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Buffalo Billion

Western New York Economic Development Council Meeting Facilitation wins one billion dollars for Economic Development

Graduate students and alumni from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State facilitated Creative Problem Solving sessions for all of the meetings of the Western New York Economic Development Council that occurred in 2010. The output of these meetings resulted in New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration awarding Buffalo one billion dollars for economic development.

“The support and guidance you provided to the council were invaluable to the success of this transformative process.  Your dedication to the initiative was truly impressive and will continue to drive New York forward.  I look forward to continuing our work together to make New York the Empire State once again.”

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York

Los Angeles Times

Thank you for making us a better newspaper

“I am very impressed with your approaches to creativity and innovation AND that is why I asked you to facilitate the strategic planning session for the Los Angeles Times senior management team and the company-wide development of our vision.

You inspired us!

The processes you introduced, which were fact based yet open enough for us to conceptualize our future, were the most important determinant in our success.  The sessions were not “yet another meeting,” rather they were energizing, motivating and fun.  Thank you for making us a better newspaper!  You are masterful.”

Kathryn Downey
President and Chief Executive Officer


Gold Standard

“Roger Firestien is the ‘Gold Standard’ of creativity training. He has changed the way our whole workforce looks at problems. Creativity doesn’t have to be a mystery. Roger Firestien gives you practical methods to unleash your creative power.”

Lisa M. Lubniewski
Project Manager, R&D Organizational Effectiveness


The Process was Fuel to Ignite my Flame

“You created a dream space to create what was in my brain and push it out into the world into action. It is not just a dream any more. The process was fuel to ignite my flame.”

Jarin Weinstein
Sitara Sanctuary: A healing place for your mind, body & soul.

General Motors

$1.50 Solution Solves a $40,000 a Week Problem

“After learning Creative Problem Solving methods at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, employees at the General Motors Saginaw Division Forge plant in Tonawanda, New York set their sights on finding a way to prevent the ring gears made at their plant from sticking in and breaking dies during production – a problem that was costing the plant thousands per week.  While brainstorming, one teammate suggested using the cooking product PAM to prevent the sticking and another participant quickly built on the idea.  The result: Using a $1.00 spray bottle and fifty cents worth of solutions, plant operators now spray the dies before making ring gears to prevent sticking and the plant saves as much as $40,000 weekly.”

Nathan Bliss
U.A.W. Problem Solving Training Coordinator,
General Motors Saginaw Division Forge Plan

Los Angeles Times

Thirty-Five Hundred People Trained In Creativity

“So far over 3,500 of our people have been trained in the “Breakthrough to New Ideas” seminar Roger developed for us. This program enables our employees to use their creative insights in everyday work activities to fulfill the company’s philosophy of constant improvement, or Kaizen.”

Kenneth J. Kumiega
Director, Training and Development

Environmental Protection Agency

This Really is the Stuff of Leadership

“I have received lots of positive feedback regarding your presentation including comments such as ‘I went back to my desk and realized I could look at my work in a whole new way’, and ‘this really is the stuff of leadership.'”

Bill Glaser
EPA Region 10

St. Joseph University Parish

Vision Statement Defines with Clarity and Dynamism our Parish and its Future

“Our parish community is very diverse in many ways – ethnically, racially, economically and in terms of life-style. The process that Dr. Firestien directed enabled diverse constituents to transcend their particular perspectives and arrive at a vision to which ALL were able to subscribe.”

“We have used the vision statement both with parish leadership, regularly referring to it at Parish Council and Parish Staff Meetings… and at our New Parishioner Orientation Sessions. It defines with clarity and dynamism our parish and its future.”

Rev. Jack Ledwon
Pastor, St. Joseph University Parish
Buffalo, New York

Buffalo Business First

Thanks For Helping Us Look Good

“As soon as I receive one of your columns I make a big effort to get in almost immediately.  And that’s fairly easy to do because your columns require almost no editing.  It never ceases to amaze me how direct and simple your how-to-directions are.  Thanks for helping us look good.”

Donna Collins Editor
Buffalo Business First

Mead Paper

Develops World Class Products and Saves $1/2 Million a Year

When first asked by a key customer to supply paper that was 95% bright.  Mead said, “We simply can’t do it.”  In fact, Mead struggled for years to enhance the brightness of its papers without success.   Mead assembled a team and used Creative Problem Solving to tackle the problem.  The result: the team improved the brightness of Mead’s paper, developed a new world-class line of products superior to any of Mead’s competitors, and came up with a new process that saves more than $1/2 million per year.

SC Johnson

Breakthrough Creates OFF ® Mosquito Lamp

You’re sitting on your patio on a luscious summer night…crickets are singing, outdoor torches are creating the perfect ambience…and SLAP! Your reverie is zapped short by the mosquito you’ve just had to squash as it went in for the kill on your neck. This was the pesky problem Mike Fryan wanted to solve for customers of his company’s already popular insect repellent products. Obvious solutions weren’t working, but when Mike, Section Manager for Home Cleaning and New Products at S.C. Johnson, participated in Dr. Roger Firestien’s Leading on the Creative Edge seminar, he came away with Creative Problem Solving techniques that led him and his team to a breakthrough. By rephrasing the problem and combining already existing products and technologies in new ways, the new OFF! ® Mosquito Lamp was born. The team’s ongoing efforts to making creativity techniques a way of life have also led to shortened product development cycles and many additional patent filings for S.C. Johnson.