(g) Manager, Product planning:
"I have been assigned the task of defining and initiating a new family of recording products. They use a similar modulation scheme, but cover quite a range of application, performance and cost.
"I had just completed an extensive market research trip and had developed a table or matrix of inter-relationships in which I had attempted to display type of system, level of performance and some estimate of practicality and schedule. It was quite a task, since so many variables are involved, and further complicated by a considerable work load and unsympathetic attitude in the area of Engineering where it would have to be executed. After some struggle I discovered a kind of relaxation, letting the problem talk to me.
"I detached from having to perform and let a different mode of viewing the data take over. I was quite able to cast out complexifying notions and get to the heart of the matter. A new matrix presented itself, one that was immensely simplified and one that would be much simpler to communicate.
"It became more apparent as I worked around this array, that it would probably capture most of the market for which it was intended and would present the simplest sales task. It became apparent that part of the previous trouble had been caused by unnecessary perfectionism and a kind of greed.
"I was next able to make a trial run in my inner 'stage' as to how to get Engineering to act. The relationships between key individuals literally jumped out at me. Their hangups and the effect of them on acceptance and performance of the development task became quite clear. I tried different approaches in my mind, then realized that the solution had been easily overlooked. I had to change, then they would be more likely to respond.
"It became unnecessary to plot, only to develop the right attitude. This attitude has to do with the confidence that comes from study and data, and the acceptance (of others) that comes from understanding, sympathy, and tolerance.
"The results have not been spectacular, but formidable. People are moving. The most antagonistic have become much more open and friendly. The amount of energy required of me has noticeably decreased. My boss has remarked more than once of a notable change in my mode of functioning. Measurable progress on the product array has been there, but has been marred a little by a reorganization.
"In summary the experiment produced not so much a giant brainstorm or breakthrough in the usual connotation of creativity, but a very practical result."
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Furniture Designer Architect