All creativity techniques are about how the thinking space or the search field for possible solutions can be expanded and how latent knowledge can be tapped for finding solutions. The solution process should be as self-organized and self-responsible as possible. Unplanned and unexpected things are explicitly desired, because only new things really take you further. If the intention is to involve employees in creative processes, so-called “open spaces” must be created and promoted, which can take the form of a ?future workshop?1, for example.
All creativity techniques have in common that the creative phase of searching for basic approaches to solutions should be kept separate from the phase of evaluating the approaches found and from the phase of deciding on concrete solutions, so as not to rule out potential approaches too early.
Overcoming one’s own mental limitations is a challenge even for people who are familiar with creativity techniques. This is mainly due to the fact that every person is bound in his or her mental world. This is especially true in critical situations where solutions have to be found quickly. Pressure to succeed and fear are not good companions for creative phases. They narrow the horizon of thought. Of course, we don’t like to admit to being trapped like this – especially not when our environment expects executives to point the way to a solution. However, if we keep in mind which values are in our hands, it can only be right to admit our need for help. We need critical questions that take us out of our habitual thought patterns. A sparring partner can ask such questions. An external sparring partner certainly does not understand as much about the industry, the background and the market development as the experts in the company, but this often criticised lack of knowledge also has another, valuable side, which is needed now, namely the fact that business outsiders approach the situation with complete impartiality. They are allowed to ask questions that an insider would not ask. And they ask questions that take the thinking a decisive step further. Sparring partners are allowed to question well-worn business practices critically and without reservations. And they can encourage you to take a look at completely different industries and the procedures practiced there. The impulses of a sparring partner, when combined with the professional expertise available in organizations, can lead to completely new, successful business approaches.