Cook a pot or 4 creative methods for solving problems

    In a recently read book by Dmitry Chernyshev, “How People Think,” she drew attention to methods that help find ideas and come up with something new. Of course, there are much more methods. The same TRIZ, which is talked about so much, but I decided to dwell on those cited by the author of the book.

    Synectic method

    Designed by American inventor William Gordon. It is formed from Greek roots and can be translated as "combining dissimilar elements."

    Gordon believed that the main source of creativity is in the search for analogies and identified four types - direct, symbolic, fantastic and personal.

    With a direct analogy

    the object under consideration is an analogy in the world around us. In nature or technology.


    - based on the use of various comparisons, metaphors and the search for paradoxes in familiar and familiar things or phenomena. This type of analogy is aimed at finding the unusual in the ordinary and the ordinary in the unusual, that is, the definition and characterization of objects and phenomena from an unexpected perspective.

    Fantastic analogy

    free from any restrictions that reality imposes on us. Representation of the object under study in unrealistic, fantastic conditions, where the usual laws and phenomena do not work. This allows you to come up with a solution without reference to objective reality.

    Personal analogy

    puts a person in the place of the object in question. It is necessary to imagine yourself in the role of the studied subject and try on its functions. A personal analogy makes it possible to discard the stereotypical limitations of thinking and look at an object from an unusual angle.

    Even shorter, direct analogies are real, symbolic are abstract, fantastic are unreal, subjective are corporal.

    A vivid example of the application of the synectic method in practice is the innovation in the production of Pringles potato chips.

    Kellogg, an American company engaged in the production of breakfast cereals, faced an insoluble problem: how to reduce the air volume in a package of chips to make it more compact, but at the same time to prevent crumbling of a fragile product. To solve the problem, the company's management involved W. Gordon. Using the method of synectics, he drew an analogy between the chips in the package and the fallen leaves, which are collected in garbage bags. Dry foliage fills more space than wet. Wet leaves are softer and more plastic, so they can be packaged in garbage bags in a larger volume, and thereby save on the number of bags used. By this analogy, he proposed to manufacturers a new method of molding and wetting dry potato flour, from which chips are made. This made the packaging more compact.

    Focal Object Method

    It was invented in 1923. The founder is a professor at the University of Berlin, Friedrich Kunze. Later, an American researcher Charles Whiting became interested in the method, which eventually refined and improved it.

    It was he who coined the name “focal object method”. The name is based on the concept of "focus", that is, it implies focusing on the selected object.

    The process is simple: the properties and characteristics of other randomly selected objects are attached to the object under study.

    The method consists of six consecutive steps.

    1. We select a focal object, that is, an object that needs to be improved or a problem that needs to be solved.
    2. We select several random objects, which can be played by various words and concepts. They can be taken from a book, newspaper, magazine, dictionary. These should be nouns and their subject should be different from the subject of the object itself.
    3. We distinguish various properties, characteristics, functions and signs of selected random objects and write on paper.
    4. The properties and characteristics found are alternately attached to the main object.
    5. With the help of various associations there is a further development of the invented options.
    6. We evaluate the results obtained in terms of efficiency, usefulness and feasibility of practical implementation.

    Example: Take a flashlight and add its properties from the words glasses, boots, parachute. You can get a warm (eg heated pen), colored (different colors of the emitted light), fashionable flashlight.

    Morphological analysis

    To generate new ideas. Invented by the Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky. It is based on the construction of a table in which all the main elements that make up the object are listed and, possibly, a larger number of known options for implementing these elements are indicated. By combining options for implementing the elements of an object, you can get the most unexpected new solutions.

    The sequence of actions is as follows:

    1. Accurately formulate the problem.
      For example: Business card. More precisely: a bright unique business card of the dentist, which is difficult to forget).
    2. Identify the most important elements of the object.
      Example: form, business card cover
    3. Define options for the execution of elements.
    4. The main recommendation is that no option evaluations should be made until the morphological set is complete. An example of an object’s parameters: the shape of a business card — a ball, a rectangle, etc., coating — plastic, cardboard, sausage, etc.
    5. Enter them in the table.
    6. Evaluate all the options available in the table, analyze and evaluate from the point of view of the goals that must be achieved
      Examples: round edible, rectangular made of plastic, etc. Choose the best option.

      For example , you need to come up with a business card for a perfume company. If you change the classic rectangular shape and the effect on the senses, you can get a triangular business card with the smell of perfume.

      Mental card method

      The author of the technique is British psychologist Tony Buchan. In his opinion, creativity is directly related to memory.

      How to draw a mental map:
      1. Take a sheet of paper and write in the center in one word the main topic to which the map is dedicated. Enclose it in a closed loop.
      2. From the central topic, draw branches and place on them the keywords that are associated with it.
      3. Continue to expand the map by adding sub-branches with keywords to the already drawn branches until the topic is exhausted.
      4. The process of drawing a map contributes to the emergence of new associations, and the image of the resulting tree remains in memory for a long time.

      Rules for working with mental cards

      The technique seems intuitive, but the rules below can significantly increase its effectiveness.
      • Write one word on one branch. This approach saves time and space and contributes to better readability of the map.
      • Arrange the sheet horizontally - it will be more convenient to read such a card.
      • Place keywords directly on lines showing their relationship. Do not enclose them in any framework. Write on each line only one keyword.
      • Use different colors for the main branches so that they do not merge visually.
      • Vary the size of the letters in the inscriptions and the thickness of the branches, depending on the degree of distance from the main topic.
      • Arrange branches evenly - do not leave empty space or place branches too tightly.
      • Use drawings and symbols (at least for a central theme, better for all major branches).

      If you are drawing a complex map, it makes sense to first sketch a mini-map with the main branches to determine the structure of the future map, since the choice of the main branches affects the organization and readability of the map

      And the last tip from the book

      “To come up with even the most wonderful idea is only half the battle. It must be conveyed to the interlocutor. To convince him. There is nothing wrong with the fact that your idea will not be accepted right away. Bill Gates told his staff that if no one laughed at least one of their ideas, they may not be creative enough to work. This is a barrier to be overcome »

      New creative ideas and inspiration!

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