Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Learning, Problem solving

Fixedness…Think differently

nuggets is all about getting people to think differently and at a start of a New Year it is a good time to evaluate how you look at things. We have worked on projects the same way and have the same rituals and routines, we get stuck in our ways.

The psychologist Karl Duncker discovered a version of “Functional Fixedness” when he posed his famous candle problem. Duncker asked participants to attach a candle to a wall, with the following materials, box of thumbtacks, a box of matches and a candle. Some tried pinning the candle to the wall with the thumb tacks, others tried melting the wax to get the candle to stick to the wall. There were only a few that used the thumbtack box by tacking it to the wall and thus creating a candle holder. These innovative thinkers had got past the fixed usage of the box and its function. The same exercise was repeated with the box presented empty and there was greater success as the participants could see the box out of context not holding any contents and were more ready to use it. Visualising something as a possible solution means that you have to stop being fixated on its functionality.

The experiment is all about a problems with functional materials, but what about looking at the way you work or the services you offer. You will have become fixed on the way you doing things and have created a fixed view.

Try this week to think about what could you look at differently within your company services or the way you work. Imagine a TV without a screen, or a lightbulb without the filament, to make this leap you have to accept that we all look at objects in a traditional way, as we all suffer from fixedness.

Share your ideas or book a workshop with nuggets in 2022 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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