ABSTRACT OF THE RESULTS OBTAINED FROM THE INQUIRY

Text-only Preview


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS

ABSTRACT OF THE RESULTS OBTAINED FROM THE INQUIRY
1. Use of creativity tools

The use of creativity methods can be represented graphically.


Use of Creativity Methods


Nominal Group Technique
Lotus Blossom

Force Fit Game

Excursion Technique

Forced Connections

The FCB Grid

Synectics

Six Thinking Hats
Other methods

TRIZ

Col ective Notebook

Force-field Analysis

Random Input

Morphological Analysis
M e thod
Delphi

Problem Reversal

Attribute Listing

6-3-5 Method

Brainwriting

Provocation

Metaphorical Thinking
Fishbone Diagram

Storyboarding

Mind mapping

Future Scenarios

Analogies

Ask Questions

Checklists
Brainstorming (or its variants)

0
50
100

Pe rce ntage of polle d that use it



From this graph, a ranking of the most commonly used methods can be
established. As a result, the top used methods are:


1


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS




Top 10 methods

Brainstorming (or its variants)
More used
Checklists
Ask Questions
Analogies
Future Scenarios
Mind mapping
Storyboarding
Fishbone Diagram/Ishikawa’s Diagram
Metaphorical Thinking
Brainwriting
Provocation
Less used



There is another group of methods with a minority number of supporters: 6-3-5
Method, Attribute Listing, Problem Reversal, Delphi, Morphological Analysis, Random
Input, Force-field Analysis, Collective Notebook, TRIZ, Six Thinking Hats, and
Synectics.


Some techniques have never been carried out by the people polled: The FCB
Grid, Forced Connections, Excursion Technique, Force Fit Game, Lotus Blossom, and
Nominal Group Technique.

Brainstorming is by far the most known and widely used of all creativity
methods. It is evident that this Osborn’s method is an effective method that may reveal
good ideas. However, it is questionable whether this method is suitable and the one
that best fits all situations. It is not enough to use creativity methods, it is necessary to
select and use them appropriately in order to maximise their performance potential.


The way in which the people polled employ each method will be analysed
below.






2


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS

2. Use of different creativity methods

Taking one use at a time, the most commonly employed method to achieve this
goal will be found out. The following graphs illustrate it. The arrows indicate the method
that is selected more frequently by the companies.

Ideas for new products&services
Ideas for improving products&services. Creating

new products&services based on existing ones

Fishbone Diagram
Fishbone Diagram
Future Scenarios
Future Scenarios

Random Input
Random Input

Checklists
Checklists
d
Morphological Analysis
d
o
o
Morphological Analysis
t
h

t
h

Mind mapping
Mind mapping
Me

Me
Six Thinking Hats
Six Thinking Hats

6-3-5 Method
6-3-5 Method

Delphi
Delphi
Brainstorming (or its variants)
Brainstorming (or its variants)

0
100
0
100

% of polled that use it
% of polled that use it


Recognizing problems
Solving problems of different kinds (production,

organization, logistics, sales, etc.)

Fishbone Diagram
Fishbone Diagram
Future Scenarios
Future Scenarios

Random Input
Random Input

Checklists
Checklists
d
o

Morphological Analysis
Morphological Analysis
t
h

Mind mapping
e
t
hod

Mind mapping
Me

M
Six Thinking Hats
Six Thinking Hats

6-3-5 Method
6-3-5 Method
Delphi

Delphi
Brainstorming (or its variants)
Brainstorming (or its variants)

0
100
0
100

% of polled that use it
% of polled that use it


Analysing the environment


Fishbone Diagram
Future Scenarios

Random Input

Checklists

Morphological Analysis
e
t
hod

Mind mapping

M
Six Thinking Hats

6-3-5 Method
Delphi

Brainstorming (or its variants)

0
100

% of polled that use it


The table below sums up this information.
3


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS


Recommendable methods that
Use
Most frequently used methods
could be employed for this use *
Analogies, Concept Fan, Forced
Connections, Metaphorical
Thinking, Pattern Language,
Problem Reversal, Provocation,
Ideas for new
1. Brainstorming (or its variants)
Random Input, etc.
products&services.
2. Future Scenarios
Tools for groups: Brainwriting,
Force-Fit Game, Gallery Method,
Pin Cards, Six Thinking Hats, etc.

Ideas for improving
products&services.
Ask Questions, Attribute Listing,
1. Brainstorming (or its variants)
Creating new
Fractionation, Morphological
2. Checklists
products&services based
Analysis, Scamper
on existing ones.
Ask Questions, Fishbone Diagram,
1. Checklists
Recognizing problems.
Scamper
2. Brainstorming (or its variants)

Analogies, Concept Fan, Forced
Connections, Metaphorical
Thinking, Pattern Language,
Solving problems of
Problem Reversal, Provocation,
1. Brainstorming (or its variants)
different kinds
Random Input, etc.
2. Checklists
(production, organization,
Tools for groups: Brainwriting,
3. Mind mapping
logistics, sales, etc.).
Force-Fit Game, Gallery Method,
Pin Cards, Six Thinking Hats,
Synectics, etc.

1. Brainstorming (or its variants)
Analysing the
The FCB Grid, Force-field
2. Future Scenarios
environment.
Analysis, Lotus Blossom Synectics
3. Checklists


* This list can be enlarged looking up our collection of methods and their classification
depending on the use.

As stated before, Brainstorming suffers from an excessive. Checklists and
Future Scenarios are also used too much often. On the contrary, some methods are
rarely taken into account. It is necessary to wonder what causes are behind this fact.
We could believe that forgotten methods are useless or unproductive and that would
explain their exclusion. However, some methods are ignored because they are not
known. Occasionally, they would provide companies with better outcomes than the
over-used Brainstorming, Checklists or Future Scenarios.

4


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS

Companies should attempt to look for new methods and new models to reach
higher creativity levels. There are many other methods as simple as the ones they
currently use. Certainly, the lack of time is a handicap that is continuously present in all
companies and it hinders employees from learning new techniques. For this reason,
the collections of methods with just the clues and main steps would make it easy to
experiment with new techniques.

3. Further conclusions.
Reading and analysing the observations that some companies gave about the
methods, we can affirm that there are some similarities in the use of each method.
Nevertheless, each company modifies and exploits the methods in different ways
(according to company needs).


Due to the quantity of methods available, some companies mentioned other
methods that had not been included in the list. Some of these methods offered
attractive advantages such as being focussed and specially designed for the
company’s activity and industrial field.

It should be emphasised that some companies generated great ideas thanks to
creativity methods. Ideas for solving daily conventional problems are not less important
and creativity methods have been used to combat these as well.

Approximately 30 % of polled companies recognise having hired external
assessors either for training or carrying out creativity methods. This opens new
business opportunities for consultants and business assessors. There are no concrete
methods for which all companies hire external aid.











5


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS

4. Organization’s attitude towards creativity and innovation

This section of the questionnaire deals with aspects of the company’s culture
and hopes to find out if it offers an environment conducive to creativity and innovation.

Statement Result
Managers take measures to stimulate
70 % of those polled agree or strongly agree. These measures
creativity at all levels.
could be idea competitions, suggestion boxes, etc.
100 % agree or strongly agree. Fluent communication,
Informal and fluent communication is
knowledge transference, and ideas transmission are good points
possible in my company.
to promote innovation.
Uncertainly and risks are well
Only 43 % agree or strongly agree with the statement.
accepted by the company.

70 % of those polled conceive bureaucracy as a drawback of
In my company, bureaucracy restrains
their company. Bureaucracy is often said to be a brake for a
the transmission of ideas.
dynamic and quickly adaptive behaviour.
In my department, people always try
90 % agree or strongly agree. This could be understood as a sign
to improve o change things.
of enthusiasm and wish for improvement.
100 % of companies affirm that there is somebody monitoring the
Is somebody in the company
market. The inquiry does not enter into details but another study
monitoring the market?
could find out what they do to monitor the market.
Only 55 % of those polled detects this interaction in his company.
Are all departments of the company
All departments should interact in order to enhance and feed the
involved in creativity and innovation?
innovation process.
80 % recognize the utility of creative methods. Although it is a
Do you think that the creative methods
high rate, it indicates that not everyone relies on creativity
mentioned before are useful?
methods.


Good points observed
Points to improve
Managers’ measures to stimulate creativity
More predisposition to take risks
Good communication
Reducing bureaucracy
Involvement of all departments in innovation and
Employees’ wish of improvement
interaction between them.
Market vigilance
Higher confidence in creativity methods
6


ANALYSIS OF CREATIVITY METHODS


Barriers that makes innovation more difficult:
The aspects more often considered barriers for innovation are:
• Size of the company.
• Budget.
• Overload of daily work and lack of time (meetings, daily needs, etc.).
• Conservative business or market.

The collection of methods developed in the present project is easy and quick to
use. Thus, time and cost stop being a problem. It is not necessary previous formation
and methods can be carried out only reading their brief explanations (steps to follow,
examples and requirements).

Description of the company situation with regards to creativity and innovation.

Innovation is a priority issue for all companies. However, there are different
opinions about the situation of the company. Some people express their optimism with
regards to their company’s measures stimulating innovation. On the other hand, others
have a more cautious optimism and emphasise that more changes are needed. They
claim more decentralisation, a new perception of technological strategy and a major
CEO’s involvement is required.








Companies contacted in the inquiry
ABB Switzerland Ltd.
Kühne & Nagel
Georg Fischer
L’Oréal Produit de Luxe
Adecco Clariant
Swiss
Post
Logitech
Nestlé Credit
Suisse
Glencore Winterthur
Novartis Migros
Danzas
Group
Holcim
Coop Syngenta
Schindler
Panalpina
Liebherr
Swatch
Globus Cosmos
Lonza Group
Hilti
Tissot
Manor
Bon Appétit Gruppe
Saurer Gruppe
Serono
Hotelplan
Unaxis Holding
SBT(Siemens Building Technologies AG)
PubliGroupe – Consultas SA

JORDI GUIXÉ SIMÓN
© Chair, Management of Network Industries. EPFL - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. June 2003

7