Paths to Success
Systematically break routines
On-demand Creativity Support beyond Brainstorming
The Paths to Success method is a simple and systematic creativity technique for groups and individuals. It uses the advantages of visualization through sketches and combines these with proven principles from creativity research such as analogies, alternative assumptions or new combinations.
The basic idea behind the method is that we can increase our creativity if we constantly get new impulses or perspectives on a problem or a goal and can react with our own ideas (P2S stands for Productivity through Systematic Stimuli). In the group application, the method is also based on the so-called nominal group approach; this means that ideas are always first developed for themselves before they are discussed and combined in the group. Many scientific studies (for an overview, see Schulz-Hardt & Brodbeck) show that this approach leads to better ideas than, for example, group brainstorming, in which one often interferes with each other in the development of ideas or restricts or prematurely influences each other too much. A further disadvantage of classical brainstorming is that the ideas developed are often not feasible because the guidelines are formulated too openly and restrictions or constraints are not taken into account.
In contrast to brainstorming, the success path method always replaces a plenary phase with an individual phase. The developed ideas are also graphically related to each other and combined with each other. The method is also designed in such a way that it can be easily extended, reduced or adapted for specific contexts (such as Internet-based idea generation). The time required to use the method ranges from about 15 minutes for the reduced quick version to several hours (depending on the need for discussion). A typical use scenario for the method is a half-day workshop in which a moderator brings together and discusses the individual ideas (which each participant visualises on their own A3 sheet) after each step on a beamer or pinboard.
The path to success method is based, as the name suggests, on the metaphor of problem solving as a travel route. By drawing a series of very different paths from actual to target, new ideas for solutions are to be developed step by step. The visual arrangement of the ideas along these paths should also make it possible to create new possibilities in a concentrated yet playful way and to connect them with each other.