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.

Originating in the US in the 1960’s, Charette involved an intensive two-week consultation process, usually preceded by a massive Public Relations campaign. The aim was for a local community to developed social, economic and physical plans combined the resources of a number of local bodies, and integrated them all into a prioritised programme of action.

The resource people (consultants, experts, professionals) were usually brought in from out of town to bring fresh minds to the problems. The Charrette building had to be able to provide for large evening forums, small group discussions during the day; and also for secretarial services, the press, television, child care, lunch and light meals. It was a ‘live-in, work-in, 24-hour facility’.

Main Stages
The main stages were as follows:

  • A large Public Relations campaign (often including a questionnaire and several pre-Charrette workshops to give the community a chance to discuss the problem and to introduce it to the dynamics of Charrette.
  • Introductory speeches.
  • Split into sub-groups
  • Sub-group brainstorms, to help build key relationships and to identify community objectives and goals.
  • Sub-groups explored possible solutions to agreed issues, with public and private officials being available to discuss the impact of resource limitations and political climate, and to establish responsibility and accountability.
  • A detailed implementation strategy and action plan was then produced, with models, drawings, reports, graphics, etc.
  • The final proposals were presented before top-ranking officials, the media and the whole community, in a climate of strong community commitment.
  • A report was produced so that anyone could discover what happened. Local newspapers, TV and radio were usually closely involved.
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