(comment: As originally posted on the OUBS Blog)
There are a lot of different techniques you can use, and some ordering is needed. For the OUBS this is done with 12 precepts as a framework. These can be grouped together further in terms of their giving a sense of direction, or being part of Handy’s creative climate (Curiosity, Forgiveness, Love). Underpinning all of this is Schon’s idea of the “reflective practitioner”, meaning somebody that goes into deep double-loop learning.
I’ll now give a very short overview over these. While they are easy to grasp as a first step. Most of them have some deeper meaning that needs some thinking on your part. I highly suggest taking each part and think about what this really means for you, potentially going back to the book to get some insight.
Precept 1: Adopt a ‘set to break sets’: Think different, get people that think different, take different perspective, different different different
Precept 2: Explore the ‘givens’: Context is important for a problem. Maybe the context was wrong. Use Assumption surfacing or Reversals to get behind it. Get a fresh view on it. Try being very clear about your environment, trying to notice things you take for granted.
Precept 3: Broad picture, local detail: You can store an enormous amount of information, but only very few items at a time. Use mind maps or similar techniques to go broad and deep at the same time or rather one after the other.
Precept 4: Value play: Play is central to learning, just think about being a kid. You learn by trial and error. It loosens things up if you can just play with a problem. For this you need to create a special settings, choose team members that trust each other and you can simply use such techniques as a way to build a team.
Precept 5: Build up, don’t knock down: Go from ‘Yes, but…’ to ‘Yes, and…’. Value people.
Precept 6: Live with Looseness: Things will be confusing, uncertain, contradictory, sceptical and more. Especially in whicked problems you need to live with it and let go to have a map built over time.
Precept 7: It is there already – nurture it: Creativity is probably already there, well below its potential. Try removing soem barriers. Delegate, make ideas welcome, schedule idea time.
Precept 8: Involve others: We all have different view, and something normal for us might not be for somebody else. New ideas come from this. Enjoy the differences.
Precept 9: Connect and be receptive: ideas can be triggered from your environment. These can be related to the problem or not. You need to link problems and triggers.
A sense of direction
Precept 10: Know what you really want: As they say “if you don’t know where you want to go, you probably won’t get there”. The way is not important, or rather needs to be loose, but the goal should be clear.
Precept 11: Cycle often and close late: Try not to appear decisive, or stop at the first solution. Cycle a few times to allow extra deeper information to filter in.
Precept 12: Manage the process: People, Place and Process. These are important and should be managed.
Being a reflective practitioner
- Keep creativity and analysis apart
- Keep records
- Understand what you are doing and why
- Learn from the experience of others
There is a nice checklist on page 113 of the book for self-evaluation.