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.
The force-fit game was devised by Helmut Schlicksupp and resembles the BrainWriting Game.
As a rule competition is avoided in creativity, it is potentially disruptive and can cause conflict. However, a small amount of pressure can benefit creativity. For the game to be useful a light-hearted frame of mind is essential, with no significant losers.
- Make up two groups, say A and B, with 2 – 8 individuals in each. The administrator should displays and reads out a problem statement. This is followed by the basic round, which consists of steps 2 – 4.
- Group A proposes and idea distant to the problem (which the administrator records on a flipchart).
- Group B spends 2 minutes developing a realistic solution founded on this remote idea (the administrator records the solution on the flip-chart).
- If Group B’s solution is plausible they gain a point in this round, if not the Group A obtains the point. (This appraisal must be kept light-hearted to avoid creating an atmosphere that is too competitive).
- Although the groups could alternate roles after every round (steps 2-4), it would be quicker if they swapped every say, 5 rounds, this way Group A can contemplate their next remote idea whilst B are solving their previous one.
- After a predefined period of time has lapsed (say 30 minutes), or a pre-agreed number of rounds, the game concludes and whichever Group has the most points wins.
- Afterwards the ideas evaluated and appraised as required.
- With a well-practiced group, the solution-generating step offers an opening to practice skilful speedy, off-the cuff use of creativity techniques.
This games technique could provide a light-hearted warm-up or end-of-day closer when used in ‘real’ non-training settings. Difficulty with acceptability of the ‘game’ ethos, dilemma’s with the identity of individuals within groups and competition within teams limit its use for ‘real’ idea-generation.