Creative Quotient

**By Bruce Nussbaum   Article


Design Thinking Is A Failed Experiment. So What’s Next?

The decade of Design Thinking is ending and I, for one, am moving on to another conceptual framework: Creative Intelligence, or CQ. I am writing a book about Creative Intelligence, due out from HarperCollins in fall 2012, and I hope to have a conversation with the Fast Company audience on this blog about how we should teach, measure, and use CQ. …

Design Thinking originally offered the world of big business–which is defined by a culture of process efficiency–a whole new process that promised to deliver creativity. By packaging creativity within a process format, designers were able to expand their engagement, impact, and sales inside the corporate world. Companies were comfortable and welcoming to Design Thinking because it was packaged as a process. …

From the beginning, the process of Design Thinking was a scaffolding for the real deliverable: creativity. But in order to appeal to the business culture of process, it was denuded of the mess, the conflict, failure, emotions, and looping circularity that is part and parcel of the creative process. In a few companies, CEOs and managers accepted that mess along with the process and real innovation took place. In most others, it did not. …

But it was creativity that Design Thinking was originally supposed to deliver and it is to creativity that I now turn directly and purposefully. Creativity is an old concept, far older than “design.” But it is an inclusive concept. In my experience, when you say the word “design” to people across a table, they tend to smile politely and think “fashion.” Say “design thinking,” and they stop smiling and tend to lean away from you. But say “creativity” and people light up and lean in toward you.

Everyone likes creativity because everyone believes they are, or were, or can be creative. And they are right. The truth is that the best scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, soldiers, CEOs, sports coaches, hockey players, and World of Warcraft players are all creative. That scaffolding of Design Thinking, that collection of behaviors is the heart and sole of creativity. It includes being attuned to the people and culture you are immersed in and having the experience, wisdom, and knowledge to frame the real problem and–most important of all perhaps–the ability to create and enact solutions. …

At this point, I am defining Creative Intelligence as the ability to frame problems in new ways and to make original solutions. You can have a low or high ability to frame and solve problems, but these two capacities are key and they can be learned. I place CQ within the intellectual space of gaming, scenario planning, systems thinking and, of course, design thinking. It is a sociological approach in which creativity emerges from group activity, not a psychological approach of development stages and individual genius.’ - Article




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