More than any other situation Change is about cooperation and collaboration. No matter if your company is in serious trouble or just wants to find a new way to line itself up – it always needs people to initiate, moderate, steer, coordinate and live that Change.
So what? The problem is that often people simply don´t know how to cooperate. Of course people cooperate on a daily base, but this is mostly routine, it´s like a form of vegetative state. Change causes different needs and different needs urges people to modify their behavior.
Over years I have collected several “Creativity Techniques” to support Cooperation between people – not only in times of Change. It is always better to be prepared than surprised…
What are Creativity Techniques?
Creativity techniques are heuristic methods to facilitate creativity in a person or a group of people. They are most often used in creative problem solving.
Generally, most creativity techniques use associations between the goal (or the problem), the current state (which may be an imperfect solution to the problem), and some stimulus (possibly selected randomly). There is an analogy between many creativity techniques and methods of evolutionary computation.
In problem-solving contexts, the random word creativity technique is perhaps the simplest such method. A person confronted with a problem is presented with a randomly generated word, in the hopes of a solution arising from any associations between the word and the problem. A random image, sound, or article can be used instead of a random word as a kind of creativity goad or provocation.
This item is about creative browsing in a library context. However see “Using Experts” for a very different approach to information acquisition. The creative use of literature very often amounts to browsing. Although the importance of browsing is generally recognised, its nature appears to be little understood. At least three kinds of browsing have been recognised:
- Purposive browsing: Where you are deliberately seeking a defined piece of information.
- Capricious browsing: where you are randomly examining material without a definite goal.
- Exploratory browsing: Where you are consciously looking for inspiration.
Factors that may support creative browsing
I know little of the ‘official’ success rate of this sort of information seeking. However, my personal experience is that for optimal stimulation of creative ideas:
- Choose a variety of presentation styles.
- Choose a selection of material over wide subject areas.
- Do it yourself – you are not going to get the creative stimulus by asking someone else to look for you. You can always use someone else to refine the ideas once you have them.
- Make yourself comfortable – That way the sub-conscious mind can happily get on with solving those problems and trigging of the information you are getting.