Monday, July 17, 2006
One of the many ways our minds attempt to make life easier is to create a first impression of a problem. Like our first impressions of people, our intitial perspectives on problems and situations are apt to be narrow and superficial. We see no more than we've been conditioned to see--- and stereotyped notions block clear vision and crowd our imaginations. This happens without any alarms sounding, so we never realize it's occuring.
Once we have settled on a perspective, we close off all but one line of thought. Certain kinds of ideas occur to us, but only those kinds and no others. What if the paralyzed man who invented the motorized cart had defined his problem as: "How can I occupy my time while lying in bed?": rather than "How can I get out of bed and move around the house?"
Creative Consultants must start to phrase problems in a particular way. They write the problem that needs to be solved as a definite question. Using the phrase 'In what ways might I...?" to start a problem statement. This is sometimes known as the invitational stem and helps keep you from settling on a problem statement that may reflect only one perspective or perception of the problem.