What is the Creative thinking, the process of brainstorming and mind mapping
According to Oxford Research encyclopedias, the creative thinking process is the basis on which every company should develop their products and services. Or, in other words, it is the basis on which the innovation occurs in companies.
In order to have a better understanding of the term, it is needed to have a better understanding of creativity.
The term of creativity has appeared in the 19th century in the form of the noun creative. The term is defined as the use of imagination and original ideas to create something new, or in other words, to start from traditional ideas and create new, meaningful concepts or designs.
Usually the creative thinking is used for idea generation by all the companies, from the smallest problems and processes up to the main projects that the company faces.
In the past decades, the creative thinking process has been more and more difficult, mostly because, during the years, the products and services have been more and more diversified and nowadays, if you as a company want to develop a new product is almost impossible.
In order to overcome the difficulties, the companies schedule meeting with their employees in order to come up with ideas. They use techniques such as brainstorming, mindmapping and the like, to generate new and innovative products.
From the multitude of idea generation techniques that the company use, we will focus on the techniques known as brainstorming and mindmapping.
Brainstorming is the most used technique amongst the professionals of today. This method consists in gathering a group of people from different fields of work from the same company (for example, a marketing specialist, a human resources manager, an operation manager, a sales rep, an upper management employee etc.) in a room with the goal that the selected people with come up with a solution to the given problem.
Another method of idea generation is mindmapping. This method is a graphical technique that highlights the connection between different ideas or concepts. Every idea or piece of information is written down on a board or piece of paper. The next step is to create the connections between the ideas, from minor to major or from previous to following.
Usually, at the start of the mindmapping process te main problem should be put first, in a central position, in order to showcase the center of the process.
The technique has been created in UK by Tony Bazan and it was published in 1972, in his book, “Use your head”.
This idea generation method is mostly used for project planning, problem solving and not taking in order to allow the users an easier logical process in comprehending the problem and its outcomes, while also allowing them to easily gain the concept and information and share it with the others.
Creative thinking process in Porsche A.G. ,the use of Goldenberg Mazursky templates
Now that the concept of idea generation has been cleared, it is best to give an example on how it works. For this, I chose one of the most disrupting vehicles that Porsche has built since their inception.
The product in cause is the Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne is an SUV that has been launched in the early 2000 by Porsche with a bid to save their company. The car is a luxury SUV capable of top speeds over 300 km/h all, in the comfort of an SUV.
Prior to the launch of the Cayenne, there was no luxury high end SUV on the market. At the time, the off-road vehicles were mostly considered to be good only for mountain roads or to access areas that no other car could have accessed. They were slow and bulky vehicles, mostly with diesel engines and manual transmissions that offered almost no level of comfort or features.
Now that we analyzed the product, it is time to take a look at the creative process behind the invention of the Porsche Cayenne.
First of all, let's take a look at the idea generation process that Porsche A.G implies when creating new vehicles for the market.
Since its inception and up to the early 2000s Porsche focused their line of vehicles around only one product. The Porsche 911. They had the general idea and design of the first 911 model that appeared in the 1963 and kept improving on that, adding more power, comfort, technology etc. to the already existing design.
With the dawn of the new century, and the financial and sales decline that the company was going through, the company decided to branch out, with the creation of two new lines of models, the Cayenne and the Cayman/Boxter lines of vehicles. In order to create this new model, Porsche used generation techniques such as brainstorming and S.C.A.M.P.E.R as well as the Goldenberg Mazursky model for the Cayman/Boxter line.
Nowadays, the company uses a multitude models of idea generation, from clients input and up to competitor inspiration. For example, Porsche used clients input in order to create models such as the 911r, a car solely based on their customer requests. They also used the competitor inspiration to create models such as the Panamera, a 4-door sedan, in order to compete with the likes of Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
In the following paragraphs we will focus on the first of the two new lines of vehicles, the Cayenne.
As said before, the Cayenne was a first for the auto industry, and at its core is a combination between two different classes of cars. First of all, the SUV vehicles. This kind of cars have been designed with the intention of offering the clients a mean of transportation to the more remote and hardly accessible areas such as forests, mountain roads, etc.
On the other hand, the other side of the Cayenne basis are the high-performance vehicles, which are the core product of Porsche A.G. They offer high speed and cornering performance in a beautiful coupe form usually, with only two doors, rear wheel drive and the engine in the back of the car, while also delivering the comfort of a limousine.
The combination resulted by these two types of vehicles is a car that can offer high levels of performance all while being able to ride on harsh road conditions in the best possible level of comfort. This is, in fact the definition of the Porsche Cayenne.
Now, on the same creative thinking process, we can develop a multitude of other types of vehicles one of which being a high-performance limousine or a two door SUV.
For the sake of the argument, let's suppose that Porsche will want to use an identical creative thinking process in order to develop a new class of vehicles.
They will start from two different types of cars that are already on the market, for example the high-performance SUV and a hatchback vehicle. The result will be, in theory, a car that has all the capabilities of a high-performance SUV while at the same time, all the perks of a medium size city car. The outcome will basically be a small high-performance SUV, competing with the likes of Mercedes GLA 45 AMG, Audi SQ3 and other similar vehicles.
Analyzing the newly developed product from a Goldenberg Mazursky model point of view, we can say that the new vehicle resembles the replacement template because it replaces the size of the original product with a smaller footprint.
Nowadays, the Goldenberg Mazursky templates are the most used technique of idea generation in the market because of their large usage span and, most importantly because of their ease of use and effectiveness.
Let's take for example the Porsche 911r. The original 911 model was a 2-door coupe, with best in class comfort and rear wheel drive. When Porsche designed the 911r, they used the Removal template. To be more precise, they removed comfort element of the car, thus creating a new model, targeted to the sports car enthusiasts that missed the sound of the old cars.
The idea generation techniques and the creative thinking process have helped the markets in the last years to overcome different problems and hick-ups in the market, while also allowed them to create new products and services without which the life as we know it today wouldn't have been possible.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that creative thinking techniques and especially the Goldenberg Mazursky templates have helped into shaping the markets as we know them today.
5. Goldenberg and Mazursky (2002) “Creativity in Product Innovation” Cambridge University Press
6. De Bono (2009) “Lateral Thinking:Creativity Step by Step”
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