I often talk about S.I.T. (systematic inventive thinking) and how its method of creativity really work. But it’s not often I get to put it into practice so quickly.
I was recently in an overcrowded office and looked around at the setup. I noticed that the space was cramped and wasn’t being utilized properly. I tried rearranging a room and reorganizing its contents, but my work quickly became undone as more supplies were brought in. I knew there had to be a better way – there was enough square footage to have a funtioning office but for some reason the setup wasn’t working.
I was discussing the situation with a few others who, knowing that I am trained in the skill of innovation, challenged me to find a solution. ‘Game on’ I thought, as I don’t usually pass up a good challenge. How could I use S.I.T. to come up with creative solutions? After all, I am not an interior designer, nor have I ever trained to be one. But let’s try it, I figured, and let’s see what happens. Of course, I was challenged most of the way, or at least I challenged myself, but let’s see what happened.
The idea: imagine we took down all the walls of the small offices (leaving up a few offices with closed doors) and created an open work space.
The challenge: How would we have private conversations
The response: What are the benefits of having conversations that all people can hear?
The idea: Imagine we put up even more walls, but these walls were accordion and can be open and closed as needed. Actually imagine if all the walls in the office were changed to accordion door style?
The challenge: Hmm, interesting
The response: None needed
The idea: Imagine we took all the walls and made them shorter (1/2 walls, 2/3 walls). It would allow for privacy but also for a more open feeling
The challenge: Again, people might hear
The response: See above (what are the benefits…)
The idea: What secondary job can we give to the walls? Can we turn them into storage closets so we have less clutter on the floors?
The challenge: Nice, that would be expensive though.
The response: Not sure, let’s look into that
The idea: Currently, the state of office organization depends on the amount of clutter brought into the office by others. But what if we changed things up and instituted a new policy – for every item someone brought in, they would need to take two items out -so now the level of organization would depend on the amount of clutter taken out of the office by others. We probably wouldn’t need to move any walls if we just instituted a new system.
The challenge: Good point, we can try that too. It’s definitely a cheaper option.
The response: Totally
The whole back and forth took about 10 minutes, most of it going on in my head. Instead of being overwhelmed by how to solve a problem, I used to tools right in front of me to discover new ideas. It really was that easy!
It’s time to try it yourselves. Start learning the 5 S.I.T. templates. You won’t regret it.