CHOICE CRAFTING – CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND DECISION MAKING
(abstract of Talk given in 2012)
The new world is characterized by extreme pace of change. This is driven by science and technology. The key pillars of these changes have emerged as technology, software, innovation and complexity. Making effective decisions in the new world requires not only selecting an alternative from a predefined set but also creating new alternatives, simultaneously. The new alternatives need to be - novel, inventive and useful – the three key conditions for getting a Patent right. In fact, inventing and decision making as a continuous interplay of human mind is now becoming an essential skill. Unfortunately the literature and practice of invention, innovation and creativity has traditionally been separated from the body of knowledge developed and available for decision-making. We, however, believe new world decisions require a new craft combining invention and decision making. We call this new framework – Choice Crafting.
Surprisingly, the simultaneous demands of inventing new choices and selecting appropriate sub-set of choices are making today’s decision makers, inventors, creators and innovators ineffective as they are trained either to invent/create OR to decide/choose, but not perform both these tasks seamlessly, in a synergistic manner and simultaneously. This is having large impact on our ability to operate in the changing world. On one side we are faced with machines taking control of large part of monotonous processes and increasingly large part of repeatable procedures that we have designed and developed over couple of centuries of industrialization, and on the other hand world is increasingly becoming complex due to conflict of interests of disconnected part of humanity. The interplay of these trends shows a failure of our ability to make decisions using the old ways. We need new ways. There are many new ways and methods developed and employed in solving these problems. With the speakers personal experience of applying and developing various techniques – this talk offers a comprehensive approach to making decisions or leading to decisions using various known, old and new methods in a comprehensive framework. The talk details these mechanisms in cases where speaker has developed and applied for solving decision problems in Software, Innovation, Technology, and Complexity space.
Decision making traditionally has been about choice. Most of decision making methodologies have focused on courses of action, choices or alternatives to achieve desired objectives/purpose. The decision making methodologies have given predominant focus on selecting a specific choice or a subset of choices from the available set of choices. Decision making methodologies have not emphasized much on creation of alternatives, in fact, it has been relegated to psychological capabilities, creativity methodologies or more of an “art” form. We emphasize in this talk that – choices are not available upfront, in clear high resolution demarcation in the new world of extreme connectedness enabled by technology, high level of complexity, rapid innovation and revolutionary impact of software. To decide in the new world characterized by STIX (Software, Technology, Innovation and complexity) we need to re-look at our traditional decision making methods. The key methodological construct is to combine the known theories and new methods of creativity, invention and idea-generation with the known theories and new methods of decision making primarily characterized by selection or choice from a rank-ordered list of alternatives based on predefined set of criteria or under assumed, estimated or data based probability distributions under uncertainty conditions.
The requirement of creating new or different choices along with the selection of choices has led the speaker into methodologies such as Theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ), Scenario Planning, Lateral thinking, game theory, Scenario planning and Scenario writing, design thinking, patent creation and patent analysis, systems thinking, simulation and modelling, computational emergence, computational creativity, network science and the architecture of human genome. This is besides the techniques of standard multi-criteria, multi-objective decision making methodologies.
In essence, to operate in the new world – one need to amalgamate two uniquely distinctive features of human mind. One is to invent/create and second is to select/choose. In fact, invent/create select/choose cycles are played out naturally in human mind whenever it has to operate in the world. In the new world, invent-decide cycle is become excruciatingly difficult – one who masters this will be the new world decision maker who will thrive in the world of STIX – Software, Technology, Innovation and complexity. This talk gives the methodologies in a framework for new world decisions – we call this new framework Choice Crafting.