- Gift shopping for someone? Instead of asking them what your should buy (a solution), try asking for what they need (what difficulties do they have at work or home, what opportunities do they wish for, how would they like others to see them)? This helps us practice the Customer Voice table where we translate VOC into true needs.
- Hard to choose among several options for a gift, a restaurant, or a party to attend? Practice your alternative selection technique.
- First list your options.
- Write down what is attractive about each option, and what is unattractive about each option. Convert unattractive statements into positive ones. For example, this restaurant is "too far away" becomes "nearby." These are your judgment criteria.
- Prioritize the judgment criteria. For emotional decisions, AHP's pairwise decision making is a great way to work through them.
- The highest priority judgment criteria will drive your decision. Look at which option best fulfills them. Feel comfortable that you made the best choice possible given all the wonderful options.
- Have to be in two places at once? Try TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). See Glenn Mazur's web page http://www.mazur.net/triz/ for details.
- Define your dilemma using the Engineering Parameters in Table 2 in the above link. For example, I am invited to two parties at the same time – my best friend and my in-laws. One contradiction is improve EP 26 Amount of Substance (I want to improve my pleasure for the afternoon) without the undesired result of EP 13 Stability of Object (I don't want my marriage to become unstable).
- Look up the pair in the Table of Contradictions to find Inventive Principles 15, 2, 17, 40. Let's see what solutions we can invent.
IP 15. Dynamicity.
- Make an object or its environment automatically adjust for optimal performance at each stage of operation. Have the meal at your in-laws (so you can compliment her cooking) and dessert at your friends (so you can stay late).
- Divide an object into elements which can change position relative to each other. Same as above, but decide that day where to go first.
- If an object is immovable, make it movable or interchangeable. E-mail your suggestions to email@example.com
IP 2. Extraction.
- Extract (remove or separate) a "disturbing" part or property from an object.
- Extract only the necessary part or property. Exchange gifts, have a drink at the in-laws and then see your friends.
IP 17. Move to a new dimension.
- Remove problems with moving an object in a line by two-dimensional movement (i.e. along a plane). Invite in-laws and friends to your house, instead. Have one party upstairs and the other downstairs.
- Use a multi-layered assembly of objects instead of a single layer. Add pleasure to visiting your in-laws by inviting your friends to come with you. Or, have lunch with in-laws and dinner with friends.
- Incline the object or turn it on its side. E-mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
IP 40. Composite materials.
- Replace a homogeneous material with a composite one. Take two cars, and divide the family up so each can stay as long as they want at either party.