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.

This technique is useful when a good quality united group judgement is required. A balance to maintain constructive discussion and idea contribution whilst at the same time steering away from biasing or destructive group anxiety is the key to success here.

Make the assumption that a general discussion has taken place regarding some issue, a point has been reached where the judgement or convergence is required, the estimate-discuss-estimate (Huber and Delbecq, 1972) method now comes into action via the following steps:

  • Estimate, individuals vote privately in any way that feels appropriate to the task in hand and the judgement required, their votes are handed in via a round robin without discussion. Each individual has the opportunity to think through his or her preferences, avoiding the pressures to conform.
  • Discuss, Averages for the group are generated by the computer and displayed. The group then participates in an open discussion of these initial judgements.
  • Estimate, following this discussion group individuals vote again, privately, without discussion. This final vote is average (as in step 2) and used to represent the consensus.

‘Estimate-discuss-estimate’ (see also Delphi Method) is considered more accurate than synthetic groups or surveys, simple interacting groups or Delphi groups where a precise choice is required.

A decision body often wants time to reflect and this approach simulates what decision groups often do with planning information. They consider choices as preliminary or open to change, and they anticipate further input on how members feel and the facts they offer. Hastening this process with ‘estimate-discuss-estimate’ procedure often saves the time and frustration of dealing with changes in future meetings.

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