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.

Chunking is a term used in NLP to describe the process of grouping items into larger or smaller groups (or “chunks”). Chunking helps you to organise your thinking, and handle information.

George Miller published a paper in 1952 “the magic number Seven, plus or minus two” put forward the idea that the conscious can cope with between 5 and 9 pieces of information at any one time. If you think how you remember those useful phone numbers, you cluster the digits into groups. If you look at phone numbers from a different country, it’s often difficult to initially remember them because they tend to use a different chunking.

Chunking allows us to become more efficient at categorising information. Items can be classified into different groups moving from the general to the specific, and vice versa.

Chunking Up (becoming more general)
As an example with an object;

  • Alcohol
  • Drink
  • Liquid

To chunk up from; ask

  • part to whole – what is this part of?
  • example to class – what class is this an example of?
  • an outcome – If I got this outcome, what else would that get for me?
  • a behaviour – What is the intention behind this behaviour?

Chunking Down (becoming more specific)
As an example

  • Transport
  • Taxi
  • London Black Cab
  • Engine

To chunk down from; ask

  • part to whole – what is a part of this whole?
  • class to example – what is an example of this class?
  • an outcome – What prevents me achieving this outcome ?
  • a behaviour – What other behaviour would also satisfy this intention?

When to use Chunking

  • When you are confronted with a task that seems daunting. Chunk it down to find smaller, more manageable mini-tasks.
  • When you are overwhelmed by details. Chunk up to find the overall meaning or purpose to “get the bug picture” or “see the wood for the trees”.
  • When you want to communicate more effectively. Make sure you package the information in chunks that are the right size for your audience.
  • When you want to find ways of reaching an agreement.
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