An Aha Moment is the briefest state of Super-Creativity and will only last a moment or two. Longer states, however, are possible, and prolific inventors such as Shunpei Kamazaki, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Jerome Lemelson could be described as maintaining this state of optimal creative flow, or super-creativity, for longer periods of time.
Superconductivity is analogous to Super-Creativity. In superconductivity, all resistance to the flow of electricity is gone. In super-creativity, all obstacles to creativity have been removed opening a temporary state of optimal creative flow.
With today's deeper understanding of the obstacles to creativity and how to counter them, we can engineer a graphical representation called a BrainSwarming graph that contains the information needed for novel solutions to be found. This creativity-rich information has been gleaned by counteracting the major obstacles to creativity using highly effective counter techniques.
The main obstacles and their counter techniques are briefly described below in order from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. A longer presentation is available in the following research article:
McCaffrey, T., & Krishnamurty, S. (2014). The Obscure Features Hypothesis in design innovation. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 1-28.
Main Obstacles to Creativity and Their Counter Techniques
Functional Fixedness occurs when you fixate on a thing's common use, which inhibits your ability to create new uses for it. For example, a screwdriver could also be used as a piece of metal to complete a circuit, as a lever, as something to stab something with, as a buoy (plastic handle will float), etc.
The Generic Parts Technique counteracts functional fixedness by systematically breaking each thing down into its parts are carefully describing each part generically in terms of its size, shape, and material.
Design Fixation occurs when you are trying to create a novel design for something, say a smart phone case, but you fixate on the features of the designs you have already seen. If you study all your competitors' phone cases, your phone case design will inevitably borrow some of the major features of your competitors. It is somewhat like hearing the phrase a pink elephant and trying not to think of a pink elephant.
The Feature Type Spectrum, a US patented algorithm, effectively overcomes design fixation.
Analogy Blindness is the difficulty humans have of noticing that a solution from a different domain could be adapted to the current problem at hand. For example, when a ski company tried to reduce vibrations in their skis at high speeds, it was very difficult to notice that a solution from violin construction, which reduced the vibrations of the violin's neck, could be easily adapted to the ski problem.
CMoreNow.com, a US patented algorithm, takes a problem description as an input and finds novel, highly plausible solutions to the problem from distant fields and domains.
Assumption Blindness is an obliviousness to the assumptions hidden behind the statement of a goal. The technique, 50 Hiding Places, articulates a systematic process to uncover 50 different types of assumptions that you are making based on the way your are phrasing your goal.
Goal Fixedness means that people generally stay very close to the way that the problem's goal was originally given to them. Crawling up to the more general versions of the verb (hypernyms) in the goal phrase and crawling down to the more specific versions of the verb (hyponyms) greatly broadens ones understanding of the many ways that the goal could be achieved. WordNet from Princeton University and CMoreNow.com are great resources to use to perform synonym crawling.
Whole Solution Bias means that people tend to share a complete solution or a nearly complete solution. Those complete solutions conceal many assumptions and alternatives. Breaking down a whole solution into small contributions, or what Michael Nielsen calls micro-contributions, is crucial. If you do not get down to micro-contributions, you will not get to new ideas. You will only repeat your pre-conceived ideas.
While the above obstacles generally apply to individuals, the following two obstacles apply directly to groups.
Homegeneity of a team greatly hinders creativity. It is well established that diversity across many dimensions (including gender, race, ethnicity, fields of expertise, introverts and extroverts, etc.) can increase the creativity of the group.
Lack of Proper Collaboration: BrainSwarming has been carefully crafted to allow diverse kinds of people to create together well either in person or remotely online. A Harvard Business Review video explains BrainSwarming and contrasts it with brainstorming.