You can force a relationship between almost anything, and get new insights - companies and whales, management systems and telephone networks, or your relationship and a pencil.
Forcing relationships is one of the most powerful ways to develop ways to develop new insights and new solutions. A useful way of developing the relationships is to have a selection of objects or cards with pictures to help you generate ideas. Choose an object or card at random and see what relationships you can force.
Use mind-mapping or a matrix to record the attributes and then explore aspects of the problem at hand.
Robert Olson in his book The Art of Creative Thinking describes the problem of examining a corporate organisation structure by comparing it to a matchbox.
|Striking surface on two sides||The protection an organisation needs against strikes|
|Six Sides||Six essential organisational divisions|
|Sliding centre section||The heart of the organisation should be slidable or flexible|
|Made of cardboard||Inexpensive method of structure - disposable|
Betty Edwards in her book Drawing on the Artist Within shows the example of a pencil used to examine aspects of a marriage.
|Gold Ring||Remember promises|
|Blue Ring||Clean the tub. I share depression too often with family|
|Yellow||Too timid. Harold needs to know my true feelings|
|Flat side||Dull daily routine. Change activities|
|Six sides||6 things to do: Budget, Take a class, Improve discipline, be more assertive, start now!, improve communications|
|Eraser||Rub him out! Forgive and forget past mistakes|
|Money||Spend too much. Need a budget. Take a job|
|Superior||I feel inferior to my husband|
|Wood shaft||Feel closed in. Need other interests. Am I getting shafted?|
|Lead||Get the lead out! Do It! if I press any harder I will break.|
|Write||Send a note telling Harold that I love him.|
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