104 Make your controls work for you…

by | Apr 24, 2012 | Innovate

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 104 Controls need to take in to account the behaviour they provoke…  “Police said crashes happened because motorists slowed down ahead of the camera and then speeded up once they were clear of it.” Report in Daily Mail (England) 7 Jan 2009 How can you ensure controls achieve what you want? Have you noticed when many motorists see a “fixed speed” camera, which measures an excess speed at a fixed point, they slow down until past the measuring lines and then accelerate madly – like the camera has some weird acceleration beam? However, when driving through sections of motorway with “average speed cameras” that measure your speed over a fixed distance, most people keep to the limit, although some slow down and speed up to meet the average. Passing through an “average speed” control area recently, I wondered how we might relate these behaviour patterns to organisations.  Finding no instant answers, I placed a question on the Giants, Wizards and Goblins forum on Linked In. Here is a summary of the responses. What questions might they raise for your organisation? Speed cameras are a control to stop people taking risk. They should be sited only where there is most risk if they are not to have an adverse effect on traffic Speed cameras form part of an overall system to reduce fatalities. There is little evidence to show they have this effect [Source] Speed cameras, both types, measure speed. They do not tell us if the driver is incompetent, the tyres bald or the car uninsured Speed cameras are viewed as revenue earning systems...

How Might…?

Reason for Use It is a challenge to dream up an idea from nothing if you believe what Koestler says[1]: “The creative act … does not create something out of nothing;” As he continues, most ideas come when we uncover, select, re-shuffle, combine and synthesise already existing facts, ideas, faculties and skills. It is reasonable to assume that you and your group have a large amount of information about the Focus of Innovation. Therefore, the tool I describe here, an adaptation of the much used “What If” technique, elicits all of the current information the group has, relevant to the Focus of Innovation and asks how it might be different. E.g. an author sitting down to write a story about Napoleon’s war with Russia needs to find an alternative to War and Peace. The author might create an alternative plot if he or she were to:  List many of the things we know about Napoleon’s invasion: it was 1812; he had to retreat from Moscow; the loss or capture of nearly 500,000 men; the burning of Moscow by the Russians; the terrible winter; the lack of food; the lack of clothing; the Russian peasants making raids etc Ask ,“How might this be different? Now we have much more material for creative thinking. Our author writes a book about how General Napoleon enters Moscow as a welcomed heroine, spends the summer forming alliances with the Russian peasantry (possibly through Facebook) and sweeps through Eastern Europe establishing French themed shopping malls. This approach enables the author to be… novel, and make the plot of War and Peace seem rather narrow. Which...

Mind Mapping

I recently attended a course led by Tony Buzan and others, to become a licensed Buzan Mind Mapping instructor and thought I would share how we can use Mind Maps for, amongst many other things, creativity.  Many of you will know the concept of left and right brain, the left side of the cerebral cortex dealing with words, analysis, logic etc, and the right side dealing with rhythm, colour, imagination etc. The implication of this description is that there is no connection between the two sides, which is not true; they are joined by the corpus callosum, a sort of superconductor for swapping information. If you ask people, “Where does creativity lie in the brain?” they will typically say, “On the right”. Ask them what side of the brain Mind Mapping uses and they will typically say the right. This is wrong. In fact, the process of creating a Mind Map uses the whole brain, creating many associations as your imagination creates more ideas and branches, but also structuring and ordering those ideas. So How can you use a Mind Map for creativity? Here is a summarised version, for a full version, please buy Tony Buzan’s book. Rapid Mind Map Burst Think of your topic. On a landscape A3 page, draw a strong central image of your topic Allow your brain to associate and imagine everything associated with that topic for around twenty minutes, noting each idea on branches and sub branches radiating from the central image. Go fast and avoid censoring yourself Reconstruct and Revise -1 Take a short break to rest the brain Make a new Mind...

103 Facilitate Innovative Thinking …

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 103 Creative idea generation sessions will work better if people follow guidelines on behaviour… “People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first..” David H. Comins Do you want your idea generation sessions to work better? The other night, I helped out at my son’s Scout meeting. We gathered the children and got them to play a game. However, three of them thought that this game was not cool, so they did all they could to mess up the game for everybody else. Despite much enthusiasm from others, the game fizzled out. This reminded me of many meetings I attended in corporate life, in particular idea generation meetings, where it is quite simple for people to dampen enthusiasm. Recently, a client asked me to give a short talk to build some energy in a group before an idea generation session. I built the talk around four guidelines for making an idea generation session work more effectively. So Here are the four guidelines, which you might find useful when diverging, that is, when generating ideas. By the way, can you find an acronym for these guidelines? Build on Ideas A great way to obtain more creative ideas is to build on the ideas of others so: Say, “Yes! And…” not “Yes! But…” Accept “silly” or “ridiculous” ideas and use them as springboards to develop practical ideas Ask, “How might we look at this idea differently?” Appreciate Different Styles People have different styles and this might cause issues in your idea generation session. Be aware that: There are...

102 How to Facilitate People to Perform Well in New Situations…

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 102 People often face new situations.  You can facilitate them to perform better with a simple model…. Enhance The Physical and Social Environment “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.” Jean Paul Richter (1763 – 1825) German Writer Do you want to improve someone’s performance in a new situation? I have worked with a number of new groups this year in workshops. Whenever I work with them I use a simple model called the “New Situation Model” to help people settle in with each other and encourage communication. I developed this model with my colleague, Caroline Harvey, based on our experience and using research. Explaining the Model A brief explanation of each stage (Note there is no proscribed order), is that we have found that a typical person (but not everyone) in a new situation wants to: Adopt  the correct state Know who others are and how they relate Understand the situation Have a constructive outlook Influence the situation Contribute well Have an opportunity to voice their opinion Enhance the environment in which they find themselves, both physical and social Each of these steps is what I term a “facilitator”. The more facilitators you can address, the better the result. Whilst we use it in workshops, you might also use the model as a checklist when you: Plan for new people joining your group Plan for forming a project team Are in a new situation yourself (it may enable you to develop or suggest a constructive course of action) So Imagine that you have a new person...