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25 March 2016 — Does your organization take full advantage of your people’s creative powers?  In “Catching Fire: 7 strategies to ignite your team’s creativity,” certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt Shu Liu provides a guide to unlocking this underutilized avenue to problem solving.
     Liu, the senior R&D manager at SunEdison Semiconductor in St. Louis, describes a number of creativity tools.  For example, SCAMPER — which stands for substituting, combining, adapting, modifying/magnifying, putting it to other use, eliminating, and reversing/rearranging — is used to transform an object,

idea, or process into something new, and thus spur innovative solutions.  Brainwriting 6-3-5 is a brainstorming technique in which a group of six people is convened, each participant writes three ideas in five minutes on a form, and this is repeated after the worksheets are circulated, until all the sheets contain ideas from every group member.  Other methods include 'slicing and dicing', 'think bubbles', and 'natural analogy'.  These tools are applied to seven creativity strategies: transforming, dividing, brainstorming, mind mapping, associating, comparing, and selecting.
     The author goes on to explain

how the seven creativity strategies help with idea creation and selection in every stage of the Six Sigma DMAIC process — define, measure, analyze, improve, and control.  He uses a sample Six Sigma project to illustrate how the tools and strategies can be applied effectively.  This 2000-word article is packed with good ideas for making any organization more creative and effective.  And who wouldn’t benefit from that?
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