Jedi Mind Trick

I recently stumbled upon a study from U. of San Diego about creativity. Not the typical how people can be creative or who is more likely to develop creative ideas. This was about perception of a creative idea depending on where the idea came from. Interesting

Raise your hand if you consider yourself “open to creative ideas”. OK, put your hands down, I can’t actually see you. I suspect most of you raised or would raise your hands.

What U. of San Diego researchers found was unexpected and insightful; they found people viewed the “creativeness” of the idea mostly due to where they thought the idea came from. Same idea was ranked significantly different depending on what people were told concerning the the origin.

The research showed when we think of ideas from within our organization we think of them with a “can it work?” filter. Mangers look at the details and consider risks, making them not as open to creative ideas, that by definition are risky. This follows logic because managers tend to have the most experience and have seen many ideas that were not good. However, when we think of our organization as viewed from an outsider’s perspective, our brain thinks more in the abstract…meaning more open to “out of the box” ideas without analyzing the details. So the managers experience comes at a price…he or she is less likely to embrace a creative idea generated from within the organization.

So what and why do I care? First, knowledge (or as we call it in the military…”SA” ~ situational awareness). Lean Six Sigma folks often present creative/innovative ideas to executives or superiors…they need SA on how that person’s mind is working. Secondly, this SA allows us to modify our presentation and use language that draws out the abstract mind, aka “Jedi mind trick”.

I’m not saying control people’s minds and manipulate them to do what we want…ummm, yea, that is what I’m saying. We can use the Jedi mind trick as a way of killing the waste that lives in ideology and belief systems.

Note: If your idea sucks then no strategy will save it (just keeping it real people, not all ideas are good).

May the force be with you, Erik