Edward Glassman : Creativity & Innovation Meetings – Creativity Techniques
Creativity & Innovation Meetings
By Edward Glassman, PhD
I list here the steps and techniques of creative thinking described in my book in a sequence to achieve the highest quality solutions to the problem. Your creative thinking will soar as you use them on a regular basis. The following 8-step sequence creates focus and clarity:
STEP 1. Define Problems Creatively, the 1st Key Creative Step.
STEP 2. Identify The Criteria To Select Your Problem Statement.
STEP 3. Choose The Final Problem Statement(s).
STEP 4. Generate Ideas Abundantly, the 2nd Key Creative Step.
STEP 5. Combine Ideas Into Trigger-Proposals Innovatively, the 3rd key creative step.
STEP 6. Identify The Criteria To Choose Ideas.
STEP 7. Develop Sensible Workable Solutions.
STEP 8. Make Action Plans.
A SPECIAL SEQUENCE TO GENERATE IDEAS IN A CREATIVITY & INNOVATION MEETING (see Chapter 12 in my book)
One idea-generating sequence I like to use during a Creativity & Innovation Meeting consists of non-evaluative listing (brainstorming) => => improving bizarre trigger-ideas game => => from the weird to the workable idea => => idea gallery => => idea card.
This sequence starts with the walls covered with flip chart paper on which we have non-evaluatively listed over 150 "How-to" problem statements using techniques described in Chapter 11 in my book.
I ask the people in the meeting to walk around the room and check five to ten problem statements which they deem important.
I then ask each team to choose the three problem statements that they want to solve. Note, we do not kill any problem statements, we merely leave them behind.
• Non-Evaluative Listing.
I ask each team to choose a recorder and non-evaluatively list (brainstorm) ideas on flip chart paper to solve one of the how-to problem statements. I occasionally ask for bizarre ideas.
• Improve Bizarre Trigger-Ideas Game.
I want to get each person to stretch their imagination and express bizarre ideas beyond previous levels. In addition, it shows the team how to develop an idea no matter how bizarre, and strengthen it so it becomes useful. Paradigms shift constantly.
The game has simple rules. Each creative thinking team has four minutes to generate the most bizarre idea to solve the problem. They pass the idea to another team.
That other team has four minutes to use this idea as a trigger to spark a better idea. If it does so, it gets one point. If it does not, the other team gets one point.
I repeat this game two or three times. It amazes me how bizarre the ideas can get and how ingeniously people use them to trigger useful ideas. I often pass out folded blank flip chart papers as the bizarre idea. Even a folded blank sheet sparks new ideas.
• Weird to Workable Idea.
This team uses the weird idea to trigger a "better" idea, and writes it in the second quadrant of the flip chart paper. They pass the flip chart paper to another team.
This team uses the better idea to trigger a "practical" idea, and writes it in the third quadrant. They pass the flip chart paper to another team.
This team uses the practical idea to trigger a "workable" idea, and writes it in the fourth quadrant of the flip chart paper. They turn the idea into a sensible, practical solution. In general, the more bizarre and weird the first idea, the more likely the final workable idea shifts a paradigm and creates an original, unexpected outcome.
• Idea Gallery.
People walk around and write ideas and solutions directly on the papers. The ideas on the paper frequently trigger ideas in other people as they wander around. Such movement often helps creative thinking.
• Idea Card.
Occasionally I encourage them to write an absurd, bizarre, exotic idea to trigger other ideas. After a while, I suggest they exchange cards in order to relax and allow someone else's ideas to spark new ideas. I encourage them to write down the first idea that comes to mind when looking at each new card. I call a five-minute break after 20 minutes.
As another variation, I ask them to write an absurd, bizarre, exotic idea on an index card and pass the idea card to the person on their right. I suggest they use that idea as a trigger-idea to spark a better idea and write down the first idea that comes to mind.
Idea card gives each person a chance to sit quietly and thoughtfully reflect on the problem, mull over new paradigms they discovered, and to privately generate new ideas to solve the problem. Many new ideas emerge.
(For a great way to sort ideas, see "Idea Board" in Chapter 14 In my book.)
© 2011 by Edward Glassman. All rights reserved.
Edward Glassman, PhD was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he headed the Program For Team Effectiveness And Creativity. More »