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TECHNIQUES OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

1.BRAIN STORMING:
- The principles of brain storming are - Defer evaluation during the phase of producing ideas, especially evaluation of the negative and critical ones. Invite more ideas. Higher the number, higher the probability of hitting upon some brilliant ones. A fantastic idea should be more appreciated. It need not be practicable. It triggers other ideas that might be novel and useful. Be open to the suggestive power of others or ones own earlier ideas.

It is generally done in groups. It is useful for problems that can have multiple solutions. The topic selected for brainstorming should be specific. During the session, the leader should encourage the panelists to provide concrete suggestions or ideas rather than abstractions or good intentions. Ex: - Suggestions such as improve human relations is wrong. - Suggestions such as expose every manager to human relations is correct.

- Sometimes the ideas can be grouped into classes and then each idea within a group may be voted upon. -Ex: If the brainstorming is on increasing the profits of a company, ideas can be classified into ideas for raising short term profits, medium term profits and long term profits. - Brainstorming is not only a technique, it is a culture. -During brainstorming, people drop their defensiveness and compete for the excellence and creativity of their ideas instead of competing for power and status. - Participation in brainstorming increases commitment to implement the participatively chosen course of action.

- It increases self confidence and a sense of resourcefulness.


- It is applicable to many fields such as family, industry, government and educational institutions.

2. ATTRIBUTE LISTING:

- It is a useful technique for designing a specific product, service or activity.


- Creativity arises from changing the attribute of an object or an activity or from grafting on to the object or activity an attribute or attributes of some other object or activity. - Ex: Attribute of material of earlier bags (metallic) is changed to have plastic ones. Other attributes added are castors, compartments etc. - The first attempt is made to list the basic but modifiable attributes of a particular object or activity. Then an attempt is made to generate alternatives to the current attribute or specification. Ex: DICTIONARY Modifiable attribute: Handling convenience Alternatives for attribute: - Pocket size - Easy to make into a roll etc

- It is also useful to list abstract or generic attributes of a concrete object or activity.


Ex: If one wants to generate ideas for redesigning a cup, it may be better to conceive it as a container than as a tea cup. - Thinking a container makes possible designs that enable other uses such as eating, holding other fluids, as a flower vase, cook in.

- Thus creation is useful modification of an attribute or assimilation of attributes of other things.

- It helps to separate the modifiable attributes from the un modifiable attributes of the objects.
- The procedure is to list all the obvious attributes of an object or activity such as the current size, colour, shape, function, weight, major components, material etc for an object and current duration, steps, subprograms etc for an activity. - Next it is desirable to identify some of the attributes that can be altered without destroying the main function of the object or activity. - Next the alterable attributes may be stated as more abstract, general attributes. (Ex: back rest of a chair as a spine support) MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS is a variant of attribute listing. Here some critical modifiable attributes are identified. -Then several alternatives for each of these attributes are generated.

Morphological : Relating to or concerned with the formation of admissible words in a language

Ex: FURNITURE Shapes Oval Square Circle Kinds Chairs Beds Sofas Materials Wood Metal Plastic Function Sleeping Resting Eating Styles Chippendale Shaker Queen Ann

Rectangle
Cylinder Pentagon Hexagon Heptagon Octagon ---------09

Tables
Clocks T. V Pianos Desks Stools -------09

Cloth
Glass Cork Foam Leather Cardboard -----------09

Sitting
Storing Entertaining Reading Writing Cooking --------09

Modern
Campaign Primitive Western Italian -------08

- There would be 9 x 09 x 09 x 9 x 8 = 52,488 cells in this figure., some of these are practicable. - Attribute listing works best when the product, object, activity sought to be modified is very specific, on the other hand morphological analysis can be applied to modify general objects and activities.

3) CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS:

- A variety of questions can aid invention or improvement.


- Some of the powerful questions that can improve an object or an activity are What can be ADDED to an object to improve it? What can we SUBTRACT to delete from it without damaging it?

What aspect or component can we ALTER?


What can be REARRANGED? How can we ADAPT the object for uses other than the present one? Can we MAGNIFY the object greatly? What could be the OPPOSITE of the object? Can we MINIFY or miniaturise the object? Does the object have uses OTHER than the present one?

Are there NEW ways of utilizing the object?


Are there ALTERNATIVE ways of producing the object? The first letters of the words underlined above yield an acronym ASARAMOMONA

Ex: CUPBOARD Add:- mirror, fan, casters, magnets Subtract:- Shelves, rear wall Alter:- Handle, paint, plastic/glass doors Rearrange:- Rest the cupboard on the side

Adapt:- Use as a rest by adapting


Magnify:- Increase size to serve as a wall also Opposite:- Storage rack made of brick and cement Minification:- Small modules of cupboard Other:- As a wall, as a chest New:- To store perishable goods also Alternative:- Do it yourself kit

4) SYNECTICS:

It is a group technique evolved by Synectics Inc, Boston and uses analogies as the productive source of solutions.
It is necessary to understand the structure of mind first. Human mind has several layers. They are It is the deepest layer of mind. It is the hot house of instincts. Its vital function is self preservation and reproduction. It has enermous energy but little regulation. This is fantasizing and imagining layer. It is prominent in childhood.

a) Unconscious mind: -

b) Preconscious mind:

It thinks in visions and scenarios through daydreams and fantasies.


It is ascendent when we are in fantasy mood. It is highly orderly, logical, evaluative and analytical.

c) Conscious mind:

- It is very aware of reality and its constraints. - Its function is to manage the entire personality and have its respond quickly in a coordinated manner to stressful and other situations. - It is ascendent when we are in a business like mood. - Synectic technique involves systematic way of accessing and harnessing the preconscious mind.

- In the technique, the process of incubation in the preconscious mind is imitated.


Synectics uses four kinds of analogies. They are 1) Direct Analogy: - which seeks a direct comparison of the phenomenon under discussion with some other phenomenon that is similar enough. Ex: Analogy between planes aerodynamics and bird flying. 2) Personal Analogy: - It is empathizing. - The person is asked to retain his individual human sensibility but is simultaneously asked to transpose himself into a situation and to report what he feels, sees, hears, thinks etc. 3) Fantasy Analogy:- Group members are urged to fantasize some perfect solution even if it contradicts known scientific principles. 4) Symbolic Analogy:- The leader may take a key word and ask group members to come up with a short provocative phrase that captures the essence of the word under

discussion. STEPS IN SYNECTICS: - The problem is explained to the group by an expert. - The group attempts to solve the problem in the usual way for a while. This phase is called purge. - If the problem remains unresolved, the leader asks the members to state the problem as they understand it. This is called PAU ( Problem as Understood ) step. - The leader may ask an evocative question by referring to the direct analogy. The analogy may be drawn from biological phenomenon. - The leader will request for personal, fantasy and symbolic analogy for the problem. -When the leader senses a potentially useful approach to the original problem at his hand, he may ask for a FORCE FIT, ie he may ask the participants to try to think how a present idea or analogy could suggest a solution to the original problem. Ex: Idea that one strokes an angry cat to make it calm, one could pump down a coolant that freezes the core sample so that sample does not undergo changes in composition as it is brought up thousands of feet. This is found while trying solution to the estimation of petroleum reserve.