To generate ideas on improving the community I decided to undertake the advanced individual brainstorming technique, as in www.brainstorming.co.uk. I read guidelines and to successfully use creative thinking on my own, applied software to spark new ideas, by using Random word with interacting techniques and rules. Rules: No evaluation allowed No barriers – free wheel Produce a large quantity of ideas – quality not important Develop cross-fertilisation (if in groups) I began with a warm up, which was a puzzle called “rush hour” (See Appendix 2), installed in www.brainstorming.co.uk. I had to successfully move vehicles around, to enable the red beetle to exit. This took 3-4 minutes and got my mind stimulated.
By using the random word technique I could avoid the normal approach as in “Community” as key word. “by getting a random word as a prompt and forcing yourself to use it solve your problem you are practically guaranteed to attack the problem from a different direction than normal” (www.brainstorming.co.uk Accessed 7 December 2002) My random word was Refugee andI found this generated the wildest ideas . (See Appendix 3) This stimulated creativity easily, with logical rules to follow, when ideas were slowing down I went back to the wildest idea to try and generate more ideas.
The danger in using this technique is to skip onto the next word, if the first does not suit. This exercise can be done manually from a word randomly searched form the dictionary. Evaluating questions Did I use a warm up session? Yes Did I follow the rules? Yes Where my ideas limited as an individual? Yes Would a group session have generated more ideas? Yes After my session I drew up an Individual Brainstorming Grid (Appendix 4), and a subsequent in-depth evaluation (Appendix 5) to reveal best idea and alternatives. By using individual brainstorming I was using lateral thinking by not ruling out a technique that may be wrong. I felt it was worth using this tool to see if it would be effective. It would certainly save time and money.
It is a fact that by working in groups more ideas are generated, more information is available, these is more commitment, critical analyses and the sharing of risks. By working individually I had the advantages for being the informed leader, I avoided any interpersonal conflict and individual’s resistance to change. The technique was effective, as I used a random word to inject a different approach and the same ideas were generated as in the group approach in class I deemed ineffective – only 4 members.
At this stage Utility is an essential skill which involves examining the alternatives, and having the specialisation to choose the correct solution to the objectives of the problem. In America Universities in Columbia, Dartmouth, Berkley and Michigan State have transformed libraries, by opening cyber cafes, making them an ideal community meeting place for students to meet between classes and on breaks, including comfortable seating, internet access, and providing creative catering facilities.
The latest to open is Cornell’s Libe “Shaking the dust off the stereotype perception of academic libraries as dark, dull places where one dares speak, cyber cafes are becoming the “de rigueur” at university, college and public libraries throughout the country” (Fontana, 2002) The success of such ventures in America may be the answer to the problem of student wastage in Aberdeen. Stage5: Monitor and Evaluate I can evaluate the process by the success of use of the tools of creativity.
I have evaluated all tools including the wildest idea in brainstorming, in their likelihood of being successful or failing to meet criteria. In the words of specialist world famous teacher of thinking and creativity “Evaluation occurs when one member of the group can immediately see why an idea would not work or why it would be impractical because of costs” (de Bono 1971, p.116). Evaluation would normally be monitored by customer’s comments and feed back results from customer questionnaires and financial results.
I will conclude this assessment with a definition of creativity, another tool have been using. “Creativity is not concerned only with invention and new products. These are a minor aspect of creativity” “Creativity is concerned with the way information is looked at and the way it is used. Creativity comes into problem solving and into decision making.” (de Bono, 1971, p.222) By using creativity for this assessment I was able to complete the task of generating ideas and concepts, by explaining how these concepts will attract and retain students at Aberdeen, and to important encourage participation, by opening of Library Cyber Caf at the Business School.
In the future problem solving will play an important part in hospitality industry and it is worth training staff on these vital creativity skills. It is important to remember that any stage in the process can be used, in any order other than Stage 1. It is possible to go straight to a solution and work back to the alternatives. Illumine Ltd is just one organisation offering a variety of courses using instructors trained by Tony Buzan and Edward de Bono.
Aberdeen City Council, 2002, Aberdeen Futures, Publicity and Promotions, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen, p.15. Beckett, D. 1994, William of Occam – Biography [Online], Available World Wide Web: http://wotug.ukc.ac.uk/parallel/www/occam/occam-bio.html (Accessed 17 December 2002)