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Dr Marilyn Fryer

Dr Marilyn Fryer

Marilyn is a Director of the Creativity Centre UK Ltd, and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust - a voluntary role. A chartered psychologist and author, her work has been presented and published internationally.

Marilyn enjoys talking about creativity education in the UK. This was the theme of her keynote presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, Japan; the Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia; and the International Forum on Creativity at the opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where she was also a panel member for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia. Marilyn has also undertaken consultancy on the development of creativity for various government bodies in the UK and overseas.

Before co-founding the Creativity Centre with Caroline, Marilyn spent much of her career in the university sector undertaking research and teaching creativity education, developmental and cognitive psychology. At Leeds Metropolitan University, where she was Reader in Psychology, she set up the cross-university Centre for Innovation and Creativity (CIC) as well as devising and delivering a series of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied creativity, supervising research and undertaking her own research into creativity in education.

One of the things Marilyn most enjoys is meeting people from all over the world and collaborating with them to create publications and learning resources in the area of creativity and human development, which is one reason why she enjoys being an editor of this journal.

At the Creativity Centre, we have been researching and delivering courses on creativity development for well over 20 years and we especially value informal creativity development which may happen by accident or design in educational institutions, other organisations or everyday life.In this paper, the focus is on four ‘formal’ or ‘deliberate’ creative problem solving programmes:

  • Synectics
  • The Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Program (CPS)
  • The De Bono programme
  • KJ Ho

These programmes have been selected for review because they are widely used in one or more countries and/or because they have spawned a great many related creative problem solving programmes. Here, the term ‘problem solving’ is used in its psychological sense of ‘resolving anything puzzling or unclear’. This is a key function of all thinking and active learning, equally applicable to creativity in the arts, sciences, humanities and indeed life in general. This psychological notion of ‘a problem’ is different from its everyday definition in that it doesn’t necessarily imply anything negative. The first two programmes are of US origin and have spawned thousands of other programmes. De Bono’s work has had a significant impact too and is probably the best known in the UK, whilst KJ Ho is the most popular formal programme in Japan. All four programmes have specific procedures and terminology and whilst these differ, there are some similarities as well.

 

This is an engaging and highly readable book which guides facilitators of organisational change through the process of creating a shared vision of an organisation’s future activities, improvement strategy or plan for growth. The emphasis is on creating a truly shared vision in which all participants are involved and want to take forward.

Whilst it is not necessary for readers to have any prior knowledge of the field of creativity development, it is interesting for those who do to see how the authors have successfully combined a number of different approaches including deliberate creative problem solving, visioning and insight learning.

The way in which the authors take the reader through the process of facilitating the development of a genuinely shared vision is both powerful and effective. They offer step by step guidance and detailed exercises for the facilitator to use which increase the probability of successful outcomes. That this process works is evidenced by a series of brief real-life examples from the work they have carried out with a variety of organisations.

In sum, this is an easy to read, no-nonsense, practical book which should be in every facilitator’s and manager’s toolkit.


 

Marjorie ParkerMarjorie Parker MSc is an organisational consultant with a 30-year track record in the field of creativity development. She has consulted with senior management in Norway’s leading corporations, healthcare institutions and government agencies and was a founding partner of the Norwegian Center for Leadership Development. She holds a national scholarship from the Norwegian Council for Leadership Development and has undertaken work in this field for the Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Marjorie’s publications include ‘Creating Shared Vision: The Story of a Pioneering Approach to Organizational Revitalization’, published in the United States, Poland, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Today her main focus is on mentoring organisational consultants in enabling their clients to develop more creative mindsets.

Anna PoolAnna Pool is President of Executive Savvy – a consulting firm headquartered in Durango, Colorado. As a business consultant and strategic thinker, she has facilitated leadership and organisational development across a broad range of industries and clients such as Michelin, Shell, Verizon, Citi, Bayer, Nike, Raytheon and Ford, as well as government agencies. She is a master-level certified coach with the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches and is former Director of Organizational Consulting for Lore International Institute. Amongst her other achievements, she holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from the Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, California and is author of the Bronze Telly Award-winning video series, ‘Effective People Skills’. 

 

Marjorie Parker MSc is an organisational consultant with a 30-year track record in the field of creativity development. She has consulted with senior management in Norway’s leading corporations, healthcare institutions and government agencies and was a founding partner of the Norwegian Center for Leadership Development. She holds a national scholarship from the Norwegian Council for Leadership Development and has undertaken work in this field for the Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Marjorie’s publications include ‘Creating Shared Vision: The Story of a Pioneering Approach to Organizational Revitalization’, published in the United States, Poland, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Today her main focus is on mentoring organisational consultants in enabling their clients to develop more creative mindsets.

Anna Pool is President of Executive Savvy – a consulting firm headquartered in Durango, Colorado. As a business consultant and strategic thinker, she has facilitated leadership and organisational development across a broad range of industries and clients such as Michelin, Shell, Verizon, Citi, Bayer, Nike, Raytheon and Ford, as well as government agencies. She is a master-level certified coach with the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches and is former Director of Organizational Consulting for Lore International Institute. Amongst her other achievements, she holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from the Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, California and is author of the Bronze Telly Award-winning video series, ‘Effective People Skills’.

Monday, 07 November 2016 23:36

Anglo-Japanese Collaborations

This special issue of Japanese papers, guest edited by Emeritus Professor, Dr Kenichi Yumino, is the latest of a series of collaborations between our Japanese colleagues and ourselves. This began in 2001 when I was commissioned by a government body to evaluate programmes internationally which were designed to develop creativity, with a particular emphasis on certain countries and this included Japan. My investigations led me to Professor Yumino who provided me with some really helpful information.

In 2002, he took part in our Creativity & Cultural Diversity international conference and then contributed to our internationally-authored book of the same name. Over the years, I became increasingly intrigued by Japanese methods of creative problem solving, especially KJ Ho, and when I was invited to talk about Creativity Education in the UK at the annual conference of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, I was glad of the opportunity to learn more about KJ Ho, especially as it was little known outside Japan.

Following my visit to Japan, some of our distinguished Japanese colleagues, who had learned KJ Ho from its originator, Professor Jiro Kawakita, kindly offered to run a KJ Ho workshop for our charity in Leeds. This was the first such workshop to be held in English and outside Japan and was very well received by delegates from across Europe. We then introduced Creative Scotland to this opportunity and they held similar events.

More recently, Dr Toshio Nomura, in collaboration with Caroline Fryer Bolingbroke, has delivered a KJ Ho project for Torbay Hi Tech Forum. The Hi Tech sector is an important and thriving part of our local economy. This project was sponsored by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF), Torbay Development Agency, South Devon College and Spirent Communications Inc.

Briefly this project explored the Innovation Potential of the Hi Tech Forum and this was the first such KJ Ho project in England. Torbay Development Agency confirmed that the recommendations of this working party would be implemented and, just as important, we and the other participants now have a good understanding of the KJ Ho process which is informing our work and we thank our Japanese colleagues for making this possible. GBSF have also sponsored subscriptions to our e-journal for a number of Japanese universities, and we thank them for this.

Our Anglo-Japanese collaborations are continuing. This includes our collaboration with Chika Yamamoto of Tokoha University who is currently undertaking a comparative investigation into the employment of early years’ staff in Japan and the UK. We are looking forward to being involved in continuuing Anglo-Japanese collaborations in the field of creativity and human development.

Monday, 07 November 2016 23:32

Creativity in Japan - an introduction

We are delighted to showcase a series of articles by our esteemed Japanese colleagues which provide a valuable insight into creativity development in Japan, guest edited by Emeritus Professor Dr Kenichi Yumino. This includes a fascinating account of creativity at the Sony Corporation, how to rapidly generate a wealth of creative ideas, the role played by serendipity in creativity, and actions currently being taken to augment creative production in the Japanese workplace, higher education and in Japanese schools.
Complementing this series, is an article on the popular Japanese KJ Ho (method) of creative problem solving by Professor Dr Toshio Nomura and we thank him and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (GBSF) for supporting this special series of articles.
You may also be interested in a related article by artist, Alex Devereux, whose recent visit to Japan is inspiring his work.

Our links with Japanese creativity experts began in 2000 when I was commissioned by a government body to review creativity development programmes internationally, with a special emphasis on certain countries including Japan. This led me to our guest editor, Professor Kenichi Yumino. Since then our links have been strengthened through our collaborations and research visits between our two countries which are continuing today. It has been a most valuable experience for us to learn about Japanese creativity development and to experience this at first hand.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 23:41

The ethics of creativity

This thought-provoking book explores in some depth the relationship between creativity and ethics.  This is achieved by bringing together the work of an impressive number of distinguished authors from these two fields of study. The book aims to explore the effect of creativity on people and on their fundamental values, what constitutes good and evil, right and wrong, and how creativity might disrupt these beliefs – not necessarily with negative consequences.

Following an introduction on the ‘Crossroads of Creativity and Ethics’ by Seana Moran, the rest of the book is divided into four sections. The first explores the ‘Moral Mental Mechanisms Involved in Creativity’ and their development, the second examines the reasons for creativity leading to positive and/or negative impacts. This is followed by a treatment on the role played by ethics in supporting or thwarting creativity. The final section comprises a useful concluding commentary and overview of the book.

Readers from many different disciplines will find both interesting and relevant material in this book. It is not a quick read and I suspect that most people will, as I did, explore first the chapters most relevant to their own area of work, but will then be tempted by other intriguing topics. This book certainly serves as a useful resource and the editors are to be applauded for addressing the collision between creativity and ethics from a wide range of different perspectives each focusing on one or more different areas of work.

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