Design thinking, the 6-3-5 method or mind mapping: does this multitude of methods make your head spin? Together with Raffaela Seitz from the Cross Innovation Hub, we shed some light on the subject. The Cross Innovation Hub taps into new innovation potentials between the creative industries and other sectors and applies these potentials in a solution-centred way. Raffaela is therefore well versed in the use of methods and shares her tips on how to successfully use them to master (creative) processes.
1. The great opportunities
The right method can open many new doors, Raffaela says. Scenario techniques or the thinking hats, for example, encourage team members or clients to broaden their perspective. This can be enormously helpful in making future scenarios tangible or in empathetically adopting other perspectives. With the right method, you can democratise communication in groups, enable participation, promote interaction or increase swarm intelligence and creativity.
2. Context is King: Do not blindly adopt methods
Especially with the multitude of methods and the great potentials for idea generation, location determination or evaluation, Raffaela emphasises how important it is to choose the right method. This means that you should always critically translate the method for your application: How big is the group in which you are working with the method? What are your group dynamics or perhaps roles? Does the method make sense and how should it be adapted? Check your expectations of the method against the situation and the people in it beforehand.
3. Your goal determines the method. Not the other way round.
Methods are offers and tools that can help you to achieve your goal. To use a method only because everyone is using it? That is a weak argument. It is more exciting to think about where you are with your project and how far you still have to go to reach your goal: Are you still identifying the problem or are you brainstorming for a concrete challenge? Maybe you are further along, need feedback and prioritise, test and evaluate ideas? The Cross Innovation Hub has developed a four-step process to move from challenge to concrete solution using creative methods developed in-house.
4. Method is communication: practice makes perfect
Simply following a method does not guarantee success. Rather, with methods like Wise Crowds or Design Studio, you will notice that communication, trust and social skills are important for successful implementation. This means that when using a method, you become a facilitator and guide the process rather than contributing your opinions and ideas. Think about whether this role suits you and whether your group accepts it.
P.S.: Are you curious and want to read more about the topic? Raffaela recommends the book: Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making by Sam Kaner.