Archive for August, 2007

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Combining Ideas

August 21, 2007

            It is the norm for creative thinkers to suggest combining different options as a way of generating ideas or enhancing solutions. While easy as a concept, many people don’t know where to start from!

If we take our mind off the commercial world and look at other ways of living, this topic seem more natural in other places. Cooking for example is based on combining ingredients that make up new tastes. Many of my dishes come from mistakes of spices, adding flavors I’ve never thought of – some actually seem inedible after the combination, but that is another story.

Clothing too comes from combining pieces to work on the art of covering – or uncovering –  a human body. The ways we combine the pieces comes from our tastes of fashion. In comparison, so does the idea combinations in businesses comes from different styles of management or of working (innovative vs adaptive, structured vs. freestyle, etc.)

And in interior design, every designer knows that buying our furniture from one place is a big no-no. A mix and match is the real creativity in this business, so what and how to mix is the deal, and again comes the importance of combining works from different eras and styles.

Back to combining ideas in business, once we know how simple it is to think of different things and put them together, we will be more open to try this imaginative and productive tool. The trick is to be aware of its existence and certainly of its affordability. Anyone can think, but it takes guts to put it in words.

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The Facilitative Leader

August 1, 2007

I wrote about teachers using facilitation skills in the classroom, but this skill can go way beyond the class.

A friend of mine told about reading that article and applying the new thoughts on her children at home. Another friend started using it with her colleagues at work. And I thought I might just need a little more boost about the subject so I joined Roger Schwarz‘s workshop on The Facilitative Leader.

He talked about this skill and if we wanted to change anything in us, we have to first be aware of how we think about it. So changing our thinking comes as a first step.

Benefits of this approach, he claimed, to be:

  • Increase quality of decision
  • Increase commitment
  • Decrease time for effective implementation
  • Improve working relationships
  • Increase organizational learning
  • Enhance personal satisfaction

In part I do agree with his method, in other parts I do have examples in mind that may not require this certain method and can use other authority or delegation in order to tackle a certain issue.

All models ofcourse will depend on the situation, and I look forward to hear your views on it.

Randah