The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. – Linus Pauling.
Linus Pauling was one of the most important scientists in history and one of the few people to win two Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry and one for peace activism. Needless to say, he knew a thing or two about ingenuity, creativity, and innovation.
That is why his words can be found on the cover of the handbook: Simplexity Creative Problem Solving.
Simplexity is an eight step system for generating creative results to fuzzy problems. A fuzzy problem occurs when you know something is wrong, but you are not sure what it is, and it is this particular challenge that makes them so difficult to solve.
There are two main processes used throughout the system: divergence and convergence.
Divergence can be thought of as separation or branching out. Practically speaking, it is the act of increasing options. When cells split to form new cells there has been divergence
Convergence means to come together from different points. When there is a drought in the savanna, all animals converge on the nearest spring.
For methodical creativity to occur, ideas must go through a divergent phase and then a convergent phase. The divergent phase ensures that the greatest volume of ideas are generated. After, in the convergent phase, ideas are critically evaluated until just a few or only one remain. While this may sound straight forward, there is a rigorous methodology of protocols to follow that optimise results.
This twofold process is then applied over eight steps.
1) Problem finding
2) Fact finding
3) Problem definition
4) Idea finding
5) Evaluate and select
Depending on the complexity of the problem and the number of participants, each step can take hours. You may have noticed that the first three steps are only about the problem. This is key. Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” While the time ratio is different, the spirit is the same: If you cannot define a problem, solving it is almost hopeless.
In a world where most answers can be found on Google Search, why would such a system be useful? The answer is simple, but profound. Just as Search is a tool that allows you to draw forth information from the web, Simplexity Creative Problem Solving is a tool that allows you to draw forth the collective knowledge and experience of people. In a nutshell, it is a repeatable problem solving process that makes use of our most valuable resource: each other.
To learn more about the Simplexity system, simply click HERE.