OpenDecide Logo

Clarifying: The art of multiple formulation

Crée par : Les 7 Sens
Bibliothèque : Les 7 Sens (publique)
Dernière mise à jour : 13 août 2018

The tendency is to go in search of an idea without having clarified what one is looking for. 

The risk is to waste time by getting lost without result.

This practice makes it possible to:

  1. Create cohesion around the topic or problem to explore. 
  2. Identify specific research areas.
  3. Highlight useful selection criterions for the idea search and selection phase of creative exploration. 

A few tips: 

  • Choose at least 2 of the 4 steps if you cannot do all 4. 
  • Multiply the visions on your subject and make them cohabit to enrich and clarify the subject. 
  • Dare to explore without constraint. You will sort out what makes sense and enlighten the subject, at the end of each step.

Define the scope of the problem

  1. Read the question or research together and have each participant in the group complete the sentence in the form: "For me, the challenge is to...". 
  2. Everyone finds their phase with an action verb and expressed in a positive way. 
  3. Have the sentence completed in at least 10 different ways. 
  4. Locate the nuances and write them down. 

For example: The initial question asked "How do we make our team meetings effective?" 

Examples of possible formulations: 

  • "For me the challenge is to conduct team meetings in 10 minutes" 
  • "For me the challenge is to make a useful decision at the end of each meeting" 
  • "For me the challenge is to involve the whole team at every meeting"...

Expand construction capacity

  1. Imagine that no more human, technical or financial constraints prevent you from finding the solution or the ideas you are looking for. The participants are free. 
  2. The structure of the sentence to be completed is as follows: "If I were to advance without constraints, I..." 
  3. Complete the sentence in at least 10 different ways. 
  4. Identify blockages and obstacles to the resolution or exploration of the subject and write them down.

Amplify sabotage capability

  1. Consider a priori all ways to amplify the problem in order to understand it. 
  2. The question used is "If I were to amplify the problem, I...". »
  3. Complete it all together as many times as possible. 
  4. Dare the unthinkable, let go of the assumptions.

Submit the sentences to "Why"

  1. Choose from all the sentences from the previous steps, the 5 that you find the most interesting. 
  2. Ask the question "why?" 7 times for each of them, each time using the key elements of the answer to formulate your new "Why". 
  3. Identify what makes sense and seems important and write it down.

Formalize the problem

  1. Take again the results of the previous 4 steps and formulate the subject you will finally explore, in a simple way with an action verb. 
  2. Note the relevant selection criterions that have emerged. 
  3. Note the ideas that have already emerged on the subject in the previous 4 steps.
  4. Note the areas of research that will be relevant to explore in another search.
Les 7 Sens
Réseau de professionnels pour favoriser les compétences en créativité et l'éthique de l'humain.
Voir les pratiques