Another “ThinkerToys” exercise, by Michael Michalko. It’s been a while, but finding time to force the brain to think is hard to do. During the week I have attended several events and heard lots of people talking about community. So when tonight’s Thinkertoy came up I figured that I would tackle the problem of “Improving the Local Creative/Technical Community”.
Exercise: Cherry Split
“Who can determine where one ends and the other begins.” – Sun Tzu
The goal of this exercise is to break a challenge into separate pieces. When this is done you can see new material that had before been part of something else. Reassembling the pieces is slow and awkward, but when they do start to click back together entirely new concepts emerge.
To cherry split:
1. State the essence of your challenge in two words.
“Improving the Local Creative/Technical Community.
2. Split the challenge into two separate units.
3. Split each attribute into two more attributes. Do not worry about the correctness of the split.
The book had talked about doing as a group exercise. I was sitting home alone, but figured I could get group input using twitter. I put a call out twitter asking for help… “help me with a creative problem solving exercise.. problem… “improve creative/tech community”.. split into IMPROVE and COMMUNITY…” I got responses from @consumer, @chriscardinal, @brandonfranklin, @africankelli and @alandd.
4. Continue splitting the attributes until you fell that you have enough to work with.
I got full responses from @consumer, @chriscardinal and @brandonfranklin.
5. Examine each attribute for ideas. The wonder of this method is that big ideas can dwell in the most insignifcant attribute just as the flavor of an entire ocean is contained in one drop.
grow – we should be doing things to identify and include new people
strengthen – we need to do things that makes our community stronger, technically/creatively/emotionally
produce – our community should be producing things
thrive – there should be a noticeable energy among our community
reinforce – principles and desired behaviors should be reinforced to see them continued
fortified – the community needs to look out for one another
organization – the community needs to have some sense of structure
execution – we need to do what we say we are going to do
centralization – there needs to be a center point for our community
convenience – participation needs to be low in barrier to entry
leadership – we need strong leaders to guide the community
engagement – we need to dialog internally and externally and participate on all levels
research – we need to continually look for how to get better/advance
effort – we need to always be working our hardest
investigation – we need to see how others are doing it and apply “why”
recordkeeping – we need to document what we do
energy – see thrive/energy
knowledge – we need to constantly be cataloging information and using it
relationship – we need to trust and appreciate each other
inclusive – we need to be tolerant at our very core
traditions – we need an identity that is our own
accepting – we need to embrace even what we dont agree with
tolerant – embrace even that which we dont understand
ritual – we need practiced patterns of doing things
celebration – we need to have fun doing what we do
support – we need to be there for one another in times of need
involvement – we need to participate even when we dont want to
financial – we need to help make sure things have the resources they need
institutional – we need entities/organizations to help us out
awareness – we need to know what challenges we face and where to find help
reciprocity – we need to learn to help one another and return the favor
sharing – we need to multi-use resources
commonality – we need to find our common ground instead of our differences
openness – we need to be open about what we are doing and why
trust – we need to believe that we are all in this together
similarity – we are more alike that we think
ehance – we need to make one another better
magnify – we need to highlight what is important
grow – see grow under improve
invest – see financial, sharing, effort
detail – we need to pay attention to the little things
depth – we need to be looking beyond the surface and the quick fix
6. Try reassembling the attributes. New combinations can induce new perspectives and new ideas. Splitting a challenge into several attributes i like rmoving a dividing panel form between chanbers of very hot and very cold air: New forces rush together, creating new ideas.
This post is already getting really lengthy, so I am going to leave number 6 up to you. Please leave a comment on how we can do some of the above in reassembling for our future. I noticed that growing, thriving/producing high energy and investing in our community are common themes.