New Demagogy on Creativity

G. L. Filkovsky, TRIZ Master,
Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
e-mail:genady@diverecord.com

“New Product Development Mini-Course” by Roni Horowitz uses an exercise to demonstrate that constraints foster creativity. Using the same demagogy, I will demonstrate now that constraints foster, let’s say, communication. Here it is:

“Please tell me what. Yes, really, go ahead and tell me what…
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Stuck ha…
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I’ll tell you why.

Paradoxically, when a question is too broad, our minds find it quite difficult to recruit all its communication powers.

Scientific studies have proved time and again that we tend to become more communicative in a constrained questioning environment.

I’ll let you see for yourself.

Here’s a more constrained question:

Tell me, what I need to wear.
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Better, but still pretty difficult, right?

Well at least now you have something to talk about, but most of it probably falls into known pieces of clothing, such as shoes, underwear, and so on.

Here’s the dilemma: when question is too general, we’re simply stuck; when it’s more focused, we tend to follow known conversation paths.

We need a mechanism to help us open new paths in a constrained environment.

OK. How about this: tell me what I need to wear while checking a nuclear reactor…
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That was easy, right?”

Obviously, this exercise is an exercise in demagogy rather than in creativity, or in communication. Remember the old method demonstrating that roaches have their ears on their legs? Place a roach on a table and hit the table – the roach runs. Remove the roach’s legs, place it on a table and hit again. The roach doesn’t run - it can’t hear you hitting the table, because it has its ears on its legs.

By the way, the scientific studies that Roni mentions – on becoming more creative in a constrained thinking environment – do not exist, since there is no scientific concept of creativity or of a way to measure it.