Archive for the ‘Problem Solving’ Category

Creativity is like Fireworks

There can be planning…
There can be the right people involved in the design…
There can be a captive audience…
There can be rave reviews and loads of applause…
The whole project can be perfectly executed…
When the last Spark falls and fades the crowds disperse, and the creativity ends with nothing but a clean-up project.

So how do we avoid this scenario?

I would like suggest a few things that should happen in conjunction with your creativity efforts.

  1. Don’t stop the fireworks show
    • If you keep the creativity going or keep the Sparks flying, then you will be sure to have a steady flow of new and returning visitors
    • Stopping the fireworks show can be as detremental to the health of your organizational goals as a severe draught can be to a marshland
  2. Record everything,
    • Artist’s depictions
    • Photographs
    • Movies
    • To avoid having a perfect Spark rise a fall, then fade without anyone noticing, all of the creative ideas needs to documented and organized
  3. Take advantage of multiple perspectives
    • A fireworks show is a dynamic 3 dimensional display
    • There are an unlimited number of perspectives that can taken to view the show
    • Each perspective will take in a different set of colors, sounds and spatial motions; also each person will hear a different set of comments about the show as it is happening
    • If 100 people attended the show and you only had one person record the event from a single perspective then you are going to miss capturing 99% of the show
  4. Allow the formation of groups and communities to discuss ideas
    • Groups that have a level of autonomy will be motivated to produce unique solutions in order to receive the rewards of producing positive outcomes
    • Groups give individuals a sense of belonging and provide a safe environment to build confidence, inspire and motivate
  5. Provide a means for coordination between groups to find linkages and opportunities for them to work together
    • Those who attend the meetings for more than one group will often find that discussions are similar
    • They share information from one group in the meetings of the other
    • At a higher level groups can provide notes on their meetings up to a central group for review
    • The central group could work to build additional linkages where none currently exist naturally
    • The central group could also provide other support through funding, training, facilitation, guest speakers, and the dissemination of information
    • The central group may also have their own ideas to work on that may be more strategic in nature
  6. Provide tools and techniques for groups to use
    • Arrange for skilled facilitation of groups meetings
    • Those who are trained in brainstorming methodology, or who have taken courses on innovative thinking, appreciate that these sessions can go wildly off the rails at times
    • Setting some ground rules and outlining the various methods for a meeting will make the outcomes of achieve better outcomes
    • This will create an environment where participants feel welcomed and respected
  7. Let the small, medium, and large ideas be discussed at the right level of the organization
    • Large ideas are not necessarily the expensive ones; they can just be the ideas that affect a large number of people or processes
    • The small ideas might only affect a couple people but they can be extremely important
    • The challenge is to determine how small or large your idea is and to get together the right group of people to discuss
  8. Let the rubber hit the road
    • Ideas don’t need to be perfect before they can implemented
    • Continuous improvement can’t begin until an idea moves to the implementation stage

Great New Solutions, but no one will use them…

A few days ago I posted a great idea on a forum. The idea received some positive feedback that is was a good idea, that it could have some good potential, and that it could really solve some issues.

The last comment that I received however gave me a wakeup call and I am so glad for it. The comment was that they agreed my idea was great, but that they had tried something similar and were having trouble because individuals didn’t want to bother using the new solution. The potential benefits could not be realized.

So the moral of the story is to always try and remember that the first questions to ask when you think of a new idea is

  1. Does it look fun?
  2. Will people enjoy using it?
  3. Will it provide lasting value to the people who use it?

These questions will give you an idea of whether people will want to start using your new solution, whether they will not quit using it shortly after starting, and whether they will return to use again and again for a long period of time.

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