Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 18 January 2007

Model 3

The Question Finding Model

This model comes from a number of books and articles that have investigated how creative people select what to solve, what to invent, what to paint, what to work on (Runco, 1994; Root-Bernstein, 1989; Petroski, 1998; Greene, Journal, Sept. 1999). Each book and article suggests ways of finding good questions that differ from the others. I collected all such suggestions that I could find, grouped them by similarity, grouped groups, ordered top level supergroups, copied that ordering on lower levels, till a 64 item model of ways that creative people use to find good questions to work on resulted.

There are four primary groups, each having four subgroups: find opportunity gaps (by reversing enthusiasms of various sorts, depersonalizing phenomena in your field, undoing successes of the past, and expanding models), find leverage points (by fully representing phenomena, socially indexing questions and capabilities, seeking intersecting trends, indexing in your mind), change representations of things (by changing measures, scales, what is foreground and what is background, and models), and changing logic (by proving relations among things, finding unlikely implications, unifying disparate phenomena, and applying things from one field to a different field’s problems and opportunities).


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