One of the main activities we do in class and online is practicing the development of many possible ideas. Over a set period of time and in response to an object a word or a picture, we try to generate as many possible ideas or answers. There are two guiding ideas behind this exercise. First, through practice, we'll become more rapid in our thinking and build the ability to create multiple ideas. And secondly, we will develop our ability so suspend judgement and examine a wider range of ideas. Why do this? One as Pauling, Nobel Prize winner once said, the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Having more ideas, the first step to having a higher level of creativity and to be able to generate good and great ideas. This part of creativity is called divergent thinking. You shouldn't stop at the very first idea you come up with. If you generate more ideas, you might discover ideas that are interesting, amusing, or even earth shattering. And as Pauling also said, the best way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away. In this part, keeping the good ideas and improving them is called convergent thinking. One of the main constraints in developing a lot of ideas is our own brain, and our maturity. We know what other people expect, what society often wants, and the fact that there are wrong answers. In generation of new ideas, the expected, the wanted, and the wrong don't matter. We need to go past our own limiting thoughts and controlling judgments, and find ideas that are unusual, might be weird, stupid, and absurd. And make sure they get noticed, because that idea that seems weird, the concept that they say is absurd, or the object that's so unusual might be what we're all looking for. As Albert Einstein said, if the idea is not absurd, there's no hope for it. We're going to do a brief exercise in brain writing. Get out a piece of paper and something to write with. Now list everything you can do with a binder clip, like this. Most people are familiar with binder clips as a regular thing in many offices. List things that you can do with binder clips that are regular size or large like this one or as big as a car. What could you do if you had a thousand binder clips delivered to your house? What would happen if they were different colors? You've got 90 seconds now to come up with as many of these ideas as you can. There are no wrong answers or weird answers or absurd answers. Go for volume. [BLANK_AUDIO] So in general, when this is done in class, we get people to have two, three, or 14 answers to the challenges. If you have 14 or more, please raise your hand. Okay, through the magic of computer video, we really can't see you very well, but congratulations. That's a really strong response. If you have less, have no fear, because we'll be practicing this exercise a lot. And in doing so, you'll increase the number of your responses. This is, by the way, the way creativity is measured. You've [INAUDIBLE] the testing and we've done, you've seen it again. This is a measurement called fluency and refers to the ability to come up with a lot of answers. I've seen class include chip bag closers, really painful earrings, clothing adjustments, tie clips, a Barbie purse, a money clip, an exercise device for your fingers, sort of like a thigh master, and even a really large binder clip as a sculpture to replace the Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg. The second measurement that's often done with creativity is called originality and counts the uniqueness and unusualness of the ideas. If you had answers that weren't on the list I gave you above, that's great. It's another indicator of more creative answers. Most people do, but we all could use ways to generate more ideas. We could use other ways to spur us to kind of move forward. Another thing we can do is to get people used to the idea of just writing as many words as possible on a page, even just what they are thinking at the time. It might go something like this, this paper is really white and my pen is running out of ink and I don't have any more answers, but I wish I was sitting next to the window. Well, just try and write down whatever comes to your head and as fast as possible while maintaining your legibility. This simple exercise sometimes speeds up the generation of new idea. Let's try this for 60 seconds and see how many words you can write. It doesn't have to make sense, but it does need to be legible. [BLANK_AUDIO] This was a simple warm up. Just like jogging before a race or stretching, practice is one way we can come up with more answers. We'll do that throughout the course. Another thing that may be holding us back is our own assumptions and behavioral constraints. We're trying to be logical, or trying to be funny, or realistic but just not silly. We can try this again with a different object, again over 90 seconds. And this time, let's see how many weird ideas you can come up with for what you can do with a paperclip. Again, write down as many different ideas that you can think of in this short time. This time, let yourself be wild and crazy, as well as simple and pragmatic. Let's start, let's go for 90 seconds. [BLANK_AUDIO] Again, count your answers. Did you come up with more than before? Hope so. But, this is a skill that will build your other creative traits. Some common answers I've seen are sculpture, toothpick, earring, picking a lock, hairpin and tie clasp. Your answer could be different and can go off in a lot of different directions. Next, you can try this in other contexts like while brushing your teeth. See the accompanying videos for that. For additional ways of this mode of thinking, they'll be very helpful. This one will grow with a lot of practice.