Everyone has been on a team project where the project stalled due to lack of possible solutions. This problem reminds me of a team project called Synapse that the Defensed Advanced Research Projects Agency and IBM faced.
How did these scientist find new possible solutions? What brainstorming activity did they use when everything looked hopeless?
According to the New York Times article by Dharmendra S. Modha, the team of 25 participants crowd a room to go through a Six Hats brainstorming exercise. This exercise allowed the team to use a blueprint that removed the teams emotions and tap into the creative possibilities to finish the Synapse project. This blueprint became the standard for all challenges the team encountered in the future.
Below are the most important takeaways the team took away per the Dharmendra S. Modha:
1. Identify problems and confront them proactively.
2. Under deadline pressure, use a flat management structure, allowing people to contribute ideas rapidly.
3. To sustain morale and keep team members engaged and productive, share credit for successes and learn from failures.
4. Remember that the creative potential of committed individuals, if harnessed properly, has great potential to bring constructive change.
So the next time you encounter an unsolvable problem, look to the Six Hats for a blueprint to solve the problem.