Friday, August 25, 2006

Optician Project: Using random words to list information

FreeFoto.comI'm an optician and I'm about to do a project: I'll leave my premises to put advertising leaflets on the windscreens of local cars. I have hired a temp to help me distribute the leaflets. We have fifty leaflets each to distribute.


Edward de Bono's random word technique (a random stimulation method) can be used to create ideas. Random words (and phrases) can also be used to help list information. There are three ways that a random word/phrase can be used to list information:

1) Literal interpretation
2) Degree of interpretation
3) Couplet (find connections)

Literal Interpretation

Example:

I'm considering the Optician Project and my random word is "movement". To use this word to list information I create a directive:

Name a project movement.

There are many correct answers of course, and no wrong answers. But my first thought is: the movement that a leaflet makes when a car owner moves a leaflet from under their windscreen wiper.

Degree of interpretation


My random phrase is "record breaker". The directive reads:

Name a project record breaker.

Which poses a problem -- it's difficult to see how any records are broken by the distribution of leaflets. So I add quotation marks to "record breaker" to remind myself to interpret the random phrase to a degree:

Name a project "record breaker".

Which, for me, immediately triggers two responses: the distribution area that produces the most responses (of customers coming to the optician's premises), and the individual (either the temp or me) who distributes the most leaflets in the least amount of time.

Couplets

My random word is "night". However, I can't think of answer -- either a literal interpretation or a degree of interpretation. So I form a couplet in this format:

(Project & night)

and try to find connections between "the project" and "night". A good way to do this is to track backwards and forwards in time.

Possible answers: Some of the leaflets will still be on the cars at night.
I'll be reflecting on the project tonight.
etc.

More examples

Random word = "lady"
Name project lady
Easy: my receptionist or any lady whose car receives a leaflet.

Random phrase = "Star Wars"
Name project Star Wars.
Can't.
Name project "Star Wars"
Can't.
Couplet (Project & Star Wars)
Answer: Star Wars was the most successful film. What's the most successful part of the project? Answers: when a leaflet produces a customer. When the leaflet distribution is completed.
Also, Star Wars was shown at the local cinema -- the cars outside the cinema will be leafleted by us.

Random word = "grow"
Name a project grow
Answer: when the number of leaflets we've distributed gradually increases.

Random phrase = "Buzz Aldrin"
Name a project Buzz Aldrin
Can't.
Name a project "Buzz Aldrin"
Interpretation: the second car to receive a leaflet. The temp -- who is second in command.
Couplet (Project and Buzz Aldrin)
Answer: Buzz Aldrin was a pioneer, and this is a pioneering project (for this, opticians, anyway).


See also: sources for random words

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