Decision Seminar

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.

Decision Seminar
The decision seminar technique (Laswell, 1960, described in VanGundy, 1981; 1988)) is a predecessor of the Think Tank technique of the 1960’s and is derived from a more sociological rather brainstorming procedure. It was primarily designed by a social science research facility to tackle applied social policy issues in an efficient way, focusing on past, present and future developments.

A core group of possibly 15 (joined as required by external expert, etc.), worked over an comprehensive period of time from a permanent chart and map room, using a standardised ‘general purpose’ conceptual framework:

Five Intellectual tasks

  • Clarifying goals
  • Describing trends over time
  • Analysing conditions that affect these trends
  • Projecting developments – how current policies are likely to turn out
  • Invention, evaluation and selection of alternatives to achieve desired goals

Seven Broad Information-gathering categories

  • Participants
  • Perspectives
  • Situations
  • Base-values (a SWOT-like analysis)
  • Strategies (how base-value position is used)
  • Outcomes (of the strategies)
  • Effects (on participants)

Value Analysis using Eight key values

  • Power
  • Enlightenment
  • Wealth
  • Well-being
  • Skill
  • Affection
  • Respect
  • Rectitude

Seven step Decision process

  • Gathering and processing information
  • Making and promoting recommendations
  • Developing and prescribing general policy rules
  • Deciding how to monitor adherence to rules
  • Applying the rules
  • Appraising the rules
  • Terminating the policy

This standardised conceptual framework was supported by a variety of techniques and a strong emphasis on clear record keeping and on the use of visible maps and charts.

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