla’s creative thinking process. The wallas’ creative thinking process is divided into a number of different steps and takes a huge amount of time where the thinking and the problem solving happens at an individual level rather than in groups. On the other hand the brainstorming process involves effort from each and every team member. Therefore, the innovation status quo is high over here. However, there are a number of limitations of implementing the brainstorming process such as the willingness of each and every team member to support as well as promote the idea of each other.  In the lack of support and encouragement from the peers within a group often the most innovative ideas are suppressed. Additionally, the success of the brainstorming activities lies effectively on the shoulders of the facilitators as the biasness of opinion can hamper the quality of the results. However, implementing such activities can promote team bonding within an organization along with removing the burden on individual self to come up with innovative ideas.

References

AlMutairi, A.N.M., 2015. The Effect of Using Brainstorming Strategy in Developing Creative Problem Solving Skills among Male Students in Kuwait: A Field Study on Saud Al-Kharji School in Kuwait City. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(3), pp.136-145.

Anderson, N., Potočnik, K. and Zhou, J., 2014. Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of Management, 40(5), pp.1297-1333.

Brenkert, G.G., 2017. Entrepreneurship, ethics, and the good society. In Entrepreneurship (pp. 85-128). Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 56-85.

Burke, W.W., 2017. Organization change: Theory and practice. London: Sage Publications, pp. 91-101.

Chuang, F.M., Morgan, R.E. and Robson, M.J., 2015. Customer and competitor insights, new product development competence, and new product creativity: differential, integrative, and substitution effects. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(2), pp.175-182.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. and Sawyer, K., 2014. Shifting the focus from individual to organizational creativity. In The systems model of creativity (pp. 67-71). Springer, Dordrecht.

Edwards-Schachter, M., García-Granero, A., Sánchez-Barrioluengo, M., Quesada-Pineda, H. and Amara, N., 2015. Disentangling competences: Interrelationships on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 16, pp.27-39.

Gilhooly, K.J., Georgiou, G.J., Sirota, M. and Paphiti-Galeano, A., 2015. Incubation and suppression processes in creative problem solving. Thinking & Reasoning, 21(1), pp.130-146.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson, pp.165-189.

Janssen, C.P., Gould, S.J., Li, S.Y., Brumby, D.P. and Cox, A.L., 2015. Integrating knowledge of multitasking and interruptions across different perspectives and research methods, pp. 104-156.

Kirzner, I.M., 2015. Competition and entrepreneurship. University of Chicago press, pp. 105-212.

Mann, E.L., Chamberlin, S.A. and Graefe, A.K., 2017. The Prominence of Affect in Creativity: Expanding the Conception of Creativity in Mathematical Problem Solving. In Creativity and Giftedness (pp. 57-73). Springer, Cham.

Montag-Smit, T. and Maertz Jr, C.P., 2017. Searching outside the box in creative problem solving: The role of creative thinking skills and domain knowledge. Journal of Business Research, 81, pp.1-10.

Runco, M.A., 2014. Creativity: Theories and themes: Research, development, and practice. London: Elsevier, pp.222-235.

Sadler-Smith, E., 2015. Wallas’ four-stage model of the creative process: More than meets the eye?. Creativity Research Journal, 27(4), pp.342-352.

Savery, J.R., 2015. Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Essential readings in problem-based learning: Exploring and extending the legacy of Howard S. Barrows, 9, pp.5-15.

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