Prior to J.P. Guilford's 1950 address to the American Psychological Association, creativity was defined as a topic associated with myth. Creativity was thought to be too mysterious for productive study, or as a magical gift from a divine source that few ever possessed. It was associated with madness. (You couldn't be creative if you were not weird or abnormal).
The decade of the 1950's saw an unparalleled interest emerge in the area of creativity. It was believed that the ills of the world were a result of excessive rigidity; too many people and organizations were too rigid and not sufficiently creative. There was one businessman who had a keen interest in creativity and experimented with techniques in the '40: Alex Osborn.
Alex F. Osborn developed a creative problem solving process using applied imagination and deferment of judgment enabling as many ideas as possible to be expressed (group use of this principle was called Brainstorming). In fact, it is Osborn who is credited with coining the term Brainstorming. Osborn founded the Creative Education Foundation in 1954 and held the first Creative Problem Solving Institute that same year to advance these principles. Osborn developed the process for use at his advertising company, Batten, Barton, Durstin & Osborn, Inc. (BBD&O). Many of the principles and techniques found in his book Applied Imagination (Osborn, 1953) were developed, practiced and applied within his company.
Later, Dr. Sidney J. Parnes further refined Osborn's work, resulting in what is commonly referred to as the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process (CPS). Sid was the first and most active researcher to heed the wise words of J.P. Guilford’s decry on the lack of research performed on this crucial aspect of the human mind and his work still reverberates loudly and clearly throughout the creative community.
Dr. Parnes also launched the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College, a long term dream of Alex Osborn’s, in 1967; only a year after Osborn’s death. The International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College is one of the few places one can receive a Masters of Science degree in Creativity. Buffalo State also houses one of the largest collections of books on creativity and related topics in the world. It was at Buffalo State College where Dr. Parnes did the majority of his research on CPS and his research continues to be refined and expanded upon at the college to date.
1967 was a busy year for creativity. Not only was the International Center for Studies in Creativity founded but the Journal of Creative Behavior (JCB) was also pioneered. The strategic motive behind establishing the journal was to create a place where the rising tidal wave of information on creativity and innovation could be broadcast. The JCB is the longest running, the first, and the foremost journal dedicated to creativity in the world to date. The fact that its articles are written by individuals all over the world attests to the growing scope and influence of creativity and innovation.
CEF is the Centre for Applied Imagination – helping individuals, organizations and communities transform themselves as they confront real-world challenges.
The Creative Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization of leaders in the field of creativity theory and practice. Every day principles fostered by CEF programs are helping someone, somewhere in the world, develop new products, make business operations run more profitably, restructure organization and agencies to become more effective and less encumbered, reinvigorate economies, make improvements in our schools, revitalize communities and replace ineffective methods and systems with new, more workable ones.
Our global network of creativity and innovation experts allows us to help your company no matter where it is located! Covering almost every continent and totaling 50 countries with an active presence, there is always an expert near you! (Note: We are currently seeking a passionate, dedicated, and intelligent penguin to represent our Antarctican presence)
But it's not only location that matters; we think quality ranks higher than geography. Our network allows us to select the best experts for your training or consulting needs. What we do at CEF is train our experts with a uniform process but select the expert that is tailored best to your company. We do this by selecting the consultant based on their background, interest, and experience within your field.
And, while each company has different needs to be met, we keep the format for learning the same; making the process transferable across the scope of industries, countries, and individuals alike.