Component Detailing

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.

Component Detailing
The component detailing technique (Watkin, 1985) has associations with Attribute Listing and BrainSketching. Components are drawn in much the same way as the old children’s game combining pictures of heads, bodies and legs taken from different people to make a bizarre composite person.

The method works best when the ‘problem’ is the design of a physical object, but it can also work with problems whose components have a clear logical, rather than physical, relation to one another.

It has strong elements of ‘problem exploration’ as well as ‘idea-generation’, because it often helps comprehensive understanding and the development of new viewpoint.

  • Assemble a group of participants to break a problem down into as many major components (sub-systems or sub-assemblies) as there are group members. The group lists the features of each component (c.f. Attribute Listing).
  • Each group member is allotted one component and should try unearthing a way to produce a sketch of a way of ‘solving’ it, making their sketch as detailed as is achievable in the time available (c.f. BrainSketching).
  • Reconstruct all the component drawings into one large collage that is organised to represent a (probably rather bizarre!) composite ‘solution’ of the whole problem – i.e. all fit crudely together (either physically or logically) as a ‘complete’ product or solution (like the artificial person created in the ‘heads, bodies and legs’ game).
  • The composite collage is then looked at and discussed for new ideas and perspective on the original problem, or indeed for ideas for completely new products
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