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  • Language English
  • Publisher New Management Pub Co
  • Publication date 1 May 1994
  • Dimensions 15.24 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm
  • ISBN-10 1883629004
  • ISBN-13 978-1883629007
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ New Management Pub Co (1 May 1994)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1883629004
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1883629007
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 272 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm
  • #2,665 in Creativity (Books)
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  • #84,261 in Personal Transformation

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101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business Paperback – 1 May 1994

  • Language English
  • Publisher New Management Pub Co
  • Publication date 1 May 1994
  • Dimensions 15.24 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm
  • ISBN-10 1883629004
  • ISBN-13 978-1883629007
  • See all details

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ New Management Pub Co (1 May 1994)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1883629004
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1883629007
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm
  • Best Sellers Rank: 2,461,328 in Books ( See Top 100 in Books )

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101 creative problem solving techniques summary

101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques

The handbook of new ideas for business, by james m. higgins.

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101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business

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I find it Very helpful book , i.e. an introduction to many of the problem solving techniques, and I highly recommend it for that purpose. This book does not go into a comprehensive discussion of the various techniques, nor was it intended to, but it does give a very good introduction to each and you can research further those techniques you would like to use. I have researched some of them on the internet (free of charge).

He categorizes the techniques by function (in other words, he presents the various techniques in the particular stage of the problem solving process in which they are most effective) and gives you an excellent summary in the Appendix.

I have read quite a few books on Problem Solving / Decision Making and they all come down to Divergence and Convergence, or Creative and Critical thinking. One book I read (Psychology of Intelligence Analysis) made the very good point that creative and critical thinking are both absolutely necessary in the problem solving process, however, in his words, they do not mix well. You must consciously and diligently halt all criticism and judgment, no matter how small, during the divergent phase of the problem solving process - "deferred judgment". This is the foundation for any productive brainstorming session, or even any individual analysis of a problem. There will be plenty of time to evaluate later on.

This book functions as a brainstorming session...it presents many ideas and approaches, and allows you to review each one and determine which is best for your situation. Many of the techniques in this book, and any other problem solving book, are really just different variations of brainstorming sessions (larger or smaller groups, an extra step or two, limitations on one thing or another, a change in procedure, etc..) which is OK too. Most problem solving techniques are either brainstorming sessions of some sort, or techniques designed to force you to lay aside your preconceived opinions and study a problem from different angles (yes that is a major simplification).

The book is organized and formatted very well. The information is presented in an interesting manner and never gets boring. Most of the sections are short and sweet, and what few times he goes beyond a couple pages is by necessity. I really liked the "Summary of Steps" that are throughout the book and the mini case studies were nice as well. Personally, I would like to have seen at least a couple extended case studies, but that was not the purpose of this book.

One of my favorites is the Delphi technique. I have actually used a form of it several times in my work before I even knew it was a technique, and I suspect many of you have used it too in an informal way. I have had some good success with it and believe it to be an excellent technique in any stage of the problem solving process, whether I am dealing with professionals, layman, mechanics, or bozos.

Very helpful, well written and well-organized book. The $15 or so for the book is a great investment for your career or business. I am sure there are more comprehensive books that cost alot more, but this one fulfills it purpose nicely.

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Paperback 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business Book

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The author presents 101 techniques to stimulate creativity and innovation in individuals and groups. This description may be from another edition of this product.

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Nice introduction / well organized book, innovative tools for practical problem solving, nice collection of simple and effective tools, a thorough organized compendium on creative problem solving., popular categories.

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101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business Paperback – Dec 31 2005

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  • Print length 241 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher New Management Pub Co
  • Publication date Dec 31 2005
  • Dimensions 14.61 x 1.91 x 22.23 cm
  • ISBN-10 1883629055
  • ISBN-13 978-1883629052
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101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ New Management Pub Co; Revised edition (Dec 31 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 241 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1883629055
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1883629052
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 431 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.61 x 1.91 x 22.23 cm
  • #5,996 in Decision Making in Leadership
  • #6,291 in Business Decision-Making & Problem Solving (Books)
  • #10,556 in Creativity (Books)

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(11.iiidv,inta4e. however. I I n process is hint. ing ainl requires a high degrc of motivation over long period. It lacks the piggybacking effect and spontaneity of brainstorming and other interactive group processes, afford- ing no chance for verbal clarification of meanings. Success depends on the analyst's ability to make creative use of the results of his or her study, to facilitate the creativity of expert participants, and to write questionnaires. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Forecasters prepare a questionnaire based on their perception of the situation. 2. This is mailed to a group of experts, who respond to the ques- tionnaire. 3. Individual responses are collected and summarized. 4. Summaries are returned to respondents for their reaction. 5. The process continues until a general consensus is reached. 74/10. EXCURSION TECHNIQUE The excursion technique was originally introduced as part of synectics, a process described later in this chapter. How- ever, it can and should be used by itself. The excursion tech- nique is especially useful when the group has not arrived at a solution to a problem even after using other creative pro- cesses such as brainstorming or storyboarding. It can be used for either narrowly defined or complex problems, but it prob- ably works best on a more narrowly defined problem for which a conceptual breakthrough is needed. It has been slightly modified here from its original description so as to make it more functional. The Process There are four major steps in the excursion process: the ex- cursion itself, the drawing of analogies between the prob- lem and the events in the excursion, the analysis of these analogies to see what creative understanding or solutions can occur, and the sharing of experiences with the group. 136

1. The Excursion. I IH leader instructs cach nicinber of the 101 group to take an imagined excursion into or through sonic CREATIVE physical location that has nothing to do with the problem at PROBLEM hand. Normally the leader asks participants to close their SOLVING eyes and use their imagination for this journey, which may TECHNIQUES be through a museum, a jungle, a city, or any other kind of place, real or imagined. For example, a Star Trek journey 137 through space and to unknown planets is popular with some problem solvers. 26 The ability to let go and create visual im- ages is critical to the success of this part of the exercise. If the leader is not confident that all members of the group have this ability, he or she might offer some brief instruction and encourage people to give them imagination free rein. Par- ticipants are asked to write down what they see during their excursion. The excursion itself need not last more than five or ten minutes, but it is important for participants to record detailed descriptions of what they see. I recommend that they draw three columns on their papers and write what they saw on their excursion in the first column. If they prefer, group members can record as they go rather than after the excursion is finished. 2. Drawing Analogies. When the excursion period is over, the leader asks participants to take ten to fifteen minutes to draw analogies between what they saw during the excursion and the problem as defined. Par- ticipants are not limited to analogies; they can express the relationships between their visual images and the problem in other ways if they wish. They write their analogies or other relationships in the second column opposite each of the items they saw. 3. Evaluating and Under- standing. Now the leader asks the participants to deter- mine what the relationships de- termined in step 2 really mean

in terms ot the problem, that is, how understantlinr, the relationships can he used to solve the problem. This is the really challenging part of the process. It requires intuition, insight, and quite often, luck. Participants write their solu- tions in the third column. 4. Sharing Experiences. Participants are asked to share their excursions, analogies, understandings, and solutions with the group. As with brainstorming, members may piggyback on the ideas of others. Examples of the Process A member of a group of bank personnel officers who were experiencing conflicts with other departments described part of her excursion through a natural history museum as fol- lows: \"I saw Indians making war on another village. The analogy is obvious. We are at war with the other depart- ments. This tells me just how serious our problem is. I never quite realized it, but, in a way, we are at war and serious measures must be taken to end this feuding before some- body gets killed.\" Another member of the group found her tour taking her past the section of the museum where rock formations were shown. The various layers of hard and soft rock meant essentially the same thing to her that the Indian warfare had meant to the other woman. When asked how to solve the problem, she said, \"We have to take some dyna- mite (i.e., strong measures) to blow up the hard rock layers separating the departments.\" Other analogies are less obvious. One facilitator had worked with NASA personnel for some time to develop a satisfac- tory device for fastening a space suit. After trying several standard techniques for generating ideas, he had group mem- bers take an imaginary excursion through a jungle. One man described his experience as \"being clawed at by weeds, trees, and bushes.\" While describing his experience, he clutched his hands together with his fingers interlaced. While he himself had not made much of his analogy, when the group discussed it they commented on the clutching of his hands. This suggested the overlapping clutching of a Velcro strip and eventually led to the utilization of a Velcro-like fas- tener for the spacesuit.27

Observations on the Technique The excursion technique is especially useful for a problem that has proved abnormally difficult to solve or calls for re- ally unique solutions , for example, in developing an ad- vertising campaign or creating product differentiation fea- tures in a mature market. The leader needs to encourage participants to let go and to share their experiences. When the process is well explained and understood and partici- pants are properly motivated, really good ideas should emerge. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The leader instructs participants to visualize an excursion into or through some physical location that has nothing to do with the problem at hand. 2. Participants draw analogies between what they saw and the prob- lem. 3. The leader asks participants to determine what the analogies they drew in step 2 suggest in terms of solving the problem. 4. Participants share their experiences and solutions. 75/11. GALLERY METHOD 101 CREATIVE This is another of the PROBLEM techniques developed SOLVING at the Battelle Institute TECHNIQUES in Frankfurt, Germany. In this method, instead 139 of the ideas changing places, the idea generators change places. The gallery con- cept receives its name from the fact that each member of a group take a different work area and creates a \"gallery\" of ideas for others to view. 28 The ideas are presented on flip charts or white board surfaces. After a half hour or so the group members tour each other's galleries and take notes. Participants should not know who worked where. Five min- utes are allowed for viewing each gallery and taking notes. Participants then return to their own work areas and add to their lists. The ideas can be summarized later.

A variation of this technique, known as the idea r,aillit‘, al- lows members to roam from place to place at will, idding their ideas to those displayed.'-`' 76/12. GORDON/LITTLE TECHNIQUE This technique was designed by William Gordon at the Arthur D. Little consulting firm. 3° It was specifically designed to address the difficulties some people have in coping with abstract concepts. When problem solvers are too close to the problem to see the forest for the trees, they can only think of trite and obvious solutions, and fail to suggest creative ideas. And while several other techniques in this book can be used to overcome that problem, especially those that use associa- tions, this technique is especially effective at bringing prob- lem solvers \"out of the woods.\" The leader/facilitator describes the problem to the partici- pants in decreasing levels of abstraction. Solutions are given at each level. As the description becomes more concrete and less abstract, more specific solutions, but not necessarily bet- ter ones, emerge. The solutions from the earlier levels of abstraction can be used to trigger new solutions as the prob- lem becomes more concrete. Suppose that the problem is how to eliminate personnel through staff reduction. The first level of abstraction might be \"How can we make more money?\" A second level of abstrac- tion might be \"How can we cut costs?\" A third level might be \"What options are available in cutting costs of personnel?\" This technique requires a strong, flexible leader who can encourage and motivate members of a group to broaden their perspectives and think big. 77/13. GROUP DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS Group decision support systems are software or hardware systems that assist groups in making better decisions. They greatly enhance the ability of groups to work together cre- atively. Some of these systems enable groups to be more creative and innovative. Most of them, however, seek to improve group dynamics for already existing creativity pro-

cesses. For example, brainstorming and the nominal group 101 technique can be improved by hardware features such as CREATIVE video projection screens and individual and partner com- PROBLEM puter terminals, which display and score individual inputs SOLVING for all participants to view. 31 TECHNIQUES Wilson Learning Systems of Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers 141 a sophisticated software package for voting on brainstormed issues. Participants can quickly learn the status of any issue from bar charts and other graphic displays. 32 The Univer- sity of Arizona's Center for the Management of Information offers advanced hardware for facilitating group creative de- cision processes. The university has two \"electronic brain- storming\" rooms, each of which has large computer-gener- ated wall screens and individual/partner computer termi- nals. Participants in brainstorming sessions can enter ideas to be shared with others without making known their source. Sophisticated software is used to record idea generation, voting, and so on, on large video projection screens for all participants to view. 33

78/ 1 4. IDEA BOARD The idea board is an ongoing problem-solving in which a problem is displayed on a board or wall where mem- bers of a group may add thoughts written on note cards. 34 columnar head-Theymalsorngtcd,pvie ings as necessary, and contribute through spontaneous or formally arranged group discussion. One person is respon- sible for writing problems on the board for members to re- spond to, keeping the idea cards orderly, and establishing a time deadline. The ideas collected in this way are summa- rized, and feedback is given to all involved. Non-group members may be allowed to contribute. This is a useful mechanism if the problem isn't particularly pressing. It has the advantage of getting everyone involved and having a proprietary interest in the solutions that emerge. 79115. IDEATRIGGERS Props or idea triggers are extremely useful for generating ideas. Give participants something tangible to work with that is somehow related to the problem. For example, when product development consultant Steve Kange was hired to help problem solvers invent new flavors of Life Savers, he gave them a list of 75 Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavors, samples of exotic fruits (kiwis, kumquats) and samples of perfumes. The result—the problem solvers came up with Life Savers' very successful \"Fruit Juicers\" line. 35 80/16. INNOVATION COMMITTEE In this technique, managers, technical representatives, and other employees meet periodically to solve problems. 36 Em- ployees bid for the job of coordinator by submitting propos- als. The idea is that the better the proposal the more com- mitted the employee, and the more committed the employee the more will get done. Intuit, the microcomputer software firm that makes Quicken, a program that allows consumers and small businesses to write checks and keep track of them on a personal computer, uses the innovation ideas commit- tee to improve productivity and products.

81/17. INTERCOMPANY INNOVATION GROUPS In the intercompany innovation group, top executives from various companies, led by an innovation consultant, meet for the purpose of solving company problems in innovative ways? Other activities of the group may include seminars, study trips to other organizations, and forecasting trends in major environmental factors. Such groups are quite popular in Europe, especially Norway and Denmark, and are becom- ing more common in the United States. 82/18. LION'S DEN The Lion's Den is a lambs versus the lions group problem solving session.\" At the beginning of a normal meeting of a department, or a meeting among departments, the work group designated to present a problem, the lambs, makes its pitch to the other members of the group, the lions. Groups rotate into the lamb position periodically and are given at least a week to prepare a problem statement, phrased as \"How can we ...?\" The problem is drawn as a picture on a flipchart or white board. The lions have the right to refuse the problem as too frivolous, in which case the lambs must work another week on a new problem. The lambs are given five minutes to describe the solutions they propose. The li- ons then offer feedback, additional solutions, and so on for twenty minutes. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 143

83/19. LOTUS BLOSSOM TECHNIQUE, OR THE MY (MATSUMURAYASUO) METHOD Yasuo Matsumura, president of Clover Management Re- search in Chiba City, Japan, developed this technique, draw- ing upon the idea of a lotus blossom but adding mechanics similar to those of the spreadsheet program Lotus 1.2.3. \" The petals of a lotus blossom cluster around a central core and spread out from that point. By creating windows simi- lar to those used in spreadsheets, portions of an idea board can be sectioned off in such a way that a central theme is used to derive ideas in surrounding windows, which in turn become the centers of new sets of windows. The process goes like this: 1. A central theme, idea, problem, issue, etc., is written in the center of the MY lotus blossom diagram. (See Figure 5.1.) 2. Participants are then asked to think of related ideas or applications or solutions, issues, and so forth. These ideas are then written into the circles located in the center of the diagram and surrounding the central theme (labeled A through H in Figure 5.1). 3. These ideas then become the basis for generating addi- tional lotus diagrams. For example, A would have a set of eight boxes surrounding it. So would B, C, and so on. This method serves the Japanese culture well, especially when it comes to generating new applications of existing technologies or products, something the Japanese excel at. U.S. firms would do well to emulate their efforts. An example of how this technique might be used follows: Assuming that the central theme is superconductivity and the issue is commercial applications, then items to go into circles A through H might include magnetic levitation trains, energy storage, electrical transmission, and computer board wiring. If electrical transmission was written in circle A, it would also be the core theme for the box immediately below circle A. Participants would then be asked to think of eight applications of superconductivity in electrical transmission, 144

and thetil i I l c written in the ei) ,,ht through 8, that tilll lmind tile second circled A. l'he prow can then be repli( died using each of these eight items. I have found this technique to he very useful for creating future scenarios. Participants like the way ideas flow rap- idly from. one set of boxes to another, from one lotus petal to another. This technique combines the free flow of the mind map, described in Chapter 4, with the structure of the storyboard, described later in this chapter. Figure 5.1 The Lotus Blossom uu El El El u ta F C G El O B D El E AH El n o RA 111 u u El 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 145

SUMMARY OF STEPS I A centrol idea, problem, or issue is written in the center of the MY lotus blossom diagram. 2. l'articipants brainstorm related ideas, issues, solutions, applica- tions, and so forth. These are written in the surrounding eight circles. 3. Each of these eight ideas becomes the center of a new lotus blos- som. 4. Participants brainstorm related ideas, issues, solutions, applica- tions, and so forth for each of these eight diagrams. 5. Further iterations may ensue. 6. The resulting ideas are discussed and evaluated. 84/10. MITSUBISHI BRAINSTORMING METHOD Sadami Aoki of Mitsubishi Resin has developed a Japanese alternative to traditional Western-style brainstorming. 40 It follows these steps: 1. Participants are given a chance to warm up by writing down their ideas before sharing them with others. This step may take fifteen minutes or longer. 2. Each participant is asked to read his or her ideas aloud, volunteering to do so as he or she chooses. Participants are encouraged to write down new ideas that build on the ideas of others that have been read aloud. Participants who didn't have very many original ideas at first can wait and read aloud their piggybacked ideas along with their original ones. This reading aloud is similar to what occurs in the U.S.- developed nominal group technique described later. And it has become part of the Mitsubishi method for essen- tially the same reason that it was incorporated into the nominal group technique: to keep aggressive personali- ties from dominating a session. But there are important differences, as you will note after you have compared it to the nominal group technique. 3. For the next hour or longer, participants explain their ideas in detail to the group. A group leader creates an \"idea map\" on a large writing surface, detailing the inputs of 146

the group. I hr. all to apprehcnkl !snotty tl u presented and, in most ((Ise. , their interrelationshi)s. I'I' U Japanese appcar to he much more visually oriented than their U.S. counterparts, and this has helped them improve their creativity. Most authors on creativity agree that mem- bers of U.S. organizations need to improve their visualization skills in order to become more creative. 4. Analysis of inputs proceeds from this point with appro- priate attention to the cultural environment. In Japan, this means that comments must be phrased so as to allow oth- ers to \"save face.\" SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The problem is identified. 2. Participants write down their solutions. 3. Participants read their ideas aloud. 4. Those with no or only a few original ideas can read piggybacked ideas as well as their own. 5. Ideas are explained aloud and in detail. 6. An idea map is drawn. 7. Ideas are discussed and evaluated in a face-saving manner. 85/21. MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS 101 CREATIVE Morphological analysis was developed by Fritz Zwicky. As PROBLEM you can see in Figure 5.2 it involves a matrix. On the vertical SOLVING axis are listed particular characteristics, adjectives, adverbs, TECHNIQUES prepositions, and the like. On the horizontal axis appears another set of objectives, characteristics, factors, adjectives, 147 adverbs, verbs, and so on. The purpose of the analysis is to force one set of characteristics and words against another to create new ideas. Typically, problem characteristics may be listed on one of the axes and a verbal, prepositional, or rela- tional checklist on the other. But any number of factors may be placed on either axis. The important point is to choose factors that may provide new insights into the problem, ob- ject, or other focus of the problem-solving effort. In a three- dimensional matrix, a third set of factors can be used. The advantage of morphological analysis is that numerous ideas can be generated in a short period. A 10 x 10 matrix

d loolki kb, A I() I() 1() matrix yields 10001,1(.. process is usually done in groups, but it may be do n indi- vidually first and then developed into a pooled matrix by a leader who incorporates individual inputs. Alternatively, the group may brainstorm the analysis together. Or, the process may be done individually without the involvement of a group. 4' Figure 5.2 Morphological Analysis L -s• --k CL,.)`4\" 4*II,_,N.4cit0iirOrMik 4/.11, <<, he* .40fflAIMO V. eA ria SOPI OA I Size ••. 2 Height _ _ .. 3 Width _ - 4 Weight , 5 Volume _ 6 Shape c•4 inH 7 Position 8 Location =1 9 Arrangement 10 Strenght Uuj II Composition I 12 Ingredients U 13 Hardness Ill 14 Color D 15 Psycological co 16 Stability 2 17 Adhesion I— 18 Heat properties I\" 19 Crystalline structure 'Ct 20 Ductility 21 Time Properties 22 Energy and power 23 Electrical 24 Transmissibility _ 25 Hydraulic 26 Chemical 46\" z59,4% C 7/J7\" Source: Carl E. Gregory, The Management of Intelligence, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), p. 201. 148

SUMMARY OF STEPS I. The product e to be modified is chosen. 2. A two- or three-dimensional matrix is created, with one axis consisting of characteristics or attributes of the product or service, the other of change words such as verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. A third axis would contain additional change words, characteristics, or other relevant factors. 3. The change words are applied to the characteristics. 4. The results are discussed and evaluated. Attributional Morphology You can list the attributes of a particular object or problem on both axes of a matrix. The resulting cells will be intercon- nections between the various attributes. Three-D attribute morphology involves listing the attributes on three axes. An exhaustive list of possible combinations will result. The pur- pose is to generate new types of attributes by using the at- tributes themselves to trigger thought. As with the other processes described in this book, you want first quantity, then quality. After generating ideas, you reexamine and evaluate the product. 86/22. NHK METHOD Hiroshi Takahashi developed the NHK method after years of training television production managers at Japan Broad- casting Company (NHK). 42 While it is a lengthy process, it acts like an egg beater, causing ideas to be continually merged and separated, thereby generating new ideas. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. In response to a problem statement, participants write down five ideas on separate cards. 2. Participants meet in groups of five. Each person explains his or her ideas to the other members of the group. Other members of the group write down any new ideas that come to mind on separate cards. 3. The cards are collected and sorted into groups by theme. 4. New groups of two or three people are formed. Each group takes one or more of the sorted groups of cards and brainstorms for new ideas related to those on the cards. This lasts for up to half an hour. The new ideas are also written on cards. CONTINUES ON PAGE 150 149

At the i'iut ot this session each group organizes its cards by theme and ailliotilices the ideas to the rest of the group. All ideas are written on a large surface by a leader or recorder. 6. Participants are formed into groups of ten and all the ideas on the writ- ing surface are brainstormed, one idea at a time. 87/23. NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE The nominal group technique (NGT) is a structured small- group process for generating ideas. 4 It can be used to di- minish the impact of a dominant person on the outcome of the group's idea generation process, whether the source of the dominance is formal authority or individual personality. The nominal group technique accomplishes this objective through a process that limits an individual's inputs to brief explanations and uses a secret ballot to choose among brainstormed ideas. For this technique to be effective, the participants must agree that the group's decision is binding. \"As a group decision-making process, the nominal group technique is most useful for (1) identifying the critical vari- ables in a specific problem situation; (2) identifying key ele- ments of a program designed to implement a particular so- lution to some problems; or (3) establishing priorities with regard to problems to be addressed, goals to be attained, desirable end states and so on. In all of these circum- stances, it often seems beneficial to aggregate individual judgments into group decisions. However, NGT is not 150

particularly well ..tisfed for routine group meetings that fo cus primarily irdination of activities or an exchange of information. Nor is it appropriate for negotiating or bar- gaining situations. As with brainstorming, the NGT uses a group of six to twelve people. The leader is also the secretary and records the group's responses, at the appropriate time, on a sizable writ- ing surface that is visible to all participants. The process of decision making using the nominal group tech- nique consists of four distinct steps, which can be adapted to special conditions as suggested in the following para- graphs. Step I: Generation of Ideas The leader phrases the problem, stimulus question or other focal issue for the participants, and writes this on the white board or other writing surface. Group members are given a specified period, usually five to ten minutes, to write their suggested solutions on notecards. This reflective period helps avoid some of the pressure for conformity to a particular person's ideas. Yet there is still a sense of belonging and responsibility. Step 2: Recording of Ideas In the second step the ideas generated in step 1 are recorded, in round-robin fashion, on the board. The leader asks each person in turn for the first idea on his or her list that has not yet been presented by someone else. The process continues until every participant has exhausted his or her list of items and all items have been recorded on the board. When a person's list is exhausted, he or she passes when called upon for solutions. The round robin continues until everyone passes. This process emphasizes the equality of ideas and serves to build enthusiasm. It also depersonalizes the ideas presented and helps prevent prejudging. And it helps en- sure that no ideas are lost. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 151

Step 3: Clarification of Ideas Lich idea on the list from step 2 is discussed in the order in which it was written down. Typically, the leader points to each item, asking if everyone clearly understands that item. If there are no questions, then the leader moves on to the next item. When a participant seeks clarification of an item, the presenter of the idea is given a brief period of time, nor- mally thirty seconds to one minute, to respond. More time may be given if necessary, but the leader must make certain that these discussions are brief and that they are not used to sell the idea to the other participants. This process contin- ues until all ideas are understood. The purpose of this step is not to reach agreement on the best choices but simply to achieve understanding of what the choices actually call for. Step 4:Voting on Ideas A nominal group will often list from 20 to 100 or more ideas. This list must be somehow narrowed down to the \"best\" choice as determined by the group. There are several ways to proceed at this point, all based on the principle of the se- cret ballot. The most common voting procedure is for the leader to have each participant write the five ideas he or she considers best on a 3 x 5 card, which is then passed to the leader for tabulation and announcement of scores. Normally, the five to ten \"best\" choices as determined by secret ballot are then voted on again to determine the one, two, or three best choices. In both rounds of the voting process, participants rank their five choices (first iteration) and two or three choices (second iteration). In tabulating scores, the most important item should receive the highest score, the least important the low- est. You may choose to use a scale of 1 to 5, 1 to 3, or some- thing similar. Total votes and total scores should be docu- mented for purposes of comparison.` 5 Observations on the Technique The nominal group technique has proven to be an effective way of preventing dominant individuals from affecting the outcome of group decision processes. The NGT is best used 152

with rather nortow l‘ iieht fl problems. Wl li I I IF( )1) 1(1111 is more comple., ()I when it is difficult to arrive at a sold Lion, interactive technique, especially storyboarding, ay be more beneficial. Experiences with the Process Many firms use the NGT for a variety of purposes. It has been used to identify difficulties faced by organizational development (OD) professionals in making OD part of or- ganizational strategy,46 in strategic planning for an integrated information system in a large firm with many divisions, 47 4\" When the top man- andievlopgstrcdabe. agers of Incentive magazine sponsored an NGT session to create a more formal incentive program for the magazine's editors and production staff, more than fifty ideas were gen- erated. These were later pared down to a small list. 49 Variations on Nominal Group The Improved Nominal Group Technique essentially com- bines Delphi (explained earlier) with NGT. Participants' in- puts are submitted in advance of the meeting. This elimi- nates the identification of the idea with the person submit- ting it, as happens in the verbal, one-at-a-time scenario used in NGT. It also can involve a change in voting procedure to allow one negative vote to block an idea.'\" SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The problem is identified. 2. Participants are given a specified period to write down their so- lutions to the problem. 3. Ideas are recorded on a large surface in round-robin fashion. 4. As the process continues, participants will eventually pass as all their ideas have been written on the board. 5. The leader goes down the list of ideas, asking if any need clarifi- cation. If they do, then the introducer of the idea has 15 to 30 seconds to explain, but not sell, the idea. 6. Participants vote on the ideas by secret ballot. Usually two rounds of voting are necessary.

88/24. PHILLIPS 66 (DISCUSSION 66) The Phillips 66 method breaks a larger group down into groups of six, plus a leader and a secretary, for the purpose of brainstorming. 5' Its developer, Don Phillips, then presi- dent of Hillsdale College, Michigan, recognized that for many people situational factors such as the size of the group and the design of the meeting room, as well as early training, tend to discourage participation. When large groups are bro- ken into smaller ones these factors are overcome, since in small groups individuals are more likely to express ideas that might be suppressed in larger groups. In the Phillips 66 method each group focuses on a single problem, which should be well worded, concise, and clearly identified. Participants try to arrive at a decision within six minutes. 89/25. PHOTO EXCURSION Photo excursion uses the same principles as picture simula- tion (see Chapter 4). Instead of using prepared pictures for stimulation, participants are required to leave the building, walk around the area with a polaroid camera, and take pic- tures of possible solutions or visual metaphors for the prob- lem.52 When the group reconvenes, ideas are shared. 154

90/26. PIN CARD I LCHNIQUE This is another to lwi&iue developed at the Battelle Institute of Frankfurt, ( perniany. This German adaptation of brainwriting is based on another German creativity technique known as the metaphor technique. This process is similar to the NHK method and TKJ method which are described as processes 11 and 13 in this chapter. This version of brainwriting allows for structuring of the ideas quickly. 53 SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. A group of five to eight people sit around a table. 2. Each member writes his or her thoughts about a given problem on cards (one idea per card) using colored magic markers, a dif- ferent color for each contributor. 3. All completed cards are passed in the same direction. 4. Each participant reads the cards that have been passed to him or her and passes them on to the next person if the ideas seem worth- while. ideas that do not appear useful are set aside. 5. The moderator sorts out the cards that make it all the way around the table. 6. These cards are sorted into categories and pinned to a large sur- face. 91/27. SCENARIO WRITING 101 CREATIVE Scenario writing involves analyzing information, thinking PROBLEM and writing about scenarios discussing the company's (or SOLVING an individual's) potential future. An important part of this TECHNIQUES exercise begins with identifying problems and opportuni- ties that may result from any of the scenarios envisioned and 155 then solving the problems or taking advantage of the oppor- tunities. It is believed that creating scenarios will lead to many suggested solutions. Scenario writing is a sophisticated technique that requires considerable time and effort. It is the thinking about future possibilities that is important. The scenarios themselves are somewhat secondary. Few managers, professionals, or other employees think they have time to think about the future, but such activity is vital to success.

Figure 5.3 Sample Scenario Summary Descriptors SCENARIO A: SCENARIO B: The Nation's Future is Oil and Gas Benefits Lead to Dominated by the Restructured National Oil and Gas Economy Economy Global • Persistent Economic Structural • Moderate Growth, Some Economic Problems Progress Toward Restructuring Development • OECD Growth:About 2% • OECD Growth: 2.5% • Inflation Higher:Volatile • Cyclical Swings in Inflation, Exchange Rates Exchange Rates Geopolitical • Increasing Protectionism • Growing International Trade and Relations • Slowdown/Reversal of Cooperation Privatization Policies • Gains for Privatization in OECD • U.S.-Western Europe Tensions • Relaxation of East-West Tensions: Exploited by the USSR Increased Trade Energy • Oil Demand Growth: I% • Oil Demand Growth: I% Market • Gas Demand Growth: 2% • Gas Demand Growth: 2% Structure • OPEC Dominance Gains • Increases in OPEC Power North • North Sea, Barents Sea Oil and Gas Sea, Barents Sea Developments Industry Developments Pushed Pushed Structure • COMECON Gas Available • COMECON Gas Expansion • Strong Upstream Operations • More Strategic Alliances Post 1990 • Greater Push Downstream National • National Will: Unsure, Drifting • Moderately Dynamic National Economy • Economic Restructuring: Will - Few Initiatives Successful • Economic Restructuring: Balance - Petroleum Sector Dominant Between Petroleum and • GNP Growth:About 2.5% NonPetroleum Sectors • GNP Growth:About 2.5% Technological • Incremental Development: • Accelerated Progress: Integration Change Fragmented Disciplines of Disciplines • Norwegian R&D Spending: 1.5% • Growth of Norwegian R&D to of GNP with Oil and Gas as No. 2% of GNP, with new Priorities I Priority • Oil and Gas Technology: Focus on • Oil and Gas Technology: Focus New Reserves Access on E&P Improvement and New Reserves 156

SCENARIO C: SCENARIO D: The Country The Country is Driven Out Struggles i n a Depressed World of Oil Dependence by Global Restructuring • Severe Economic Structural • Strong Growth, Following Problems, Protectionism Restructuring Adjustments • OECD Growth: 1.5% • OECD Growth: 3-3.5% • Volatile Inflation (Some • Relatively Stable Inflation and Deflation) and Exchange Rates Exchange Rates • Volatile Tension-Filled World: • Agreements Resulting from Stable Growth in Protectionism, Political Relations Nationalism • Flourishing of Market-Orientated • Emphasis on Government Policies Controls • COMECON Drawn more into • East-West Relations and Trade Global Mainstream Deteriorate • Oil Demand Growth: 0% • Oil Demand Growth: I% • Gas Demand Growth: 1% • Gas Demand Growth: 3% • Struggle for OPEC to Survive • Loss of OPEC Power and • Barents Sea Development Cohesion Delayed • North Sea, Barents Sea • COMECON Gas Reduced Development Slowed • Mergers/Consolidations Multiply • Strategic Shift from Oil to Gas • State-Owned Companies • Privatization of Some State- Favored by National Policies Owned Operations • Malaise: Discouraged, Divided • Strongly Dynamic National Will • Economic Restructuring: • Economic Restructuring: - All Sectors Struggling - Most Initiatives Successful - Govt. Support of Energy - Gas More Important than Oil Sector • GNP Growth: 2.5-3% • GNP Growth: 1-1.5% • Stalled Development: Restrictive, • Rapid Progress: Integration, 101 Protectionist Policies Global Diffusion of Technologies CREATIVE PROBLEM • Norwegian R&D Spending • Norwegian R&D at 2-2.5% 50 LV I NC. Overall Declines but Spending - Focus on High-tech TECHNIQUES on Oil and Gas R&D Constant - Restructuring 157 • Oil and Gas Technology: Focus • Oil and Gas Technology: Focus on on Productivity/Cost Control Gas Conversion, Artificial Intelligence / Imaging Source: Reprinted from: Long Range Planning, vol. 23, no.2., P.R. Stokke, W.K. Ralston, T.A. Boyce, I.H. Wilson, \"Scenerio Planning for Norwegian Oil and Gas\", pp. 22, Copyright 1990, with kind permission from Pergamon Press Ltd., Headington Hill Hall, Oxford OX3 OW, U.K.

'it (.11.11 . 10 writing con be used ill solving several tvp\".,,1 1 , 101) !ems. It is illost often used in preparing alternative strate- gies for various possible future conditions. Typically the sce- nario forecasts involve analyzing the organization's internal and external environments for information about its projected strengths and weaknesses, its future opportunities and threats (SWOT). The firm is interested in building up strengths and overcoming weaknesses in order to take ad- vantage of opportunities and mitigate threats. Internally, the firm studies factors such as its technology, functional prow- ess, resources, capabilities, employees, and management. Externally, it examines factors such as competitors' antici- pated actions, the expected economy, and the changing na- ture of customer's buying practices. Three to five key drivers of the company's future are deter- mined—for example, changing demographics or technology. Future scenarios are then forecast on the basis of the likely impact of these key drivers on from five to ten key factors such as market share, customer responses, buying patterns, the economy, and research and development needs. Each scenario focuses on one or two drivers. For example, if changing technology is seen as critical to a firm's future, a scenario is depicted in which the likely impact of changing technology on the key factors is described. Other scenarios are created using another key driver. Thus, the impacts of an aging population could be described in terms of the same factors—market share, customer responses, buying patterns, the economy, research and development needs, and so on. Figure 5.3 presents a typical summary of four scenario fore- casts. These four scenarios were created by Norwegian Oil & Gas in an attempt to understand the future need for oil and gas, and hence their need to drill for oil and gas. From these scenarios, they developed a R & D strategy for oil and gas exploration. Note how the drivers often result in the titles of the scenarios. The scenario writers identify oppor- tunities (and threats) and determine what the company needs in the way of increased strengths and reduced weaknesses to take advantage of those opportunities. Strategies are de- termined on the basis of this SWOT analysis.54

RICOH'S PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SCENARIOS Japan's RICOi I is one of the world's leading office m automation equipment manufacturers. It has the largest market share in electronic copiers, facsimi- Z'SN O ILDV N I39433ALLVAO N N les, and write-once optical discs. It also makes of- fice computers, Japanese word processors, print- ers, semi-conductors, cameras and software. RICOH's eight re- search laboratories receive an unusually high level of support be- cause RICOH believes that creative and innovative research is the key to the company's future. Some of the primary features of its support programs are flexible work hours, special motivation sys- tems, and numerous information exchange efforts. For example, in the center of the primary research building is a community plaza with a giant meeting table in the shape of a tree around which colleagues from different research projects may meet to brainstorm and exchange ideas. In deciding what to research, RICOH's planners study probable customer needs over a certain time horizon. In determining fu- ture customer needs, social and technological trends are investi- gated and analyzed. Scenarios are then prepared based on these analyses. For example, \"The office in the year 2001\" would be a typical focal point around which to build scenarios. A scenario might start this way, \"One fine morning, Mr. R. got up at 8 a.m. as usual. He sat down on the sofa in front of the wide flat-panel screen. His home computer, connected with his office....\" RICOH's planners extract potential products from these scenarios and pick 10-15 per year for research. Next, strategic targets would he bro- ken down into research themes. At this point, researchers join the project. Alternatively, planners may also choose among seed pro- grams that allow researchers to follow projects of interest to them that also have marketability. Next, a research strategy is deter- mined and carried out. Finally, technology transfer occurs between the lab and the factory. Source: Akira Okamoto, \"Creative and Innovative Research at RICOH.\" Long Range Planning, October 1991, p. 13. 159

\\\\ 11 (.11 Milt. sceI hfl daydre. ► mmr, 111. ► \\ ► i-ed It proceeds in the el me basic way as scen ► r ► o 1)1011- fling, but it seldom results in a sizable written document the way scenario planning does, and there is much less formal research than with scenario planning. 55 Any problem situation that is changing over time lends it- self to using scenarios. Southern California Edison used this technique in planning for new electric production capacity, and determining what actions to take as a result.\" SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Define the problem. 2. Identify three to five drivers of the firm's future. 3. Determine impacts of these on five to ten key factors (including the drivers). 4. Write scenarios based on the key drivers and their impacts on the key factors. 5. Prepare a summary chart. 6. Creativity occurs in writing the scenarios and reacting to them. 92/28. SIL METHOD This technique was developed at the Battelle Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. The letters SIL form an acronym in German that translates roughly as \"successive integration of problem elements.\"57 This technique is similar to other ver- sions of brainwriting, many of which were also developed at Battelle. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Each participant silently generates responses to a problem state- ment. 2. Two group members each read an idea aloud. 3. The other members try to combine the two ideas into one. 4. Another member reads his or her idea aloud and the other mem- bers try to combine it with the previous idea. 5. This process continues until a workable solution has been found or the deadline is reached. 160

93/29. STORYBOARDING 101 Storyboarding is a structured exercise based on brainstorm- KILtEATIVf ing.\" It is extremely flexible and can be readily modified. It assists in all stages of the problem solving process but espe- PROBLEM cially in generating and deciding on alternatives. In con- trast to brainstorming, which is best used with a narrowly 1_91Y11•14 defined problem, storyboarding is especially useful for solv- TECHNIQVES ing complex problems. It can be used not only to provide solutions but also to help define the various aspects of a com- plex problem. A specific format for describing the problem and a specific process for solving it are provided. Background Walt Disney and his staff devised a forerunner of the stpryboard technique in 1928. Disney wanted to achieve full animation in cartoon features, something no one had been able to accomplish previously. To do so, he produced an enormous number of drawings—thousands more than the then current state of the art required. Approximately four times as many frames per second were to be used to pro- duce high-quality cartoon features, giving his firm a major competitive edge.

lietore Ion) ,„ however, piles of drawings were star 1,cd up in the small studio. It was nearly impossible to keel) tabs on what had been completed and what still needed to be done. Finally, Disney decided to have his artists pin their draw- ings on the walls of the studio in sequence. Thereafter any- one could know at a glance how far along any given project was. — The technique saved time; scenes could be discarded with ease; fewer meetings were required. The story was told on a wall covered with a special kind of board; hence the term storyboard. Mike Vance joined the Disney organization in the 1960s. During his tenure as head of Disney University, the company's employee development program, he and mem- bers of his staff refined the storyboard concept. They recog- nized that the technique had problem-solving potential be- yond facilitating the layout of cartoon features. Vance left Disney in the late 1970s to consult full time with firms on the use of storyboarding. It is from his system, as modified by Jerry McNellis and to some extent by me, that the storyboarding process described here has evolved. An Overview ofThe Process Storyboarding is, as it name implies, creating a story on boards. You take your thoughts and those of others and spread them out on a wall as you work on a project or at- tempt to solve a problem. When you put ideas on storyboards, you begin to see interconnections—you see how one idea relates to another, how all the pieces fit together. Storyboarding follows the basic processes of brainstorming— it uses a leader, a secretary, and a group of people working openly and following the four rules of brainstorming. How- ever, storyboarding takes brainstorming several steps further. It is more organized and deals with more complex issues. Storyboarding demands a high level of participation, but once the ideas start flowing, those involved will become immersed in the problem. They will begin to \"hitchhike on,\" or embel- lish, each other's ideas.

A Story Board on Storyboarding 101 CREATIVE A storyboard is organized in columns underneath major el- PROBLEM ements known as headers. SOLVING TECHNIQUES The Topic Header. Figure 5.4 portrays the first step in storyboarding: identifying the topic. At the top of the storyboard, the topic to be defined or the problem to he solved is identified. This is referred to as the topic header. Here the topic header is storyboarding. It could just as easily be \"re- cruiting high-quality employees in a low-skill labor market\" or \"differentiating our product from those of our competitors.\" The Purpose Header. Figure 5.5 indicates the second step in the process, establishing the purpose header and brainstorm- ing the purposes for pursuing the topic, which are then listed beneath the purpose header. These purposes must be identi- fied before any other headers are created. Each item placed under a header is known as a subber. The purpose header in our example has four subbers: solving problems more effec- tively; raising levels of creativity; improving planning, communication, and organization; and increasing participa- tion. Others may be added later. The Miscellaneous Header. Figure 5.5 also contains the miscellaneous header. The column beneath this header con- tains all the items that don't seem to fit in any of the other columns. Items are placed under the miscellaneous header as the rest of the columns are brainstormed. Later they may be placed under another header or may become headers them- selves if enough similar items appear in the miscellaneous col- umn. In our example there is only one subber under the mis- cellaneous header: background. More will be added later. The Other Headers. Figure 5.6 portrays the third step in the storyboarding process: identification of the other headers— that is, the major issues and solutions to the problem, other than the purpose and miscellaneous headers. Brain- storming of the major issues involved in storyboarding re- veals the following headers: Major Uses of Storyboarding, Types of Storyboards, Types of Sessions for Each Storyboard, The Project Team, Materials Involved in a Storyboard, Rules for a Creative-Thinking Session, Rules for a Critical-Think- ing Session, and The Role of the Leader.

Figure 5.4 Step One of Storyboarding STORY Figure 5.5 Step Two of Storyboarding STORY Purpose V, 164

BOARDING BOARDING Miscellaneous 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES

Figure 5.6 Step Three of Storyboarding STORY Purpose Major Uses Types of Types of The Storyboards sessions in a Project Storyboard Team Solve problems more effectively Raise levels of creativity Improve planning, communication Increase participation Figure 5.7 Step Four of Storyboarding STORY Purpose Major Uses Types of Types of The Storyboards sessions in a Project Storyboard Team Solve problems Strategic problem Planning Creative thinking 5-8 more effectively solving Raise levels of Operational Ideas Critical thinking Composition of group creativity problem solving Improve Communication planning, who, what, when communication Organization Increase how, tasks, who participation 166

BOARDING Materials The Rules for The Rules for Role of Miscellaneous a Creative a Critical the Leader Thinking Session Thinking Session BOARDING Materials The Rules for The Rules for Role of Miscellaneous a Creative a Critical the Leader Thinking Session Thinking Session Wall boards No criticism Be objective Choose topic, Background:: team Disney, Mike Vance Cards: sizes; Quantity no Be critical Choose type of Visual colors; pins; quality storyboard, tape brief team Wide tipped Piggyback ides Attack ideas not Warm up, Flexible markers people review rules , Topic header Use symbols Post It notes The wilder the headers better subbers Scissors, string Quick and dirty Conduct 101 Table creative thinking CREATIVE PROBLEM Conduct SOLVING critical thinking TECHNIQUES 167

At %%Hier stage there might have been a column Libeled \" I 'ffice. , with subbers such as Major Uses of Story Boards, Types of Story Boards, and Types of Story Board Sessions. But further consideration would have shown the need for headers for each of these topics. So in Figure 5.7 headers were created for each of them. This action reveals the flex- ibility of storyboarding, a characteristic that has been added to the miscellaneous column in Figure 5.7. Sometimes you may question whether an idea is important enough to be a header. If in doubt, make it a header; later you can make it a subber under another header. Major Uses of Story Boards. Two subbers are identified: strategic and operational problem solving. Today virtually all problems are of one type or the other. There are few tac- tical problems left because of the time compression caused by accelerated rates of change, but they could be listed too. These problem-solving efforts can be individual, group, or organizational in nature. Types of Story Boards. There are four principal types of story boards: planning, ideas, organization, and communi- cation boards. The Planning Story Board. The first step in the storyboarding process. It contains all the major ideas related to solving the problem described by the topic header. It is the blueprint for the actions that follow. The storyboarding process evolves mostly from the planning board. The Ideas Story Board. The second step in the storyboarding process. It is an expansion of some of the ideas (hence the name) contained in the planning board. Typically, a header such as Rules for Creative Thinking, would become a topic header in an ideas board, and each of the subbers under that header in the planning board would become headers in the ideas board. Participants brainstorm the subbers for each of these headers and may add headers related to actual solu- tions of particular problems. Once the ideas board is com- plete, then the organization board is necessary. 7 The Organization Story Board. Answers three questions: What are the tasks that need to he done? When do they need 168

to begin .? Who %% III h.. d ► mg them It take., the ohjek h\\ eti and plans estabh..hcd in the planning and ideas hoards and breaks them into individtta1 and group objectives and tasks. I like to write the organization information on the planning and/or ideas boards rather than create a separate board. Your preference may vary. Once the storyboarding sessions are over, this information will need to he transcribed in a de- tailed format. For this an organization board is useful. Once solutions have been identified and tasks created, a communications STORY BOARD board is used to describe how this in- formation will be conveyed. Planning The Communications Story Board. Answers these questions: Who needs to know? What do they need to know? When d.o they need to know STORY BOARD it? What media are going to be used to convey the information? This board Ideas can be completed after the tasks have been established.. Some people prefer to begin work on STORY BOARD this board early in the creative-think- ing session. I don't. You have to have Organization the tasks established before you can communicate them. As with the or- STORY BOARD ganization board, I prefer to simply write on the planning and ideas Communication boards, saving the separate report of this information for later. The beauty of storyboarding is that such flexibil- ity is possible. You can use planning and ideas 101 boards in all creative-thinking projects---they're the core of CREATIVE the story board system. The extent to which you use com- P. ROBLEM munication and organization boards depends on the scope SOLVING of the project, the size of your organization, the number of \"TEO -MI(11)r people outside the project team who need to know about the project and its progress, and the number of people who will eventually be involved in implementing the ideas. 169

I1 I II Li ED Ci Li The Types of Story Board Sessions. There are two types of story board sessions: creative-thinking sessions and critical- thinking sessions. They take place for each of the four types of story boards—planning, ideas, organization, and communication. Rules for a Creative Thinking Session: During the creative- thinking session the objective is to come up with as many ideas and solutions as possible. You follow the basic brainstorming rules: Consider all ideas relevant, no matter how impractical and farfetched they may seem; the more ideas that arise, the better; no criticism is allowed at this point; hitchhike on each others' ideas and keep comments short. (There will be an evaluation session following the creativity session.) Each creative-thinking session should last no longer than an hour (ideally thirty to forty minutes) to maintain maximum interest and effectiveness. The critical-thinking session that follows can be roughly twice as long. Rules for a Critical Thinking Session: After the planning board has been completed to the group's satisfaction, take a break. Now you're ready for a critical-thinking session. During the critical-thinking session the ideas and solutions generated in the creative-thinking session are evaluated. Now is the time to think judgmentally. 170

First look at a header Ask, these questions: Will the itle, work? Why is it up there? Is it necessary to our objective? Is it feasible? If the header doesn't stand up in the critical-think- ing session, remove it from the board or move it to another position on the board. Then evaluate each subber under the headers (keep in mind that if a header is not valid, it does not mean that any particular subber under it won't work). If a subber no longer seems pertinent or practical, toss it out or move it. Then go on to evaluate the next header and group of subbers under it, and so on until the entire board has been appraised. Your objective is to narrow the list of ideas to something more manageable. Additional Steps in the Process. The next step is to develop the next board in the sequence. If you are on a planning board, for example, your next step is a creativity session for an ideas board. If you are on an ideas board, you need to hold the creativity session for the organization board. It is best to schedule the sessions over a few days or weeks, recognizing that people are under time constraints. On the other hand, a lengthy \"grind\" session sometimes works well and may be necessary if the project is a crisis situation. The Project Team. Before you conduct a creative problem- solving session using the storyboard system, you must as- semble your project team. Normally there are five to eight 101 P.O B SOLVE{ , TECHN 171

1).1111( 11),IlitS,1)11( i t is leasible to include up to tweR pants. For demonstration purposes, storyboard groups can be very large. There may be times when you'll want to put together a separate project team to work on a particular ideas board. The wider and deeper you can go for ideas, the more productivity and creativity will result. The members of the group should be chosen carefully. They may come from various levels of the organization or from the same level. They may come from different organizations. They may even be strangers. They may have different or similar backgrounds. For example, you might ask a vice president and a foreman to join your team. You'll want to consider the balance between male and female members and include representatives of minority groups where possible. If power or authority situations might preclude active par- ticipation, participants should he drawn from the same level of the organizational hierarchy. Role of the Leader. The group leader makes sure the team meets on time and that the work gets done. He or she may facilitate the process as well. Because the facilitator's job is so demanding, the group may elect (or the leader may ap- point) different facilitators from time to time. Before start- ing any creative problem solving session, the leader should describe the topic to the team. The leader should be certain everyone understands the subject and why the session is being conducted. The Role of the Secretary. The secretary records the ideas generated in the creative-thinking session and deletes them, moves them, combines them, and so on, during the critical- thinking session. It's a good idea to change secretaries at least once during a lengthy session. Secretaries should use symbols and drawings occasionally, to save time, and liven up the session, and provide visual stimulation. Storyboarding Materials. Originally, story boards consisted of cork wall boards covering the entire sides of several walls; note cards were tacked to this surface. Thus, in addition to a facilitator and a secretary, a tacker was also needed. Later, people began to use scotch tape to attach the cards to any wall; this procedure required a taper. Now most story boards 172

are created on wi II inr, ..iirfoces such as 4 ' su l chalkbard!. or a series of white ht s inls. On these it is easy to add, delete, or move ideas. I prefer to use white boards and different- colored markers to differentiate the topic header, the head- ers, the subbers, and the siders. You can also use different colors to distinguish each column from the rest. If you use note cards, the topic card should be 8\" x 10\", the headers and subbers 4\" x 6\" Depending on which system you use, be it pushpin cards, taped cards, Post It Notes, erasable wall boards or chalkboards, you'll need push pins, scissors, wide marking pens for paper or boards, chalk, and a supply of cards or Post It Notes. A Polaroid camera comes in handy for taking pictures of completed boards. Another Example 101 CREATIVE Let's say that your creative problem-solving project is to PROBLEM SOLVING improve productivity. The topic card would read \"Improve TECHNIQUE Productivity.\" Then your project team would consider what they needed to do to talk about, or think about regarding 2 this problem. Some major considerations that might arise, to be written up on header cards, are the following: Purpose, Productivity Defined, Good Examples, Causes of High Productivity, Causes of Low Productivity, Educational Theories and Re- sources, Major Methods, Implementation Concepts, and Miscellaneous. Remember always to have a header labeled \"Purpose\" and one labeled \"Miscellaneous,\" and to complete the purpose header before brainstorming the other headers. Next work with each header in depth to develop the subbers under it. Miscellaneous: At first we had only \"background\" as a subber on our story board about storyboarding. Now, in Fig- ure 5.7, three more subbers have been added. Visual - One of the most important characteristics of storyboarding is its visuality. Not just the artwork which may be added, but the very fact that the words are listed so that everyone can see them and respond to them. Flexible - One reason I like this process is that it is so flexible. You don't have to follow the rules exactly. You can change the boards around easily. Sym- bols - The use of symbols makes it easier to be creative, be-

concepts than do words. The Personal Story Board The personal story board is a form that you can use to copy information from a wall story board. It can be carried con- veniently in a briefcase. It will come in handy if you want to work on a project when you're away from your story board wall. Figure 5.8 shows a sample personal story board form. Suggestions for Putting Storyboarding to Work 1. To start, choose the walls you'll devote to storyboarding and acquire the necessary materials. 2. Choose your first topic or objective. 3. Organize your project team. Notify the team members of the topic and type of story board. 4. Choose a facilitator, writer, and pinner /taper, and initiate the first creative-thinking session. Review ground rules. Do something to warm up the participants and get them excited about the project. 5. After a break, then, hold a critical-thinking session to evalu- ate the ideas generated in the creative-thinking session. Begin by reviewing ground rules. Reorganize your story board as you proceed. 6. Follow up your planning board with an ideas story board. Then use an organization story board and, if necessary, a communications board or some version thereof. Experiences with Storyboarding Storyboarding is not nearly as well known or as frequently utilized as brainstorming, yet for more complex problems, it is the best process to use. For example, a data transactions company that was seeking to become more innovative used storyboarding to develop a management structure that en- couraged and systematically approved of innovative projects. The process has been used successfully for a wide range of complex issues, from helping solve quality problems in the

Date Header Perso Header Subber Subber Topic Header Subber

onal Story Board Fi gure 5 .8 Pers on alS t or y B oard Header Header Header Header Subber Subber Subber Subber

la.. industry dl West 1•41cos Ferry 1 lospititl iii \\II,Inta, icorgia, to information system project design and implementation,\"() to writing technical proposals.\"' It is a major part of Frito-Lay's creative problem-solving program.\" 2 Noack and Dean Insurance Agency of Sacramento, Califor- nia uses story boards as the focal point for its planning cen- ter.63 Rockwell Hanford Operations of Richland, Virginia, used both brainstorming and story-boarding to formulate its information resource management plan (IRM), under which the business and scientific functions were merged into a single information system. 64 Final Observations on Storyboarding The beauty of this technique is that it is flexible and readily adaptable to your needs. If you don't like the exact system, change it a little to meet your requirements. When you be- gin using the process, keep it simple. As you become com- fortable with the system you can expand your applications of it. However, you may need to spread story boards over several days to maintain the group's energy levels, and sev- eral boards may be necessary to solve very complex prob- lems. Personally, I believe it is the best group problem-solv- ing technique for complex problems. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. A group consisting of eight to twelve people, a leader, and a re- corder are selected. 2. The problem is defined and identified as the topic header at the top of the story board. 3. The purpose and miscellaneous headers are written down. The purpose header is brainstormed. 4. The other headers are identified through brainstorming. 5. Each header's subtopics are identified through brainstorming. 6. After a break, the critical session occurs, using different rules from those used in the creative session. 7 Ideas, communication, and organization story boards follow, using the same steps. 176

94/30. SYNECT ICS 101 CREATIVE Synectics is a form ot group brainstorming that relies heavily PROBLEM on analogies and metaphors, association, and the excursion SOLVING technique to help the imagination find relationships between TECHNIQUE S seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, products, persons, and so on.65 The dual purpose of this process is to learn (i.e., 17_7 make the strange familiar) and to innovate (i.e., make the familiar strange). 66 The process usually uses seven people: a problem owner, a facilitator, and five other members. According to its creator, William J.J. Gordon, synectics is based on three key assumptions: 1. Creativity is latent to some degree in everyone. 2. Creativity is more closely related to the emotional and nonrational than to the intellectual and rational. 3. These emotional elements can be harnessed through train- ing and practice. 67 Three mechanisms are used to facilitate such behavior: 68 1. Direct analogy — finding out how the object is like other things that you are familiar with, such as biological systems. 2. Personal analogy — pretending you are the object of your study. This is role playing in its broadest sense. 3. Symbolic analogy — developing a compressed expression of the problem at hand—a key word. Then one or two analogies related to this are used to brainstorm. One of the major differences between synectics and normal brainstorming is the addition of criticism to the process. In fact, participants are encouraged to criticize, even to be sar- castic, but only at the right time. (As some versions of the criticism process can be quite harsh, the leader's role is made more difficult by this step.) These sessions can be highly charged emotionally. Synectics seeks to harness the criticism and what feelings it evokes. 69 At any step in the process the facilitator may interject the use of free association, analogies and metaphors, or the ex- cursion technique. I have found that if you focus on these

',pc( 1‘, ( )1 tilt' rock.. FIi results may enicrric It is of these processes and criticism that distinguishes synectics from brainstorming!\" SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The problem is identified. The owner of the problem defines it, begin- ning with \"How to 2. The problem is analyzed briefly. The owner of the problem describes why it is a problem, what solutions have been attempted, and the ob- jectives for the session. 3. Goals and wishes are stated. Participants write down personal goals and wishes for the problem. These are the vague, often \"wild and crazy\" beginnings of solutions. 4. Group goals and wishes are listed. Once individuals have completed their lists of goals and wishes, these are listed by the facilitator on a board. A round-robin approach such as is used with the nominal group technique works well. 5. The problem owner attempts to identify a possible solution. 6. The problem owner lists three strengths and three weaknesses of the possible solution. 7. The group critiques the proposed solution. 95/3 1 . TAKE FIVE \"Take five\" is a game that goes beyond brainstorming in its use of the small group. 71 The game takes about forty min- utes. \"Take five\" lends itself to all sorts of problem solving, from strategic planning and forecasting to construction of questionnaires. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. A topic is selected. 2. The leader describes it to the participants and clarifies issues if neces- sary. 3. Participants spend two minutes preparing lists of ideas related to the topic. 4. Dividing into teams of five, they pool their ideas to produce longer lists of items, which they rank in order of importance. 5. All the groups, meeting together, create a short list composed of the most important items from each group, limiting the total to ten. 6. These items are discussed and assessed. 178

96/32. TKJ ME. r HOD Developed in 196.1, e k.I (Kawakita Jim) method is named for its originator, Jiro Kawakita, then professor of anthropol- ogy at the Thkyo Institute of Technology. 72 The original \"kami-kire ho\" or \"scrap paper method\" was used to gener- ate new conceptual images from raw data. In its later stages, this technique is highly visual and helps link verbal concepts with visual representations. The TKJ method builds on the KJ method and provides more steps for defining the prob- lem. There are two parts to the TKJ process: problem defini- tion and problem solution. SUMMARY OF STEPS I. Problem Definition 1. Participants are given a central theme and asked to write as many ideas about the problem as possible on 3 x 5 cards (which have replaced the original pieces of scrap paper). Ideas must be stated briefly. The point of this step is for each individual to think of as many perspectives on the problem as possible. Each participant can generate fifteen to twenty ideas in a five- to ten-minute time span. 2. The cards are collected and consensually sorted into very gen- eral categories. To accomplish this, the leader collects the cards and redistributes them so that no person has his or her own cards. TKJ encourages the use of humor in sorting the cards and dis- cussing the ideas. 3. The leader reads one of the cards aloud. 4. Participants find cards in their stacks that contain related ideas and read these aloud. Alternatively, the leader can stack the cards as they are collected without having them read aloud. A collec- tion of cards, which constitute a set of thoughts, is built in this way. 5. The group gives each set of cards a name that captures the es- sence of the thoughts represented, that is, the essence of the prob- lem. 6. The process continues until all cards are in named sets. 7. The named sets are combined into an all-inclusive group that is named the way the other sets were. This final set represents a consensus definition of the problem. The purpose of sorting the ideas into groups is to bring new ways of thinking to old catego- ries of issues. Continued 179

II. Problem Solution I l'articipants write down possible solutions to the problem on I x 5 cards. These ideas may or may not be related to any that have preceded. 2. The leader collects the cards and redistributes them as in part I. The leader then reads one idea aloud. As before, participants find cards that are related to it. These are read aloud and a named solution set emerges. 3. As before, all cards are eventually placed in named solution sets. 4. As before, an all-inclusive solution set is derived and named. Variations: Rather than following Step 7 of Part I Problem Definition and combining sets into one overall definition, I like to use Step II for each of the named sets identified in Step 6 of Part I. I find this gives us a better handle on the problem than recombining. This approach makes TKJ simi- lar to the storyboarding technique. A graphical representation of the group's ideas may emerge as the leader/recorder, when soliciting the ideas, draws a conceptual picture of them on a writing surface in front of the group. New ideas are then generated and written down by participants. These may be derived from the conceptual picture itself or from a discussion of it. Eventually these ideas may also be shared. Like many of the Japanese creativity techniques, the TKJ method, which is extremely popular in Japan, uses cards, visual maps, and association of thoughts to generate new ideas. Some U.S. participants feel that it is too complicated and that it restricts creativity. Others like the fact that it guar- antees anonymity. A FINAL NOTE Thirty-two techniques are described in this chapter. You may find five to ten that you feel comfortable with. But try them all, and revisit them all occasionally to avoid getting in a rut. 180

REFERENCES 101 CREATIVE James M. Higgins, The A tanage ► erit Challenge, 2nd ed., (New York: Macmillan, 19,►.1), Chap. PROBLEM ters 1 and 15. SOLVINC, Ibid., p. 133. TECHNIQUI Ibid. 181 David J. Placek, \"Creativity Survey Shows Who's Doing What; How to Get Your Team on the Road to Creativity,\" Marketing News (November 6, 1989), p. 14. ' Alex Osborn, Applied Imagination (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1953), pp. 297-304; also see, Robert Kerwin, \"Brainstorming as a Flexible Management Tool,\" Personnel Journal (May 1983), pp. 414-418. \"Group Techniques: Part 2, Alternatives to Brainstorming,\" Small Business Report (October 1981), p. 15. \"IP Offers Creative Partnership,\" Purchasing World (August 1990), pp. 38-41. Edward D. Cohen and Robert H. Knospe, \"Professional Excellence Committee Benefits Tech- nical Professionals at DuPont,\" Research-Technology Management (July/August, 1990), pp. 46-50. \"Federal Express: Employees Eliminate Problems Instead of Fighting Fires,\" Business Mar- keting (February 1990), pp. 40, 42. 9 Carol Kennedy, \"The Transformation of AT&T,\" Long Range Planning (June 1989), pp. 10-17. 1° The author was the leader of these sessions. \" N.A. Howard, \"Creativity: A Special Report,\" Success, p. 56. 12 Karen Lowry Miller, \"55 Miles Per Gallon: How Honda Did It,\" Business Week (September 23, 1991), pp. 82, 83. '3 This discussion of Japanese creativity techniques and of the four techniques discussed later in the chapter are taken from: Sheridan M. Tatsuno, Created in Japan: From Imitators to World- Class Innovators, (New York: Harper & Row, Ballenger Division, 1990), pp. 104-115; and a summary of these as discussed in Sheridan M. Tatsuno, \"Creating Breakthroughs the Japa- nese Way,\" R&D Magazine (February 1990), pp. 137-142. 14 Arthur B. VanGundy, Creative Problem Solving (New York: Quorum Books, 1987), pp. 131— 144. \" Ibid. 16 Horst Greschka, \"Perspectives on Using Various Creativity Techniques,\" in Stanley S. Gryskiewicz, Creativity Week II, 1979 Proceedings (Greensboro, North Carolina: Center for Creative Leadership, 1979) pp. 51-55. \" Lea Hall, \"Can you Picture That?\" Training & Development Journal (September 1990), pp. 79- 81. 18 Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Frogs Into Princes: Neurolinguistic Programming(Moab, UT: Real People Press, 1979). '9 James F. Bandrowski, \"Taking Creative Leaps,\" Planning Review (January/February 1990), pp. 34-38. \" Sheridan M. Tatsuno, \"Creating Breakthroughs, the Japanese Way,\" R&D (February, 1990), pp. 136-142; Simon Majaro, The Creative Gap: Managing Ideas for Profit, (London: Longman, 1988), pp. 106-119.

Mo.,1 ot this lemon is taken lim► it Janet hew, I lu Crawford Slip Moho. (May 1991), pp, 40 43; also see, Robert M. Krone, \"improving ilra ►►► wel h ► do, tivity,\" Journaljor Quality and Participation (December 1990), pp. 80-84. \" Ray Dull, \"Delphi Forecasting: Market Research Method of the 1990s,\" Marketing Nr'ws (Au- gust 29, 1988), p. 17. 13 J. Daniel Couger, \"Key Human Resource Issues in IS in the 1990s: Interviews of IS Executives Versus Human Resource Executives,\" Information and Management (April 1988), pp 161- 174. \" James F. Robeson, \"The Future of Business Logistics: A Delphi Study Predicting Future Trends in Business Logistics,\" Journal of Business Logistics (#2, 1988), pp. 1-14. Yeong Wee Yong, Kau Ah Keng, Tan Leng Leng, \"A Delphi Forecast for the Singapore Tour- ism Industry: Future Scenario and Marketing Implications,\" European Journal of Marketing (November 1989), pp. 15-26. • Magaly Olivero, \"Get Crazy! How to Have a Break Through Idea,\" Working Woman (Septem- ber 1990), p. 144. \" As reported in Stan S. Gryskiewicz and J.T. Shields, \"Issues and Observations,\" (Greenville, N.C.: Center for Creative Leadership) (November 1983), p. 5. Horst Geschka, loc. cit. \" Ibid. 31) Arthur B. VanGundy, Creative Problem Solving (New York: Quorum, 1987), pp. 136. \" Terry L. Campbell, \"Technology Update: Group Decision Support Systems,\" Journal of Ac- countancy (July 1990), pp. 47-50. 32 Presentation by Ron Remillard of Wilson Learning Corporation to Central Florida Chapter of American Society for Training & Development (Orlando, Florida, February 17, 1987). 33 Joseph S. Cavarretta, \"Computer-Aided Decisions,\" Association Management (December 1992), pp. 12-13; Wayne Eckerson, \"Users Enthused About Electronic Meetings,\" Network World (June 15, 1992), p. 43; Paul Saffo, \"Same Time, Same Place: Groupware,\" Personal Computing (March 20, 1990), pp. 57-58; Julie Barker, \"The State of the Art for Decision Making,\" Suc- cessful Meetings (November 1989), pp. 51-53. Is Edward Glasman, \"Creative Problem Solving\", Supervisory Management, (March 1989) pp. 17-18. \" Bryan W. Mattimore, \"Brainstormer's Boot Camp,\" Success (October 1991), p. 24. \" John Case, \"Customer Service: The Last Word,\" Inc. (April 1991), pp. 89-93. • Knut Holt, \"Consulting in Innovation through Intercompany Study Groups,\" Technovation (July 1990), pp. 347-353 \"Robert Bookman, \"Rousing the Creative Spirit,\" Raining & Development Journal (November 1988), pp. 67-71. \" Sheridan M. Tatsuno, Created in Japan, op. cit., pp. 110-113. • Sheridan M. Tatsuno, Created in Japan,op. cit., pp. 109-110. \"Carl E. Gregory, The Management of Intelligence (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), pp. 200-202. \" Sheridan M. Tatsuno, Created in Japan, op. cit., p. 110. \" Andre L. Delbecq, Andrew H. Van de Ven, and D.H. Gustafson, Group Techniques for Program Planning (Glenview, Ill.: Scott Foresman & Company, 1975).

Decision Analysis for Resolving Strategic Issues,\" Journal of Applied Behavioral Sci- ence (1989), #2, pp. 189-200. \" Edward J. Szewczak, \"Building a Strategic Data Base,\" Long Range Planning (April 1988), pp. 97-103. \"Incentive Magazine: Nominal Groups in Action,\" Incentive (November 1988, pp. 60-62. \" William M. Fox, \"'Anonymity and Other Keys to Successful Problem Solving Meetings,\" National Productivity Review (Spring 1989), pp. 145-156; William M. Fox, \"The Improved Nominal Group Technique (INGT),\" Journal of Management Development (1989), #1, pp. 20- 27. 5' \"Group Techniques: Part 2, Alternatives to Brainstorming,\" Small Business Report (October 1981), pp. 15-17. \" Bryan W. Mattimore, loc. cit. \" Horst Geschka, loc. cit. 5' Paul J. H. Schoemaker and Cornelius A. J. M. van der Heijden, \"Integrating Scenarios Into Strategic Planning at Royal Dutch Shell,\" Planning Review (May-June 1992), pp. 41-46. 55 Simon Majaro, The Creative Gap (Great Britain: Longman, 1988) pp. 202-203. 56 Fred Mobasheri, Lowell H. Orren and Fereidoon P. Sioshansi, \"Scenario Planning at South- ern California Edison,\" Interfaces (September-October 1989), pp. 31-44. \" Horst Geschka, loc. cit. 5S Mike Vance, \"Storyboarding\" from \"Creativity \" a series of audio cassette tapes on creativity, taken from the accompanying booklet to the tape series (Chicago: Nightengale-Conant, 1982); Jerry McNellis, \"An Experience in Creative Thinking,\" (New Brighton, PA: The McNellis Company, no date); and Lawrence F. Loftier, Jr., \"Storyboarding Your Way to Suc- cessful Training, Public Personnel Management (Winter 1986), pp. 421-427. \" Lawrence F. Loftier, Jr., ibid. 'a Janis M. Czuszak and Albert L Lederer, \"On Time and Within Budget,\" Data Management, March 1987, pp. 34-38. 61 Robert A. Barakat, \"Storyboarding Can Help Your Proposal,\" IEEE Transactions on Profes- sional Communication, March 1989, pp. 20-25. 62 As described to the author by a Frito-Lay staff member. 6' Kenneth B. Noack, \"Striving for Agency Excellence,\" American Agent & Broker, January 1991, pp. 59-62. 64 Darrell S. Corbin, \"Bottom-Up IRM Planning: How it Worked at Rockwell,\" Information Strat- egy: The Executive's Journal, Fall, 1986, pp. 4-11. 65 Morris L Stein, Stimulating Creativity: Group Procedures, (New York: Academic Press, 1975), 101 Chapter XV, pp. 172-221; William J.J. Gordon, Synectics: The Development of Creative Capac- CREATIVE ity, (New York: Collier Macmillan, 1961). PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 181

%%11161111 I .1 II Ion al ge M Print e . I he ( )I ,eriJtsiO ►► I ICJ idge, Mass. !;vne, tics Incorporated, 1960), p. 2, 'Puna Alexander, \"Synectics: Inventing by the Madness Method,\" Fortune (August 1965), p. 168. ti\" R. A. Proctor, \"The Use of Metaphors to Aid the Process of Creative Problem Solving,\" Per- sonnel Review (1989), #4, pp. 33-42. Gordon and Prince, pp. 6-12. 71) Ibid. For a somewhat different version see: Morris I. Stein, Stimulating Creativity: Volume 2, Group Procedures (New York: Academic Press, 1975), pp. 196-202. 71 Sivasailam Thiagarajan, \"Take Five for Better Brainstorming,\" Thaining & Development Journal (February 1991), pp. 37-42. 72 Sheridan M. Tatsuno, Created in Japan, op. cit., pp. 104-106 for the KJ method; Michael Michatko, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 90s (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1991) pp. 308-311 for the TJK method. 184 n

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o materiiik to move or curl? 1.1r,lit o misc. photo-electric cells to produce current, chemicals to decompose, plants to grow. Step 2: Can any of these phenomena be used directly to shade the window? Vapors that cloud on heating? Substances that cloud in bright light? Bi-metals warp. Slats of a blind could warp shut. Step 3: What phenomena respond to step 1 outputs? Gases expand, could operate a bellows, etc. Photoelectric current could operate a solenoid, etc. Solids melt, effect on electric conductivity, etc. Step 4: Can any of these phenomena be used directly to shade the window? Bellows could operate a blind, etc. Step 5: What phenomena respond to step 3 output? Bellows, solenoid, etc., could operate a solenoid switch or valve, which in turn could operate motors to draw the blind. In this manner a number of possible solutions can be developed for evaluation. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Determine system input, desired output, and limiting requirements or specifications. 2. Brainstorm ways of bridging the gap between the input and the desired output, given the limiting requirements or specifications. 3. Use the attributes of the input to suggest solutions. 4. Continually ask the question, "Can these phenomena (attributes) lead to the desired output in any way?" 5. Evaluate the alternatives generated in this way. 46/20. LISTENING TO MUSIC Listening to soft, calming music is a good way to "free up" your subconscious. Music is listened to on the right side of the brain, the more intuitive side (for right-handed people, the opposite for left-handed people). Music also tends to put the analytical side of the brain to sleep, allowing the intuitive side to become more active.29 86

47/21. MIND MAPPING Mind mapping was originated by Tony Buzan of the Learning Methods Group in England." This technique is based on research findings showing that the brain works primarily with key concepts in an interrelated and integrated manner. Whereas traditional thinking opts for columns and rows, Buzan feels that "working out" from a core idea suits the brain's thinking patterns better. The brain also needs a way to "slot in" ideas that are relevant to the core idea. To achieve these ends, Buzan developed mind mapping. Mind mapping is an individual brainstorming process. In brainstorming, you are interested in generating as many ideas as possible, even wild and crazy ones. Just write or otherwise record whatever comes into your head as it occurs. Quantity, not quality, is what you are after. No criticism is allowed during the brainstorming itself. Later you can go back and critique your inputs (or those of others in a group situation). You can also generate new ideas by looking at what you have already written—that is, "piggyback" on what has already been done. (See Chapter 5 for further discussion of this technique.) To begin a mind mapping session, write the name or description of the object or problem in the center of a piece of paper and draw a circle around it. Then brainstorm each major facet of that object or problem, drawing lines outward from the circle like roads leaving a city. You can draw branches from those "roads" as you brainstorm \ them in more detail. You can brainstorm all the main lines at once and then the branches for each, or brainstorm a line and its branches, 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 8.7

,1 0 LOP101?:‘\°- o— 0 p1/45° SUCCESS •S`') MAGAZINE KANSAS CITY LIST COMPANIES T0,0 z APAN BUFFALO PROGRAM LAKEWOOD LISTS 213 BROCHURE rs ,c.1) -c\A . MARKETING 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES GROWTH COMPANIES KEN HP ea CPS TYPE$ 0 -1Z cP ‘c■ tP INDUSTRIES 70 . -rQr1 wELP1/4•TED AD COMPANIES GM ti pimp 1 ► 1,1(e to pia( e thoughts occur. lo nisik ► . the mind inor more useful, you might draw each major branch ..tend lilg I rom your central thought in a different color. As you branch out, you may notice related topics appearing on d i fferent branches. These relationships can be emphasized by circling the items in question, or drawing lines under or between them. Finally, study your mind map and look for interrelationships and terms appearing more than once. A sample mind map is shown in Figure 4.3. Joyce Wycoff's Mind Mapping 31provides additional and very useful business examples of how to use this technique. Figure 4.3 A Sample Mind Map 88

Mind niappin; , \cellent technit11 R not only tor genet. ating new ideas but also for developing one's intuitive pacity. It is especially useful for identifying all the issues and subissucs related to a problem, as well as the solutions to a problem and their pros and cons. The latter is accomplished by making the main branches the solutions and the subbranches from each of these the pros and cons. Mind mapping also works well for outlining presentations, papers, and book chapters. In fact, mind mapping can be used in a wide variety of situations. For example, the extremely successful socio/technological forecasting firm, Inferential Focus, founded by Charles Hess and Carol Coleman, uses mind maps to spot trends and predict periods of change before they occur. Hess and Coleman charge a hefty $24,000 a year for their futurist publications. Their clients include the White House, Chase Manhattan Bank, First Fidelity, and numerous other Fortune 500s organizations. 32 Numerous managers are using the mind mapping concept. For example, Michael Stanley, the engineer in charge of Boeing's technical publications unit, uses mind maps extensively. He keeps a spiral notebook of mind maps covering the "basic subjects that I've got to know to do my job." He even has a 40 foot by 4 foot mind map on his wall that he used to show top management about a new process he had designed for developing technical publications. 33Joelle Martin, head of the agency that created Anheuser-Busch's award-winning "Being Black in America" advertising campaign, uses the technique to help her decide how and when to terminate an employee. 34 About half of the people who learn this process find it extremely useful; the other half find it uncomfortable to use. The latter seem to object to the lack of structure and find it difficult to be as spontaneous as the process requires. But for those who are comfortable with it, it can be a very useful and versatile tool. As author Jill Neimark notes, "Once you've got the knack of letting your mind flow onto this visual chessboard (a mindmap), you can apply it to anything from business to relationships to your future." 35 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SQLYI NG TECHNIQUES

SUMMARY OF STEPS \VI tic 1h or description of the object or problem in the of a piece of paper and draw a circle around it. 2. lirdinstorm each major facet of that object or problem, placing your thoughts on lines drawn outward from the central thought like roads leaving a city. 3. Add branches to the lines as necessary. 4. Use additional visual techniques—for example, different colors for major lines of thought, circles around words or thoughts that appear more than once, connecting lines between similar thoughts. 5. Study the mind map to see what interrelationships exist and what solutions are suggested. 48/22. NAME POSSIBLE USES Naming the possible uses for an item helps provide solutions to a whole array of problems. The primary one, of course, is finding new uses for a product. Baking soda, for example, isn't just for baking. It is useable as a refrigerator deodorizer, a cleanser, and as a teeth brightener. How many uses can you think of for a hammer? Name them. 1. 6. 2. 7. 3. 8. 4. 9. 5. 10. If you want to find new uses for a product, you might be inspired by Velcro. Velcro is what you use to hold two pieces of cloth together, right? How many other uses could you think of for it? The chambers of the Jarvik-7 artifical heart are held together with Velcro for easy separation in case one side has to be replaced. Many things in the space shuttle are held together with Velcro, including parts of the rocket. Interior items, including astronauts, are held down by it. Velcro is used on blood pressure cuffs, to hold insulation in nuclear power plants, in machine gun turrets, on shoes in place of 90

shoe string. , in automillislcs to hold down haticrics and spane tires, to hold togelli(r 1),I rts of an experimental car designed by Pontiac, to bind parts of airplane wings together, and to hold stamps to a letter carrier's mailbag. In fact, Velcro is a component of over 5000 patented products.'" Here's another example of multiple uses: Bruce DeWoolfson reasoned that if vending machines could spit out cans and bottles for a few coins they could just as easily spit out a few coins for empty cans and bottles, which could then be recycled. His firm places these "redeemer" machines in store throughout the states where recycling is mandated by law. The firm grossed $18 million in 1986. 37 You can use the same approach to find solutions to other problems. For instance, are you looking for a name for a product? Listing possible uses for it may suggest a good name. 49/23. THE NAPOLEON TECHNIQUE Pretend that you are someone famous and try to solve the problem from that person's perspective. 38Your assumed identity may give you new perspectives on a problem. For example, what would Isaac Newton do if he were confronted by your problem? General George Patton? Napoleon? Mother Theresa? 50/24. ORGANIZED RANDOM SEARCH For many people a favorite way of coming up with new ideas is to pick a page of a dictionary at random and use the words on that page to generate ideas the way one uses a verbal checklist. You could use any book, even a catalog. Simply pick a page and look for words. Then use a two-dimensional matrix to compare the words on that page with an object or problem and/or its attributes. Sometimes you simply pick a word on that page and begin to make associations. This technique is often used by artists, writers, and others who depend on creativity for a livelihood. Managers 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 91

it IiITI'llt1l,„1 greeting card company ill Colorado iirings, picked the word "shrink. Alter a brainstorming session, they began Wee Greetings, a line of business and greeting cards that can be slipped into lunch boxes or shirt pockets. 39 This technique can also make use of pictures. For example, two telemarketing managers at Southern Bell leafed through fashion magazines for pictures that would trigger ideas for marketing campaigns.° 51 /25. PERSONAL ANALOGIES An interesting type of restrictive analogy is the "personal analogy." In this approach you attempt to see yourself personally involved in the situation, perhaps through role playing. In a 1980 personal analogy/brainstorming session at Gillette, the managers saw themselves as human hairs. They imagined how a strand of hair would observe life. "I dread being washed every day." "I hate the blow-dryer." "I feel limp, lifeless." Some participants wanted a gentle shampoo to protect their damaged ends while others wanted a more aggressive one to really get the dirt out. Sandra Lawrence, Gillette's vice-president for new products, observed that "everyone had different sentiments, which made us think about how hair 92

is different On thtielent parts Of the body Hie 'stilt was Silkience, a sliami,00 that adapts itself to the different needs of different kinds of hair. Within one year, Silkience was one of the top ten shampoos in total sales.'" A major paper company found new uses for pulp and other tree parts and significantly raised profits when top managers role played the part of a tree going through the paper production process. In another instance, scientists working to develop a reflective window glass saw themselves as the molecules of the glass. They then asked themselves, "What has to happen to us to make us reflective?" On the basis of their answers, they developed the reflective glass used in many buildings today. In a third example, state officials in . Ohio who wanted to write a comprehensive computer program to keep track of automobiles saw themselves as a car and asked, "What can happen to me?" Envision yourself as the object or other problem that you are concerned about. See how your creativity is affected. Can you put yourself into your problem.? Can you be your problem? What suggestions for solutions result? SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Become personally involved in the problem, perhaps through role playing or visualization. 2. Ask yourself what insights or potential solutions this involvement yields. 52/26. PICTURE STIMULATION The picture stimulation technique aims to provide ideas beyond those that might be obtained through brainstorming.' Picture stimulation is reminiscent of the excursion technique (see Chapter 5), except that the participants look at pictures instead of visualizing an excursion. Participants should not discuss what should or shouldn't be shown in the pictures. Discussion of the ideas suggested should not take place until the creative session is finished. Basic brainstorming rules should be followed. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 93

SUMMARY OF STEPS pi( tures from various sources and present them for participiiiits to view as transparencies or slides or in an album. The pictures should show some action and not be too abstract. 2. 1-4:xamine each picture and describe it to a recorder, who writes the description on a flip chart, white board, or other surface. 3. Use each line of the description to trigger new ideas, which are recorded separately. 4. Continue until all the pictures have been examined. 53/27. PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT CHECKLIST Arthur B. VanGundy has developed a product improvement checklist (PICL) that functions in the same way as the 36th technique discussed in this chapter—Osborn's verbal checklist. VanGundy has included some terms that seem absurd at first but that can provide new thought patterns. A total of 526 words are included in his list. Here are some examples: Try To: Make It: sketch it soft sew it hard hang it vertical deflate it unbreakable gasify it triangular Think Of: Take Away or Add: televisions funnels ants grooves the four seasons alcohol bacteria Velcro Sir Lancelot power VanGundy's PICL is a recently developed process, but it is being used quite frequently. VanGundy has also developed a device that he calls the Circles of Creativity. It consists of several hundred words arranged on three concentric circles in categories such as "Try to...," "Make it...," "Think 94

about... "Inidy, Add to or delete Ll ► mning the circles and LISI11r, 4111,1(111'd arrows results in several combinations of words that may suggest actions regarding an existing product or service. To receive a complete copy of PICL or the Circles of Creativity, contact Arthur B. VanGundy Associates, 1700 Winding Ridge Road, Norman, Oklahoma 73072. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Identify the product or service you wish to improve. 2. Take each of the words from the PICL and apply the verbs as directed to your product or service. Write down the results. 3. Decide which of the possible actions is most feasible. 54/28. RELATEDNESS Coined by Donald Hambrick, the term "relatedness" refers to an exercise in which you list all businesses or products related to yours to help you think of new products for your company. 43For example, suppose you own a radio station. Think of all the businesses even remotely related to yours: newspapers, magazines, TV, cable TV, broadcasting. Now think of businesses and products related to those: advertising, printing, publishing, satellite communication. What new products could your company generate in any of these businesses? 55/29. RELATIONAL WORDS The verbal checklist (discussed later in this chapter) is a type of forced-relationship process. Several other such processes are worth examining; among them are the use of relational words, including verbs and prepositions; morphological analysis; and the focused-object technique. Each requires matching a set of descriptors against an object, a problem, another set of descriptors, or set of titles, such as product names. Forced-relationship techniques can be used effectively by artists and writers and by marketers seeking to develop or name a new product. They can also be used to change something that already exists or when one is seeking a new and 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOWING TECHNIQUES 95

(1111(1(.111 lihin a solution to a specilik I h technique, not well suited to solving specific problems because they rely primarily on chance relationships, and the probability of such a relationship existing as a specific problem is remote. However, if your problem is to add creativity to an existing situation, these processes are excellent. Techniques 55/29 and 56/30 are forced-relationship techniques. Technique 56/30 is also partly a form of free association. Several relational word checklists exist. Three of them are provided on the following pages. The verbs would be used in the same way as Osbom's verbal checklist, technique 62/36. With the relational words and prepositions, you are simply trying to create ideas that might lead to product or service improvements. Some of your results might seem not to make sense, but by looking at them closely you may be able to develop useful ideas. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Identify the product or service to be altered, or the object to be changed. 2. Apply the words from the various checklists to this product, service or object, recording the results in the spaces provided on the forms. 3. Review the results to see if they suggest possible solutions. A Verbal Relational-Word Checklist" Multiply Divide Eliminate Subdue Invert Separate Transpose Unify Dissect 96

Distort Rotate Flatten Squeeze Complement Submerge Freeze Soften Fluff Up By-Pass Add Subtract Widen Repeat Thicken Stretch Extrude Help Protect Segregate Integrate Symbolize Abstract Etc. 101 <R_EATIVE PROBLEM 5.0011N4 TECHNIQUES 97

Crovitz's Relational Words" lc words in this list are used to ask questions: What's about this problem? What's across from this problem? What comes after this problem? And so on. The purpose is to generate ideas. Once you have ideas, analyze them to see what solutions they suggest. About Across After Against Among And As At Because Before Between But By Down For From If In Near Not Now Of 98

Off Opposite Or Out Over Around Still So Then Though Through Till To Under Up When Where While With VanGundy's Prepositions46 These words can be used in the same way as Crovitz's relational words. Above Along Amid 101 CREATIVE Around PROBLEM SQ LVI NG TECHNIQUES

Below 13eneath Beside Beyond During Except Into Past Since Toward Throughout Upon Within Without 56/30. REVERSAL-DEREVERSAL The reversal-dereversal technique can provide insights into new solutions for a problem." State the problem, using an action verb. Then take the antonym of that verb and solve the new problem created in this way. The solutions to that problem may give you ideas about solving the original problem. For example, "to improve the product" would reversal-dereversal as "to worsen" the product. If the product was a stereo, you could cut out the sound; make the speakers smaller; make it have one medium only—record, cassette, or CD; or you could reduce sound quality. The opposites of these would normally help solve the original problem. But also, making the speakers smaller could actually lead to a better product if the sound quality could be maintained. Maybe a new type of speaker is needed.

57/31. ROLLING IN THE GRASS OF IDEAS This technique involves collecting as much material as you can about the problem at hand in an easily readable form— for example, summaries of related articles and hooks, the experiences of others, ideas that others have given you, and competitors' actions. You read through this material as rapidly as you can in one sitting. Then you ask yourself what it all means. Are there any patterns? If so, what do they suggest? What solutions pop into your head? This technique is especially useful for solving management or technical problems, writing talks, articles or papers, or book chapters, and creating models of situations. It is the volume of ideas that can be associated with each other that makes this technique work. The name of this technique came from watching my two Irish setters, Misty and Macintosh. We've all seen dogs roll on their backs in the grass. Misty and Macintosh would also roll on their backs in . 1\) notes, articles, or manuscript pages lying on the floor of my office. One day I told students in my innovation class how I sometimes get ideas for articles, books, products, management problems, and other problems by reading through as much material as possible related to the problem at hand. I described how excited I get with all those ideas running through my head, and how insights seem to pop into my head as a result. The analogy to my dogs' behavior was a natural: I am rolling in the grass of ideas. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1.Collect information about your problem, making notes in an easily readable form. 2. Read through all of your notes in one sitting so that all the ideas are in your brain at one time. 3. Allow natural incubation to occur and see what ideas develop. 101

58/32. THE 7 x 7 TECHNIQUE Another way to improve the utilization of new ideas is the 7 x 7 technique, a series of exercises designed to process, organize and evaluate idea slips that have been mounted on a racking board in seven rows and seven columns (or more, if needed). 48Carl Gregory, who developed this technique, suggests that the following steps can help you make sense of all your ideas. You might use suggestions for this technique with a similar process, storyboarding (see Chapter 5): 1.Combine similar ideas. 2. Exclude irrelevant data. 3. Modify ideas to reflect insights gained in the first two steps. 4. Defer extraneous data for future reference. 5. Review past exercises to identify possibilities for alteration or refinement. 6.Classify dissimilar groupings into separate columns. 7.Rank items in each column. 8. Generalize each column using its main idea as a heading or title. 9. Rank the columns from left to right on the racking board according to their importance or utility. Brief explanations of these steps follow. Combine When you have at least two racking boards filled with idea slips or when your pile of ideas is exhausted, read each idea bit carefully. Discard any redundant information and combine similar ideas. Give each grouping of related ideas a title. Exclude Exclude all things that are not related to the objective of the exercise or are too "far out" for present consideration. Put the excluded ideas into another pile for later use. Modify Where necessary, write new statements of ideas that have been modified as a result of the first two steps. 102

Defer Put into a separate ( a tegory any item that is not particularly timely but may he useful later. Defer is similar to exclude except the criteria are different. Feedback Review the ideas that have been combined, eliminated, modified, or deferred to seek new insights. Classify by Dissimilar Columns Establish a column for each group of related ideas. Despite the name of the technique, seven is not a magic number: eight, nine, ten, or more columns may be necessary. Rank Ideas in Each Column When you have sorted all the ideas into columns, rank each idea card on the basis of the usefulness or importance of the idea relative to the objective. Generalize Columns It is often advantageous to provide a title for each column, as in storyboarding. You could probably put those which are similar under the same column heading. Alternatively, the highest-ranking idea in each column could serve as the heading. Rank Columns Place the best, most important, timeliest, or most critical ideas in the left-hand column, the second-most important in the next column to the right, and so on. There are many variations on the 7 x 7 technique. Like storyboarding, it can be used in group sessions. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Place idea slips on a 7 x 7 racking board. 2. Combine, exclude, modify, defer, feedback, classify, and rank ideas within columns; generalize the columns; and then rank the columns. 3. Evaluate the results. 103

591 3 3. SLEEPING/DREAMING ON IT One of the easiest ways to generate alternatives is to think rationally, very hard, and very long about a problem just before going to sleep. Put it out of your mind and then go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, the odds are that you will have come up with an interesting alternative or series of alternatives for solving the problem. The reason this technique works so well is that your subconscious continues to work on the problem while you are asleep. Thomas Edison often used brief periods of sleep to develop ideas. He would sit in a chair and holding pebbles in his hands allow himself to fall asleep while thinking about a problem. As he fell asleep, the pebbles would fall from his hands into tin plates on the floor. This, he claimed, helped him come up with new ideas by taking advantage of his subconscious efforts to solve problems in a state of near-sleep." Solutions to complex problems often appear in dreams. The concept of the benzene molecule came to German chemist Friedrick August Kelkule in a dream. He saw a snake biting its own tail and realized that the benzene molecule was a closed loop, not an open one. Noted writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who often used his subconscious to develop story ideas, reports that the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came to him in a dream.5° 1.Think long and hard about your problem just before going to sleep and as you begin to drift off. 2. If you awake during the night with a solution or other ideas, write them down on notecards that you have left on the nightstand next to your bed. 3. When you awake in the morning, think about your thoughts and dreams and see if they suggest solutions to your problem. Write the possible solutions on notecards. 104

60/34. THE TWO-WORDS TECHNIQUE The meaning you give to certain words can block your ability to solve a problem. With the two-words technique you pick the two words or phrases from your problem statement that indicate its essence. The problem statement always includes a subject (or objective) and an action verb. Normally you focus on these in the two-words technique. 5 ' For example, suppose that the problem statement is "Reduce absenteeism." You have been unable to generate many new ideas about how to solve the problem. You might list the following alternate words: reduce absenteeism diminish out decrease away shorten not in curtail not present lessen lacking contract missing Then you might try combining these words in various ways. The following ideas could result: 1. Design an absenteeism program in which employees are given a certain number of days per year for "no excuse needed" absences (diminish/not in). 2. Survey employees to find what might be lacking in the workplace to cause them to be absent (decrease/lacking). 3. Lower the penalty for unauthorized absences if the absence was for less than a day (shorten/out). 4. Allow employees to be absent a specified number of days during a given quarter if they make up for them during the next quarter (curtail/away). 5. Offer employees the opportunity to benefit from self- or professional-development programs on the job. This might increase their motivation and decrease the number of absences (less/lacking)." 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 105

I III'. 1 1 . for overcoming lit', 11111 it Ma I 1)1 .01)10111, Dill Il Can also be used to generate new ideas even II you aren't having problems with the definitions of terms. SUMMARY OF STEPS .1. Select two key words or phrases (usually the action verb and the objective) from the problem statement. 2. List alternate words for each word or phrase (a thesaurus or dictionary may be helpful). 3. Select the first word from the first list and combine it with the first word from the second list. 4. Examine this combination and see if it suggests any ideas. If so, write them down. 5. Combine the first word from the first list with the second word from the second list. 6. Continue combining words from the two lists and writing down ideas until you have examined all possible combinations. 61/35. USING THE COMPUTERTO STIMULATE CREATIVITY Computers like the Producer ($5000 to $9000) allow special effects to he built into presentations, for example, a pie chart may appear in 3-D and be rotated as it moves through space. Software packages such as "Mac Paint," and "PC Paintbrush" allow the user to construct art-based presentations. Software packages such as Freehand, Designer, CorelDraw, Artline, and Powerpoint allow for exciting graphic art and word presentations. "Deluxe Video Software" allows you to combine materials from a VCR with a PC presentation. Exciting graphics and overlaid background scenes are frequently employed. Computer aided design (CAD) uses highly sophisticated computers and software to aid in product design. A number of additional programs enable you to change artwork on a PC far more quickly than by hand." 62/36. VERBAL CHECKLIST FOR CREATIVITY A checklist of questions about an existing product, service, process, or other item under consideration can yield new points of view and thereby lead to innovation. The most 106

frequently Used creative alternative generation checklist, the verbal checklist, was developed by Alex Osborn while he was a partner of a major U. S. advertising firm. Osborn also originated the most frequently used group process for generating alternatives, brainstorming, which will be described in Chapter 5. These two processes were first described to the general public in 1953. 53Only a few of the techniques developed since that time have proven to be as effective as Osborn's two major contributions. The idea behind the verbal checklist is that an existing product or service, whether one's own or a competitor's, can be improved if one applies a series of questions to it and pursues the answers to see where they may lead. The main questions take the form of verbs such as Modify? or Combine? These verbs indicate possible ways to improve an existing product or service by making changes in it. In the case of Osborn's checklist, further alternatives may be suggested by the definitions and related statements accompanying each of the main verbs. For example, if the item under consideration is a laptop PC and you are pursuing the "minify" alternative, you might shrink the laptop into a "notebook" or "palmtop" computer. 101 CREATIVE PROB_LEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 107

el the years thousands Of organizations ha\ I"sed the verbal checklist to create or enhance thousands ot products and service. I have utilized it myself in writing some of the most successful books in the college textbook market, including The Management Challenge, an introductory management text. 54One of my editors has found the checklist so useful that he distributed it to the sales force to obtain suggestions for subsequent editions. Table 4.3 presents the Osborn verbal checklist. On the next page is a form for you to complete, either as practice in using the process or as an actual exercise in product/service improvement. You may wish to add other verbs to the list. Some of the verbs in the checklist do not apply as readily to services as they do to products, but each of them should be considered. Be sure to use the expanded definitions of these verbs as guides in changing the product or service in question. If you feel especially creative, you can make up your own checklist—for example, one designed strictly for services. TABLE 4.3 The Osborn Verbal Checklist Put to Other Uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if modified? Adapt? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer parallel? What could I copy? Whom could I emulate? Modify? New twist? Change meaning, color, motion, sound, odor, form, shape? Other changes? Magnify? What to add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate? Minify? What to subtract? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate? Substitute? Who else instead? What else instead? Other ingredient? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? Rearrange? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule? Reverse? Transpose positive and negative? How about opposites? Turn it backward? Turn it upside down? Reverse role? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Combine? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas? Source: Alex Osborn, Applied Imagination, (New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1953), p. 284. Reprinted with the permission of The Creative Edge Foundation, Buffalo, New York. 108

TABLE 4.4 Osborn Checklist Com • letion Form ITEM Put to other uses Adapt Modify Magnify Minify Substitute Rearrange Reverse Combine SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Identify the product or service to be modified. 2. Apply each of the verbs on the checklist to suggest changes in the product or service, writing the changes in the blank spaces on the form provided. 3. Make sure you use each of the definitional words for the listed verbs in identifying possible changes. 4. Review your changes to determine which ones meet your solution criteria. To use this checklist to generate new ideas, enter the name of the product or service in the blank at the top of the page (Table 4.4). Then apply the verbs and definitions from the Osborn Checklist to that item, recording your new ideas in the blanks by the verbs. A typical checklist session might last from fifteen minutes to an hour or more. In a group members can compare their answers and build on each other's suggestions. 101 CREATIV E PROBLEM SOLVIN TECHNIQUES 109

63/37. VISUALIZATION Visualization of a problem and its potential solutions is a good way to generate alternatives. The mind seems to react even more creatively to pictures than to words. Visualization seems to evoke new insights, which can lead to new solutions. This process can be used in conjunction with other processes. 55Simply close your eyes and visualize the problem. What do you see? Expand on what you see. Seek more detail. What do your visions suggest? What solutions can you see? 64/38 WHAT IF...? Ask yourself "What if something happens, what would the consequences be?" For example, what if you sold a million units of your product next year? What consequences would occur? Who would be affected? What actions should you take? Or if your sales dropped by 10 percent, how would your firm be affected? What should you do? This technique can be a powerful tool. Successful strategic management often depends on the ability to use software to ask "What if" questions and then generate a list of consequences and strategic responses. Firms often use "What if" scenarios to formulate strategic plans and strategic contingency plans. About 80 percent of astronaut training is responding to "What if" situations. 56 A FINAL NOTE There are thirty-eight processes discussed in this chapter. Some you will like, some you won't, but try as many of them as you can. Then use the ones you feel most comfortable with, but revisit the rest of these processes occasionally to make sure you aren't overlooking one that might be of value in your particular situation. Table 4.5 contains a quick guide to my favorite individual and group alternative generation techniques.

CHRYSLER REINVENTS AUTOMOBILE DESIGN Reeling from foreign competition and the inability to get new products to market quickly enough, Chrysler Corporation decided that it had to reinvent its product design operation. It developed the $1 billion. Chrysler Technical Center (CTC). To speed product development at the CTC, Chrysler created four cross functional platform teams to develop new products: large car, small car, minivan and jeep/truck. Representatives of each of the functional departments, plus customers, were integrated into the product development, manufacturing and marketing processes. Finance was integrated into the loop, but the team was charged with bringing the new model in within precise budgets. Each team has its own floor in the CTC. The CTC includes a manufacturing facility where prototype manufacturing processes can be developed at the same time that a new car is being designed in order to speed manufacturing and improve quality. The platform team works in conjunction with assembly line workers to determine the best manufacturing processes and procedures for the new models. This process innovation is unique in the automobile industry. Accompanying Chrysler's changes in product development have been changes in management style, organizational structure, and organizational culture. In concert, employees have been empowered, the organization decentralized and a competitive culture infused throughout the firm. The results have been impressive. Chrysler's Viper sports car was an instant success, as have been its new LH cars which include the Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and the Chrysler Concorde, New Yorker, and LHS models. Chrysler's stock has soared from a low of $10.50 in 1991 to a high of $57 in the fall of 1993. Sources: Brian S. Moskal, "Chrysler Polishes the Creative Wheel," Industry Week, March 16, 1992, pp. 40-42; and Peter M. Tobias and Shari Johnson, "Cluysler Harnesses Brainpower," Industry Week, September 21, 1992, pp. 16-20. Z*17 NOLL DV NI 3D4 33 3AI I VAO N NI3 H1 111

A QUICK GUIDE TO MY FAVORITE TECHNIQUES FOR GENERATING ALTERNATIVES* INDIVIDUALTECHNIQUES Technique Best Use Verbal Checklist/Product For redesigning existing products and services Improvement Checklist Mind Mapping To let ideas flow freely; for designing outlines; for collecting thoughts about an issue Association/ When you need lots of ideas quickly and a way to Free Association relate them to problems; when normal processes haven't provided many ideas Rolling in the Grass For gaining new insights, combining ideas, and of Ideas solving complex problems about which much is known GROUPTECHNIQUES** Technique Best Use Brainstorming For simple problems when solutions are needed quickly Lotus Blossom To generate lots of ideas quickly to size up a problem; excellent for developing future scenarios Storyboarding For understanding issues involved in complex problems, and for solving complex problems Excursion When problem is difficult to solve, when it has been hard to generate ideas using other techniques Nominal Group Technique Especially useful when you want to keep one person from dominating the choice among alternatives Morphological Analysis For generating lots of ideas quickly about product or service improvements **All except the nominal group technique can be used individually as well as in a group. *For another author's view of her favorite seven techniques see Joyce Wycoff, Transformation Thinking: Tools and Techniques That Make Every Member of Your Company a Great Thinker (Berkely, CA: Berkely Publishing Group, 1994). 112

REFERENCES Marc Hequet, "Creativity !raining Gets Creative," Trait:ins (February 1992), pp. 41-15; Charlene Marmer Soloman, "Creativity Training: What An Idea," Personnel Journal (May 1990), pp. 64-71; Bennett Davis, "Working the Imagination," USAIR, (September 1988), pp. 18-27. Peter Rodelsky, "The Man Who Mastered Motion," Science (May 1986), pp. 53, 54. Magaly Olivero, "Get Crazy! How to Have a Breakthrough Idea," Working Woman (September 1990), p. 198. 4 Robert W. Boozer, David C. iAryld, and James Grant, "Using Metaphor to Create More Effective Sales Messages," Journal of Services Marketing (Summer 1990), pp. 63-71. Ikujiro Nonaka, "The Knowledge-Creating Company," Harvard Business Review (November-December 1991), p. 100. Source unknown. Mark Golin, "How to Brainstorm by Yourself ... and Triple the Results," Young Executive (Spring 1992), p. 75. Bryan W. Mattimore, "Breakthroughs: Creatively Destroying the Barriers to Business Innovation," Success (November 1988), p. 46. 9 Arthur B. VanGundy, Creative Problem Solving (New York: Quorum Books, 1987), pp. 123-124. " Charles S. Whiting, "Operational Techniques of Creative Thinking," Advanced Management (October 1955), p. 26. " Dan Koberg and Jim Bagnall, universal Raveler (Los Altos, CA: William Kaufman, Inc., 1974), P. 50. '2Michael Michalko, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity for the 1990s, (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1991), pp. 181-185. 1 .1Joseph M. Winski, "Big Idea in Box," Advertising Age (March 25, 1991), pp. 31; E. W. Brody, "Software Reviews: IdeaFisher 3.0," Public Relations Review, (Winter 1990), pp. 67-68. 14Winski, op. cit.; Bryan W. Mattimore, "Mind Blasters: Software to Shatter Brain Block," Success (June 1990), pp. 46, 47. ° Jenny C. McCune, "Creativity Catalysts," Success (July/August 1992), p. 50. Ibid. 17Bryan Mattimore, "The Amazing Invention Machine," Success (October 1993), p. 34. ° Berkeley Rice, "Imagination to Go," Psychology Today (May 1984), p. 48. 19"Want to Design a Robot? Try Watching a Bug," Business Week (1986), pp. . " G. Berton Latamore, "Moth's Eyes Inspire Advances in Optical Changes," High Technology (Apri11987), p. 67. 21Magaly Olivero, op. cit., p. 148. 22James Braham, "Creativity: Eureka!" Machine Design (February 6, 1992), p. 37. Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers, Creativity in Business, (New York, Doubleday, 1986), p. 6. 24 Michalko, op. cit., pp. 126-131. 75Michael E. Porter, Competitive Advantage (New York: Free Press, 1985), pp. 131-151. 26Charles S. Whiting, op. cit., p. 29. 27Carl E. Gregory, The Management of Intelligence (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962), pp. 45-51. 28Dan Koberg and Jim Bagnall, op. cit., p. 27. 101 CREATIV1 PROBLEM 5_QLVIN4 TECHNIQUES 113

Ili r I I I( owit 11.1'1, - Nitimc, .1t4 ',' 1 is of Your Brain, (New York: E.P. Dutton, Inc., 1983). " Joyce Wycoff, Mind Mapping, (Berkley Publishing Group: 1991). Jill Neimark, "Mind Mapping," Success (June 1986), pp. 52-57. " James Braham, op. cit., p. 33. " Jill Neimark, op. cit., p. 54. 35Ibid. °6Judith Stone, "Velcro: The Final Frontier," Discover (May 1988), pp. 82-84. "Inside Track: Finding Riches in Garbage," Success (May 1987), p. 30. Bryan W. Mattimore, "Breakthroughs: Creatively Destroying the Barriers to Business Innovation," Success (November 1988), p. 48. 39Emily T. Smith, "Are You Creative?" Business Week (September 30, 1985), p. 48. " Author's conversation with these two attendees at one of my seminars. ° 1Magaly Olivero, op. cit., p. 145. " Arthur B. VanGundy, Creative Problem Solving, op. cit., pp. 136-137. ° "Buzzword of the Month," Success (November 1985), p. 20. 41Source unknown. H.F. Crovitz, Galton's Walk (New York: Harper & Row, 1970). 46 Arthur B. VanGundy, Techniques of Structured Problem Solving (New York: Van Norstrand Reinhold, 1988), p. 105. " Edward Glassman, "Creative Problem Solving," Supervisory Management (March 1989), pp. 14-18. 48Carl E. Gregory, op. cit., pp. 45-51. " From a lecture given in the guided tour of Edison's winter home in Ft. Myers, Florida, May 17, 1987. SpRobert Wayne Johnston, "Using Dreams for Creative Problem Solving," Personnel (November 1987), pp. 58-63; Edward Ziegler, "Dreams: The Genie Within," Reader's Digest (September 1985), pp. 77-81. " Arthur B. VanGundy, Creative Problem Solving, op. cit., pp. 118-120. " Christine Castro, "Drawing and Illustration Software: New Tools of the Artist's Trade: Buyer's Guide to Drawing and Illustration Programs," Computer Publishing Magazine (February 1991), pp. 32-46; "This Computer Unleashes the Walt Disney in You," Business Week (October 26, 1987), p. 119; Mark Lewyn, "VCR Plus PC Equals Effects," USA Today (February 17, 1988), p. 10B; Michell Rogers, "Creative Computers," Newsweek (April 25, 1988), pp. 54-55. Alex F. Osborn, Applied Imagination, (New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1953). 54James M. Higgins, The Management Challenge, 2nd ed., (New York: MacMillan, 1994). 55Lea Hall, "Can You Picture That?" Training & Development Journal (September 1990), pp. 79-81. 56 Edgar Mitchell (former astronaut) cited in Roy Rowan, The Intuitive Manager (Boston: Little, Brown, 1986), p. 13. 114 n

Advantage% and Disadvantages of Group Decision Making Group Processes for Generating Creative Alternatives GROUP TECHNIQUES GENERATING ALTERNATIVES Innovating has become the most urgent concern of corporations everywhere. — Kenneth Labich Author, Fortune Since much work is performed in groups, many of the approaches to management that are currently favored focus on work groups such as autonomous work teams and self-management programs.° Moreover, in recent years groups have been the focus of attempts to improve quality and productivity, for example through quality circles. As research and experience indicate that groups usually provide better solutions than individuals, it makes sense to focus on group-based techniques for generating creative alternatives. And if you, as a manager or small-group leader, want your group to be more effective, you will want to train the members of your group in the processes that make groups more successful in generating creative alternatives. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 115

II (11,4)1(r first discusses the advantages and di ,,atIvantages of group decision making and then reviews in some detail the major group-based techniques for generating alternatives: brainstorming, creativity circles, the excursion technique, group decision support systems (including electronic brainstorming), lotus blossom, morphological analysis, the nominal-group technique, storyboarding, and synectics. Several other group processes are discussed briefly. For our purposes there are two types of groups: interactive and noninteractive. In interactive groups the participants meet face to face; in noninteractive groups they do not meet. Except for the Delphi technique, the processes discussed in this chapter involve interactive groups. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GROUP DECISION MAKING Groups offer six advantages over individual decision making and problem solving:' 1.The group can provide a better solution to that of an individual. Collectively the members of a group have more knowledge than an individual. Interactive groups not only combine this knowledge but create a knowledge base greater than the sum of its parts as individuals build on each other's inputs. 2. Those who will be affected by a decision or must implement it accept it more readily if they have a say in making it. 3. Group participation leads to a better understanding of the decision. 4. Groups help ensure a broader search effort. 5. The propensity to take risks is balanced. Individuals who are highly likely to take risks often fail. Groups moderate this tendency. Conversely, groups encourage the risk avoider to take more risks.

There is usually .1 hetter collective judgment On the other hand, there are some liabilities to employing group decision making and problem solving: 2 1. In interactive groups there is pressure to conform. Sometimes these groups become susceptible to what is known as "group think," in which people begin to think alike and not tolerate new ideas or ideas contrary to those of the group. 2. One individual may dominate the interactive group so that his or her opinions prevail over those of the group. Nominal groups are designed to overcome this problem. 3. Groups typically require more time to come to decisions than individuals do. 4. Although groups usually make better decisions than the average individual, they seldom make better ones than the superior individual. In fact, superior performance by a group may result from the efforts of one superior group member. 5. Spending an excessive amount of time arriving at a consensus may negate the advantages of a good decision. 6. Groups sometimes make riskier decisions than they should. This propensity of groups is known as the risky shift. When you weigh the pros and cons, the advantages win out. But when using groups to generate creative solutions don't forget their limitations. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 117

GROUP PROCESSES FOR GENERATING CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES The remainder of this chapter examines the various group processes for generating alternatives. Don't overlook any of them, since they may all help you in one way or another. I try to use them all occasionally, although, my favorites are these four: 65/1. Brainstorming 74/10. Excursion technique 83 /19. Lotus blossom 93/29. Storyboarding See Table 4.5, page 112, for a quick guide to these processes. 65/I. BRAINSTORMING Brainstorming is one of the most effective, and probably the most widely used, of the group processes. 3It was created over sixty years ago by Alex Osborn of the advertising firm of Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn to increase the quantity and quality of advertising ideas. 4The process became known as brainstorming because the participants' brains were used to "storm" a problem. Alternative solutions are offered verbally by group members in spontaneous fashion as they think of them. The leader acknowledges each contribution, which is recorded on a board for all to see. Wild and crazy ideas are encouraged. Quantity, not quality, counts at first. In the initial session there is no discussion or criticism. The ideas are evaluated at later meetings of the same group.

The Group: The brainstorming process involves a group of six to twelve people, a leader/facilitator and a secretary, all involved in open generation of ideas about a given topic. The group needs to have at least six people in order to generate enough ideas, but fewer than thirteen because it may be difficult to absorb a large number of ideas and because larger groups tend to intimidate some people, thereby potentially restricting the flow of ideas. Groups may be formed from similar or different work areas or backgrounds, depending on the purpose of the group. The Rules: 1. No judgments are made about any suggestion. 2. All ideas, even absurd or impractical ones, are welcome. 3. Quantity of ideas is a major objective, since it leads to quality. 4. Ideas may be combined, refined, and piggy-backed. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 119

I he Role ot the Group Leader: Ihe group le.hIcf, chosen prior to the session, informs the group, pretcrobly in advance of their meeting, that a given topic will be discussed. He or she sets forth the facts, the issues, the questions involved, and the purposes of the session. These points should be restated at the beginning of the session. The leader then writes the focal question or problem on a whiteboard or other large visible surface. (Open-ended "how" or "what" questions are advisable.) Next the leader calls for solutions to the problem. Once the brainstorming session opens, the leader functions primarily as a facilitator, recognizing contributors, stimulating group members to come up with new ideas, keeping the group focused on the subject at hand, and making sure the four rules of brainstorming are followed. The most important of these rules is that no criticism is allowed. if criticism occurs while ideas are being generated, the whole point of brainstorming has been lost. The leader too must refrain from commenting on the value of ideas. Sometimes group members begin to tire and the flow of new ideas diminishes. At this time the leader should offer verbal encouragement or call on particular members to suggest solutions. Another method is to give each member thirty seconds to come up with a new idea, moving around the room in order until the time allotted for the session is gone. The same leader or a different one may lead the evaluation session. Ideas should be sorted into types and ranked according to priority. As additional research may be necessary, the group may have to convene more than once. In an evaluation session the leader must not allow the group to dismiss ideas simply because they are unusual, but should encourage examination of far-out suggestions, perhaps by asking for different versions or ways to adapt them. Moreover, the leader should not allow ideas to be dismissed because of a lack of funds or other resources. If an idea is a good one, ways should be found to make it happen. The leader's role includes counteracting unreasonable negativity during the evaluation process. The Secretary: The secretary records each contributor's ideas on some visible surface in front of the group. In small groups the leader and the secretary may be the same person, but it is preferable to have different people performing these functions. 120

Observations on the Technique Research has found that brainstorming generates a much greater number of ideas than normal group problem solving. Its features of spontaneity, suspended judgment, and absence of criticism promote an increase not only in the quantity but also in the quality of new ideas. A typical idea generation session, being very intensive, should last no more than thirty to forty minutes. Problem topics should be narrow, and no more than one topic should be covered in a session. For example, don't try to name a product and figure out a dfstribution system in thirty minutes. Because the process appears simple, you may be tempted to discount this method. Don't. Thousands of organizations have used brainstorming successfully. I can personally attest to its worth, but must confess that I was a "doubting Thomas" until I used it. You cannot imagine the synergism resulting from this method unless you try it. Biainstorming can be used for a wide diversity of problems, including not only marketing and product issues but strategy, planning, policy, organization, leadership, staffing, motivation, control, and communication. However, the process is not particularly useful with broad and complex problems. Some of the ideas produced may be of low quality or obvious generalities. Brainstorming is not successful in situations that require trial and error as opposed to judgment. There are no apparent rewards for group members other than the experience of participation and ownership. Group members may not see the final solution implemented and may therefore be reluctant to participate in further sessions.' Nevertheless, brainstorming remains a solid technique for generating creative ideas. Experiences with the Process Many organizations use brainstorming to solve a wide variety of problems. For example, International Paper Company (IP) has opened a Packaging Innovation Center in Middletown, New York, to help its customers design the best possible packages for their products. The IP center brings customers together with IP's package designers, scientists, 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 121

ions and product specialists for brainstori ► uy, sions. In the first few months of operations the Innovation Conte •'s efforts resulted in four new, economically significant, innovative package designs: 6 1. Box & box—intended to replace plastic pails and metal containers, 2. Xpack—a flat-topped liquid container with superior shipping characteristics, 3. Barrier plus—a series of linerless folding cartons with a variety of closures and designs, 4. A new kraft paper that decomposes 50 percent faster than previously used papers. At DuPont Imaging Systems and Electronics division, technical staffers, later joined by management representatives, formed a Professional Excellence Committee to enhance their effectiveness and technical excellence while at the same time taking a more active role in the improvement of their company. At their first meeting they brainstormed the issues that needed to be addressed. The final list of issues was assigned to committees, which reported back. Another brainstorming session was held to arrive at solutions.' Federal Express initiated its quality improvement process (QIP) in order to ensure prompt delivery of packages and otherwise improve operations. Quality actions teams, established in each of its eleven divisions to identify and solve problems, used brainstorming to address these issues. 8 AT&T established a brainstorming project to help identify its strategic thrust for the next century. 9The results were critical to the development of corporate strategy. A group of five faculty members and three administrators from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College brainstormed, seeking to improve the marketing of the school's three MBA programs: professional, full-time, and executive. Over 300 ideas were generated in three fortyminute sessions (one session for each of the three programs). The results included the filming of a videotape, which was sent to prospective students; revision of promotional literature to include newly selected features; the creation of a coun122

SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. Select a group consisting of six to twelve people, a leader and a recorder. 2. The leader defines the problem for the group, preferably in advance of the brainstorming session. 3. The group suggests solutions to the problem in an interactive format, following the four rules of brainstorming: a. No judgments are made about any suggestion. b. All ideas, even absurd or impractical ones, are welcome. c. Quantity of ideas is a major objective, since it leads to quality. d. Ideas may be combined, refined, and piggybacked. 4. After twenty-five to thirty-five minutes, the group takes a break and then returns to critique the ideas. c•il to work more I lo.ti.1\ ‘vith local busine. , and inithition of opportunities tor students to contribute to the promotional literature and the video tape."' Jeffrey McElnea, president of Einson Freeman, Inc., an awardwinning and highly profitable New Jersey sales promotion agency, describes a modified version of the brainstorming process as a vital component of his firm's success: "For each new campaign, we flash every established [sales promotion] technique onto a screen. Then we go through each alternative and hypothetically try to fit the product to it—just to see what would happen. Then we start to combine and recombine the techniques, and there's where the unique part comes in. New techniques are created by synthesizing the old." In one of the agency's award-winning campaigns, "The Smaller the Better Sweepstakes," contestants had to walk into a store and listen to the new Sony Super Walkman to find out whether they had won a prize." One Southern Bell manager uses case situations to counter the adverse impact of personalities in brainstorming problem-solving situations. She poses the problem in the form of a case. As moderator, she rewards participation but not ideas, thus avoiding a reward-seeking environment. Most major Japanese firms use some version of brainstorming. For example, Honda engineers attribute a major breakthrough in engine design to a brainstorming exercise that resulted in a 35 percent jump in fuel efficiency in the 1992 Civic VX. 1 2 123

U.S. Variations on Brainstorming 'There are a number of variations on the basic brainstorming technique. Many of the techniques described in this book use some of the elements of brainstorming. Two of the formal variations on brainstorming derived in the U.S. are Take Five and the Crawford Slip Method. These will be discussed later in the chapter. Japanese Creativity Techniques Most Japanese creativity techniques are derived from some form of brainstorming.' These approaches to problem solving serve the group-oriented Japanese quite well. Westernstyle brainstorming, with its requirement of verbally tossing out ideas as they are thought of, does not serve the Japanese as well. Being more reserved than people of other nationalities and reluctant to dispute the opinions of others, the Japanese do not often express their thoughts openly. They have developed several variations of brainstorming, each in its own way aimed at adapting the creative power of the process to create a culturally acceptable technique. These techniques are often used in a creativity circle, which has evolved from the more familiar quality circle. Whenproblems cannot be solved quickly usHassoo ing the conventional techniques (usually quality conGenerating trol), the circle turns to creative processes. The creBreakthroughs ativity circle involves a work group trying to solve problems together in a creative manner. The brainstorming involved in such circles tends to be incremental in nature and focused on a particular issue. Participants would be asked to think of new ideas for solving the problem before coming to the next circle meeting. This they might do on the weekends, at home, on the train on the way home after work, or over drinks with colleagues. Participants present their ideas to the circle (usually anonymously, in writing), where they are analyzed for their potential use in solving the problem at hand. If the ideas are presented verbally, the group's comments will be made after a period of time for reflection, and often after hearing some of ■ 124

the responses of others, with time set aside for piggybacking on those. Four Jamie, variations on brainstorming are described later in this chapter: Lotus blossom technique (MY), Mitsubishi method, NHK method, and TKJ method. These techniques can be used in U.S. organizations without changing any of their components or with adjustments as the user sees fit. 66/2. BRAINWRITING Brainwriting is a form of non-oral brainstorming to which the basic brainstorming rules apply. Participants, sitting in a circle, write down their ideas for solving a given problem and pass their papers to their neighbors in the circle, who then brainstorm the ideas for a specified period, say five minutes, and then pass the papers on to the next person. The purpose here is to help you build on the ideas of others, to improve them. Three exchanges are usually enough to produce a lot of good ideas. The leader can then read the ideas, have them written on the board, and so on, direct the group to repeat the brainstorming exercise if necessary. 14The principal advantage of brainwriting is that the leader is unlikely to influence participants unduly. The main disadvantage is the lack of spontaneity. I like to have the first person prepare three columns for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person's ideas so that we can find out how the solution progressed from person to person. The first set of ideas usually takes only about two minutes and the later rounds take more time because participants have to read the other peoples' ideas before adding their own. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 125

I u problem is identified. Participants, sitting in a circle, write down their ideas for solving the problem. 3. After a specified period, participants pass their ideas on to the next person in the circle. 4. This person then piggybacks on the original solutions to develop new ones, writing them on the same piece of paper. 5. Three or more iterations occur. 6. Ideas are read aloud, written on a white board, or discussed and evaluated in some other way. 6713. BRAINWRITING POOL This is one of the techniques developed at the Battelle Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. A group of six to eight people sitting around a table write down their ideas about a given problem. As soon as a participant has written down four ideas, that person may put his or her paper in the middle of the table. However, people are allowed to continue writing down their ideas without being obliged to pass their papers to the center. When participants run out of ideas they exchange their paper for one from the middle of the table and produce new ideas by piggybacking on the ideas listed there. Eventually all participants should exchange their paper for one of those in the brain pool. The session should go on for about half an hour. 15 This method gives participants freedom to continue with their own thoughts rather than forcing them to add to the thoughts of others. SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The problem is identified. 2. A group of six to eight people, sitting around a table, write their solutions to the problem on a piece of paper. 3. After writing down at least four ideas, each person places his or her piece of paper in the center of the table. 4. When participants run out of ideas, they may choose one of the slips of paper from the center of the table and piggyback on those ideas to create new ones. 5. Eventually every participant should exchange his or her piece of paper for one in the center of the table. 126

DILLARD DEPARTMENT STORES USES PRICING AND TECHNOLOGYTO BEATTHE COMPETITION A lot of so-called industry experts didn't give Dillard Department Stores much of a chance to succeed when it came time to compete in the big leagues. Oh its strategy was ok for the back-water towns where it originated, but not in the big cities. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Dillard understands the needs of the 1990s consumer, and satisfies those needs. It provides moderate to high priced goods at reasonable prices, and provides convenience, service and quality. Technologically based process innovations are a major ingredient in Dillard's success. It uses an on line information system networked to every company point-of-sale register to track purchases, inventory levels and sales person performance. Several times a day, company executives search the company's information base to see if Liz Claiborne's new line is selling as well in Dallas as had been anticipated, or to determine how many pairs of a new shoe style were sold in Orlando. Salesperson performances are tracked by computer. Those who meet quotas receive rasies. The company works to improve the performances of those who don't. Continued failure to meet quotas results in dismissal. Managers too are judged by sales. Sales managers spend a lot of time walking the floor and talking to customers like Marcie McCauley of St. Louis who considers herself the "queen of shoppers." When she wanted to buy her husband some shirts, she chose Dillard. Why, "because they always have the selection I want." Marcie continues, "They carry a lot of brands other Midwestern stores don't have and the largest shoe selection (50,000 pair) I've ever seen." Dillard's sophisticated information system helps make such inventories possible. The firm knows what is selling and what will sell. Dillard's technology also enables it to get merchandise into stores quickly. Most stores call or write their vendors to restock certain items, but using electronic data interchange with 187 of its suppli- 'S NOI1DV N I3943 3AL1VAO N NI 3H1 CONTINUES ON PAGE 128 127

DILLARD Continued from page 127 ers, the firm is able to get inventory restocked in 12 days or less. These firms tap into Dillard's information network, track inventory levels, and give Dillard preferential treatment in refilling orders. "We'll jump through hoops to do business with them," says Leonard Rabinowitz, president of women's apparel maker, Carol Little. The firm did $50 million in business with Dillard in 1991, up from nothing five years previously. Rabinowitz likes working with Dillard. "They have really good communications with their key vendors. If I have a problem, I can pick up the phone and discuss it with (president) Bill Dillard and he'll handle it on the spot." Finally, Dillard has a uniquely innovative centralized approach to managing that defies many of the books on management. Unlike most retailers who centralize accounting and legal functions only, Dillard also centralizes advertising, catalogs and merchandise buying. The key to its success is that it distributes the merchandise according to a store's individual needs. One store manager observes, "If you need more merchandise in your store, or more sales help, you never have to beg for it or try to convince them with a 10-page memo. You just make a phone cal]." Source: Carol Hymowitz and Thomas F. O'Boyle, "A Way that Works: Two Disparate Firms Find Keys to Success in Troubled Industries," Wall Street Journal, May 29, 1991, pp. Al, A7.

SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The problem is identified. 2. Six people, sitting in a circle, write down three ideas in three columns within a specified time. 3. Participants then pass their ideas on to the next person in the circle. 4. This person piggybacks on the original solutions and develops new ones, writing these beneath the solutions offered by the previous person. 5. The process is repeated until every person has contributed to every other person's original thoughts. 6. The results are discussed and evaluated. 68/4. BRAINWRI 1 ING 6-3-5 There are a number 01 variations of brainwriting developed at the Battelle Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. They include brainwriting pool, brainwriting 6-3-5, gallery method, pin card technique, and the SIL method. The name of this method is derived from the fact that six people produce three new ideas in three columns within five min-ttes.' 6After five minutes the paper is passed on to the next person, who adds his or her variations to these ideas. This process is repeated six times until all the participants have contributed to all the papers. Theoretically, within thirty minutes the group can produce 108 ideas; realistically, by the time you allow for duplications, perhaps sixty good ideas emerge. Still, this is a very productive effort. You might want to modify this process so that less time is given in the beginning and more at the end for each iteration. The first set of ideas usually takes only about two minutes and the later rounds take more time because participants have to read the other peoples' ideas before adding their own. 6915. CREATIVE IMAGING This technique is often used in creativity and innovation programs. It is based on the assumption that developing visualization skills improves creativity. 17 Creative imaging consists of three steps: envisioning a specific need for change, envisioning a better way, and formulating a vision-based plan of action. The exercise can be done 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES 129

by individuals and the resulting images proviticd to the group, or it can be guided by a leader/facilitato• in a group setting. The size of the group is best limited to six or eight people, although more can be accommodated. A typical use of the process is to ask a group of corporate participants to describe where they "see" the corporation ten years from now in an ideal world. Since the key to successful use of the techinque is to get the members of a group to respond to their visions, facilitation skills are especially important. In order to inspire group members to feel free to let their imaginations run wild, the facilitator must encourage them to shed their inhibitions. A consideration that tends to limit the applicability of the technique is the fact that, according to neurolinguistic theory, while many people (60 to 80 percent of the population) are "visuals," the remainder are "verbals," and "feelers." 18If a person is not in the "visual" category, he or she won't feel comfortable with this exercise unless the facilitator succeeds in presenting the concept attractively and convincingly. 7016. CREATIVE LEAPS Creative imaging is one of four techniques that are collectively know as creative leaps. 19The creative leap is a powerful method for developing breakthrough concepts. It occurs when the group jumps to idealistic solutions, then moves back in time to prepare a plan to make them happen, solving problematic issues as it goes. There are four primary ways in which a company or group can train itself to take creative leaps: 1. Creating a description of what it wants the company to be like in the future. 2. Creating a description of the ideal competitor in the future. 130

/ 3. Visualizing the Ideal products oi ti n future, those that could be createt I if there were no technical or financial constraints. 4. Determining the information the company needs to win. The limitations described in the section on creative imaging apply. The facilitator needs to be skilled in unleashing imagination in a group situation. 7 I /7. CREATIVITY CIRCLES Quality circles are small groups of workers who meet to solve quality problems related to their specific work areas. First developed in Japan, quality circles have helped Japanese firms achieve superior quality compared to their competitors. Recently the concept has been expanded under the banner of "creativity circles" to include all types of problems, not just quality problems, and to incorporate a number of group as well as individual creativity processes. Such modifications have occurred in both Japan and Europe. 2° In Japan they were a natural extension of the quality circle as the need for more creative solutions to problems became apparent. Creativity circles are not yet well understood or utilized in the United States. However, Japanese and European firms are utilizing them quite successfully. This chapter describes group creativity processes that managers can use in their work groups to improve performance by raising levels of creativity and innovation. If your organization seeks to improve group creativity, it should use the techniques described here to turn quality - circles into creativity circles. / 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SALVING TECHNIQUES 131

72/8. CRAWFORD SLIP METHOD In 1925 C L Crawford of the University of Southern C fornia invented the Crawford slip method (CSM), a type of brainstorming. 2 ' The name is derived from the use of slips of paper, about the size of note cards, on which participants write their ideas. A CSM group may consist of any number of people, but larger groups are desirable since the time allotted for generating ideas is short—normally about ten minutes. About 400 ideas should be produced by a group of 2() people in a thirty- to forty-minute period. The process consists of four key steps. STEP I The facilitator creates target or focus statements. These are statements that help draw responses from participants. Targets must be carefully constructed. Most idea generation methods simply state a problem. In CSM, a problem area related to an issue is identified and an overall problem is stated. Then additional statements are made that further define the problem. Two representative target statements are shown in Tables 5.1 and 5.2. STEP 2 Participants then write their replies on slips of paper, using one slip for each idea. The slips are small (4 1/4 by 2 3/ 4 inches) to ensure that answers are concise and clearly written. (This size also helps ease data reduction in later steps of the process.) [Notecards will suffice.] In writing their responses, participants follow specific rules: • Write across the long edge, not across the end of the slip. • Write on the very top edge of the slip. • Write only one sentence per slip. • Use a new slip for explanations. • Avoid words like "it" or "this." • Write out acronyms the first time they are used. • Write short sentences using simple words. • Write for people outside your field. • Write until time is called. 132

TABLE 5.I Target A TQM Implementation Problems: (Problem Area) Where is the System Lacking? (Overall Problem) • What is less than perfect in the way TQM is implemented? • What difficulties do you and your colleagues have in implementing TQM? • What are the roadblocks, bottlenecks, delays, and frustrations you have experienced while implementing TQM? • Write each trouble, failure, waste, fraud, or abuse related to TQM implementation on a separate slip. Source: Janet Fiero, "The Crawford Slip Method," Quality Progress (May 1992), pp. 40, 41. TABLE 5.2 Target B Advice to Decision Makers: (Problem Area) How to Implement TQM? (Overall Problem) • Remedies are the flip side of problems • Provide your best recommendations for eliminating or alleviating the troubles you just identified. • What different policies, approaches, or procedures have you used or seen used that worked well? • If you had complete control, how would you change things for the better? • Write any first ideas on a slip—don't wait for the optimum solution • Write each remedy for implementing TQM on a separate slip. Source: Janet Fiero, "The Crawford Slip Method," Quality Progress (May 1992), pp. 40, 41. 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES

wont,. then thanked tor their inputs dismissed. Iii most cases participants do not take NH in the data reduction process. (CSM is similar to the "'KJ method described later in this chapter except that in the TKJ method participants help in the data reduction process.) Participants are, however, given a summary of the results. STEP 3 The facilitator performs data reduction, which consists of the following steps: 1.Sort the slips into many general categories. 2.Consolidate these into a few major catergories. 3.Refine these categories and develop an outline for the written report. 4.Compile into chapters, divisions, sections, and paragraphs and edit the written report. For the Implementing TQM target discussed earlier, four general categories, each with two to four subcategories, emerged: ready, set, go, oops. The subcategories for "go" were training, systems changes, participation, resources. STEP 4 In writing the final report, all of the related comments on slips are itemized under the relevant subcategory headings. Duplications should be eliminated. CSM has been used extensively in consulting seminars and projects as well as in total quality management programs for numerous companies and governmental units. CSM is similar to other techniques involving slips of paper or 3 by 5 cards: the TKJ method and the NHK method (described later in this chapter), the idea bits and racking method, and the 7 x 7 method (both described in Chapter 4). Various procedures for sorting, collecting, revising inputs, and so forth could be adapted to the method. For example, you might want to add a visual presentation stage in which participants piggyback on the ideas. You might also want to use cards as starting points for a brainwriting session.

SUMMARY OF STEPS 1. The facilitator creates target or focus statements. 2. Participants write replies to these targets on slips of paper, one idea per slip. 3. The facilitator performs data reduction. 4. The final report is written. It includes all the related comments from the idea slips, itemized under the relevant subcategory headings. 73/9. DELPHI TECHNIQUE The traditional Delphi process used in scenario forecasting can be employed in generating alternatives in much the same manner as individual brainstorming. 22In the Delphi process a questionnaire, based on some perception of a situation, is mailed or otherwise communicated to experts in the field. Their individual responses are collected, and summarized, and the summaries are returned to each expert with instructions to revise his or her responses as necessary. The process continues through a series of iterations until a general consensus is reached. Participants whose responses deviate widely from those of the other participants are required to submit justifications for the disparity. These too are summarized and distributed to the others. The Delphi technique is especially useful in situations in which it is important to separate the ideas of individuals from those of others yet to collect them into a combined set produced by an "expert" group. It is a noninteractive group technique by design, but interaction does in fact occur. Thousands of major Delphi studies have been carried out in many disciplines and in various societies. For example, the technique has been used to identify the ten most important issues of the 1990s in human resources management, 23future trends in logistics management, 24and the expected levels of tourism in Singapore. 25 This is an excellent technique for pooling the ideas of geographically separated experts. All participants have an equal chance to make a contribution, and the ideas are judged on their merits, not on their sources. Moreover, ideas are not influenced by individual or group persuasion. There are 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES

101 creative problem solving techniques summary

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101 creative problem solving techniques summary

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  1. BOOK REVIEW: 101 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES BY JAMES M. HIGGINS

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  3. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

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  4. An introduction to creative problem solving

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  1. "Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Problem-Solving Techniques"

  2. Critical Thinkers by Albert Rutherford

  3. DT Based Classroom Delivery: Strategy Formulation

  4. This Technique can solve your problem! #shaleenshrotriya #businesscoach #solution #coaching

  5. 10 Strategies to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills #shorts

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COMMENTS

  1. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business [Higgins, James M.] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business ... I really liked the "Summary of Steps" that are throughout the book and the mini case studies were nice as ...

  2. 101 creative problem solving techniques

    101 creative problem solving techniques : the handbook of new ideas for business by Higgins, James M. Publication date 2006 Topics Problem solving, Organizational change Publisher Winter Park, Fla. : New Management Pub. Co. Collection internetarchivebooks; printdisabled; inlibrary Contributor

  3. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques

    This practical, easy and fun to read book describes 101 creative ways to solve problems. It is designed for individuals and groups. This book is artfully and humorously illustrated. Descriptions of the techniques contain examples of their usage across a wide diversity of companies. Problem solving is a skill that is not taught in schools but is vital to living and working with others.

  4. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business : Higgins, James M.: ... I really liked the "Summary of Steps" that are throughout the book and the mini case studies were nice as well. Personally, I would like to have seen at least a couple extended case studies, but that was not the purpose of this book. ...

  5. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business James M. Higgins Snippet view - 1994. Bibliographic information. Title: 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business: Author: James M. Higgins: Edition: 2, illustrated, revised:

  6. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business: Higgins, James M.: 9781883629007: Books - Amazon.ca

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    Buy 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business by Higgins, James M. (ISBN: 9781883629007) from Amazon's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. ... I really liked the "Summary of Steps" that are throughout the book and the mini case studies were nice as well. Personally, I would ...

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  9. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business [Higgins, ... and gives you an excellent summary in the Appendix. I have read quite a few books on Problem Solving / Decision Making and they all come down to Divergence and Convergence, or Creative and Critical thinking. ...

  10. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook o…

    Book that covers different and creative techniques about problem solving. Interesting to provide ideas of tools to make better decisions. Livro que cobre diferentes e criativas técnicas de solução de problemas. Interessante para dar a você ideias de ferramentas para tomar melhores decisões.

  11. 101 creative problem solving techniques : James M. Higgins : Free

    101 creative problem solving techniques by James M. Higgins. Publication date 1994 Topics Problem solving., Organizational change. Publisher New Management Pub. Co. Collection internetarchivebooks; printdisabled; inlibrary Contributor Internet Archive Language English. Access-restricted-item

  12. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: Most New Ideas for Business

    Most problem solving techniques are either brainstorming sessions of some sort, or techniques designed to force you to lay aside your preconceived opinions and study a problem from different angles (yes that is a major simplification). The book is organized and formatted very well.

  13. 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The ...

    101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business : Higgins, James M.: Amazon.sg: Books. ... I really liked the "Summary of Steps" that are throughout the book and the mini case studies were nice as well. Personally, I would like to have seen at least a couple extended case studies, but that was not the purpose of ...

  14. (101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for

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