Concept Fan

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.

Concept Fan
The Concept Fan is a way of discovering alternative approach’s to a problem when you have discarded all obvious solutions. It develops the principle of ‘taking a step back’ to get a broader viewpoint. Initially, the Concept Fan requires you to draw a circle in the middle of a large piece of paper. Write the problem you are trying to solve in the circle. To the right of it radiate lines representing possible solutions to the problem see the diagram below:


It is possible that the ideas you have come up with are impractical or do not really solve the problem. If this is the case, take a ‘step back’ for a broader analysis of the problem. Drawing a circle to the left of the first circle does this, writing the broader definition into this new circle and linking it with an arrow to show that it comes from the first circle, see diagram below:


Use this as a starting point to radiate out other ideas, if this does not give you an adequate amount of new ideas, you can take yet another step back (and another, and another…)
Edward de Bono devised the idea of the Concept Fan in his book ‘Serious Creativity’.

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