CEL was invited to provide a Innovative Thinking & Problem Solving Workshop on 27 April 2017. I was one of participants and would like to summarize some insights from the workshop. Mr. Raymond Ng (Consultant, Communications Engineering Limited) was our trainer. Firstly, he led us to do exercise like catwalk and then explained that every people had different style.
Mr. Ng introduced the four steps for problem solving included “Assess a Situation”, “Identify Causes”, “Generate Solution Options” and “Decide Best Course of Action”. In this workshop, we focused on Lateral thinking in the step “Generate Solution Options”.
Then we played the Trojan House game and each participant has different role in their team. After the game, we understood why we did not think out of box because of “Assumption”, “History”, “Supposed to be”, etc. Mr. Ng taught us to formulate a problem statement included “Ideal”, “Reality” and “Consequences”; but it should not have “Causes” and “Solutions”.
My trial problem statement was done as follows:
ISO 9001 certification value is not obvious to top management (Reality), so the certificate may be stopped (implying QS team may be disbanded) (Consequence/Impact). We need to find a way to let top management understand the value (Ideal).
After the break, we discussed the mind mapping with the following rules:
- Put central idea or question at centre
- Radiate related ideas outwards
- Connect ideas and show their relationship using arrows, lines, curves, etc.
- Do not pause
- Leave plenty of space between information
Trainer gave us a question “What are the roadblocks/barriers in your job?” Then we tried to build the mind map through different possibility items.
One interested learning skill was “Reverse Brainstorming”. Once we identified the problem, we need the reversed the problem to be Bad Idea, wrote down its Impact and then Reversed Impact to generate the Good Idea.
Another very interested tool named “Simple Random Word”. Mr. Ng asked us to select any object in the room randomly and identify their features. And then linked features into our problem to create new ideas.
Our team selected a coffee cup and drawn the diagram. Then we generated different ideas based on identified features and using Post-it note to stick on the diagram.
I consolidated our ideas into the following table.
After that we used Quadrant Diagram to select the best option.
Finally, I presented our results based on “Simple Random Word” method.
The last two methods were “Starbursting” and “Selling an idea Upwards”. For Starbursting, brainstorm questions about the idea on “Who?”, “What?”, “Why?”, “Where?”, “When?” and “How?”. Don’t try to answer the questions as you go along!
For “Selling an idea Upwards”, you needed to research before presenting the idea to your boss and some hints were pointed out in the following diagram.
At the end, Mr. Ng briefed the 6 Thinking Hats which was a system designed by Edward de Bono in 1985. Edward de Bono suggested the first two Hats should be Blue Hat and then Red Hat, after that the no specific sequence until the last two used Red Hat and the last one was Blue Hat. Mr. Ng emphasized that team of people should take the same color hat at the same time for discussion.
The explanation was shown as follows:
1. Blue Hat (Agenda Setting) (Character: Process Control, Mechanism)
2. Red Hat (Character: Feeling, Intuition & Emotion)
3. White Hat (Character: Data, Fact or Information)
4. Black Hat (Character: Negatives, Pitfalls, Disadvantage)
5. Yellow Hat (Character: Positive side, Advantage)
6. Green Hat (Character: Creative, Opportunity, Possibility)
7. Red Hat
8. Blue Hat (Character: Decision & Action Planning)
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20150714: Team Synergy and Creative Problem Solving Workshop - https://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2015/07/team-synergy-and-creative-problem.html