March Madness, Scientific American, and Engineering Creativity

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While the NCAA is celebrating March Madness this month, Scientific American and Eogogics are celebrating Creativity, SciAm with its cover story exploring the evolutionary origins of human creativity and Eogogics with its Engineering Creativity Celebration, starting today and lasting well into April.

An article on the Eogogics website (www.eogogics.com) delves into why we all – engineers and non-engineers alike – are born creative but lose much of that natural creativity by the time we graduate. You don’t have to take my word for it; there is a quick do-it-yourself test of creativity that you can take to validate the truth of this for yourself. Implications of this are enormous: Sans creativity, much of the engineering endeavor amounts to only incremental improvements, not major breakthroughs. Think about what that means in terms of opportunities missed and revenue lost when it comes to designing new products, systems, and processes … or improving existing ones!

So what keeps us from being creative? Another Eogogics article explores the obstacles to creativity and how we can overcome them. The loss of creativity with age notwithstanding, there are well researched and validated techniques we can use to tease more creativity out of us, resulting in a more creative response to a scientific or engineering challenge, be it the design of a product or process or the solution of a problem. For all the well-publicized examples of organizations achieving dramatic results from the use of creativity stimulation techniques, there are many more using these techniques quietly (and profiting from it); however, for the vast majority of technical organizations, these techniques remain an undiscovered secret. There are creativity courses, of course, but they are not developed or taught by engineers/scientists or customized to an organization’s own issues, and the technical community is rightly skeptical of them.

We believe the Eogogics Unleashing Engineering Creativity (“UEC”) Package, the subject of a press release to go out shortly, will change all that. It’s developed and taught by engineers with a lifetime of engineering experience and is extensively field-tested. More than a year in the making, it consists of a three-day hands-on workshop (which can be tailored to include your scientific/engineering challenges) and a lavishly illustrated 170-page textbook created just for the workshop (but also sold separately). You can read more about the workshop and the book on our website, but better yet, take a free 1-hour UEC Mini-workshop on the Web at noon, Eastern on April 25. The mini-workshop, led by Joe Berk, an Eogogics Principal Instructor and author of the UEC book, will discuss how TRIZ, just one of the many techniques taught in the UEC workshop, can be used to solve real engineering challenges. (If you’d like to find out more about TRIZ before attending the mini-workshop, read our article on TRIZ.) We expect this mini-workshop to fill up fast, so you would want to sign up for it early. First 50 to sign up will also be entered into a draw for a free copy of the UEC book. To make things a bit more exciting, Eogogics is also holding an engineering design contest with a couple of prizes worth $1,000 each.

All this and more – including podcasts, screencasts, and videos featuring interviews with technology executives on the subject of creativity – are coming right up in the weeks ahead. The easiest way to find out about all this as it comes out is to connect with us on social media (just click on the icons on top of this page). So get connected, and stay tuned!