Imagination – thinking outside The Box

  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Reference KQED Forum; podcast Chaos and Creativity
  • Guest Keith Sawyer, Ori Brafman
  • Book review “The Chaos Imperative”
  • Chaos can be your friend
  • You have to be open to change

Creativity is something that must be developed.  It includes being willing to listen to or think of alternatives which may not be reasonable or even relevant.  Think out side the box be open to chaos, disturbance, change.

The question is not need to change

The question is how to change

People who are deep in to a subject often are too focused to think of, or even willing to listen to, new ideas.  People at the top, or in the center, need to listen to people at the bottom or even outside.  Need to listen to people who are dealing with the issues with new unclarified views, the people who don’t already know the answers. Some times we do need to reinvent the wheel, to question the known’s, if just to consider the unknowns.

Structured improvisation, have a meeting without and agenda.  An open discussion can lead to unexpected places.  This is best done outside the norm. Perhaps a different location, out of uniform, no clear leader, no review. Have a goal, a point of interest, but no structure and no hierarchy.  Asking for or structuring specifics only clouds the imagination.

How to get Dr. to wash their hands, and ware gloves. Mercer in a drug resistant infection spared in hospitals. Control is easy, wash hands and where gloves.  Doctors and nurses know this.  Tell them train them, information dose not lead to change. Find the pain the reason for the action you wish to change.  In one case the pain was found by the janitor who sees the garbage.  There are less gloves in the trash – why? Because they don’t fit so we don’t ware them, the Pain.  Get gloves that fit.  A medical solution from the bottom, form the outsider who sees things differently.  Enable communication between more people remove the filters managers often wont pass on information.  Do Doctors need to know what the Janitor sees?  Apparently they do.

Thinking and problem solving, take time away from a problem with out thinking about it.  Our brain will remix the information when it is not focused.  This leads to new insights.  Take a walk, paint a picture, play an instrument, let the brain unfocused.  Sleep on it. Take a day off, go on vacation.  Take a brake, just 5 minutes of idle thought.  There is a need for down time.  Time not focused time with out and objective.  Let the mind go where it wants.

Creativity is domain specific only because of your focus.  Change your focus and create a new solution.  Unusual suspects the janitor for a medical meeting?  Medical solutions are often about cleanliness. A janitor specializes in cleanliness.

What is the right question? Be willing to listen to the answer.  A doctor listens to a janitor and lives are saved.  A CEO who built the Company, knows it all.  Is the CEO willing to listen to the line worker who deals with a problem on the line?

Emergence, How to you let ideas emerge.


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