Take something devastating like 9/11 or the Asian Tsunami.. its pretty difficult to joke about it. Ask any comedian.
So when something requires improvement, is it easier to look at where it fails and fix that particular problem? Efficiency say most, but the real thinkers will not settle on taking the easy way to improvement. There is a bigger picture and a much more creative way to not only improve this situation, but also make a sweeping and radical change which results in far better performance/results. As in Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - a VERY clever movie (you should see it if you haven't), there is the repeated phrase "there is always something", and thats very true.
Creative thinking entirely depends on how you process information. Some people at funerals scream and cry, whereas others bottle it in, or god forbid others might have no feeling whatsoever.
In situations of unfortunate circumstances, you might have a feeling of impeding doom. Its emotional and very hard to control, much like mourning a lost loved one, for example. Its this mental catchnet that keeps us from moving on from that moment, and not being able to see a way to overcome it (or how another person is dealing with the same thing). People plough through these emotional times and is an important process.
Now given that example is passed in your mind, I want you to think of a dilemma you may have recently come across. Perhaps deciding on a traffic route in the city at 5pm on a Friday, or how best to repair something like an old clock that is broken (fix it yourself, or hire someone). Its intriguing how some people can offer you an idea which may influence your rational thinking, to go one way or another as a solution.
You really have to become neutral to the information presented. Strip it of all context, and then design half a dozen hypothesis to create a solution to any dilemma requiring a creative solution. "There is always something". Go crazy. Be absurd with your hypothesis.
Try your best to both crush every one or all of your hypothesis but at the same time, try and rescue them. The great thing about our brain, is that it will most always make compromises to accept a reality, or make a judgement. Creative thinking entirely depends on how you process information. Some people at funerals scream and cry, whereas others bottle it in, or god forbid others might have no feeling whatsoever.
Taking this reality, you can then choose to zone in on specific information presented, or generalise. Now bring back its context and fit your jigsaw pieces together. You would not have got this solution by looking at a failing, and just fixing that. This new idea has come because you took in the entire picture.
Hollywood Studio Orchestra - Pink Panther ogg/1Mb/1964
*pick up Ogg before 30 April, 2006