the ability to produce a quantity of ideas, answers, or problem solutions (Meador, 1996)
Having spent a good 15 years of my life trying to teach others about creative thinking, today I’m working with the concept of fluency. It’s the first “F” of FFOE commonly referred to in creativity literature. FFOE represents fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration upon which most creative activities are based. Initially, I studied these in writing my masters thesis and preparing activities to improve areas of challenge for creative thinkers. We utilized those activities for many years in working with adolescent Creative Scholars in summer programs in Louisiana. Later, I continued to study FFOE during dissertation work and the writing of Synectics activities for Kindergarten children. Following years involved training teachers to help students think more creatively as well as writing books and articles to help them (see publications list: http://www.dreamcatcherranch.net/consulting/publications.htm)
Today, I’m struck by the fact that all that study and work has submerged itself only to erupt in the design work (I wonder if it helps with the ranch work . . . ?). Whether consciously or subconsciously, I’m using FFOE every day.
Experts tell us that fluency is needed to help us explore all possibilities in an effort to find the most suitable one. But what if the best one came first? We wouldn’t know it was best without the propagation of others. But isn’t fluency a waste of time? It doesn’t waste as much time as completing an idea that didn’t work. (Yes, I do this too often as evidenced by a basket full of UFOs, unfinished objects.)
In an effort to be fluent today, I’ve added a gallery section to this blog which displays a quantity of ideas. It will continue to grow as more photos are uploaded.