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Multiplying ideas

"...every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas. We consistently fail to grasp how many ideas remain to be discovered. Possibilities do not add up. They multiply." (Paul Romer)

We believe that useful innovation is more likely to come from a combination of several minds, rather than from one lone genius. Every relationship based on difference may lead us to a possible synergy. We want to multiply ideas, because ideas represent opportunities. But we also want to create a framework of interlocking innovations that will bring manifold abundance to many stakeholders. In order to achieve this we have scaled-up the classic process of enterprise by creating quartets - i.e. teams of 4.

Why Quartets?

Why do we want teams with 4 members? What's so special about a quartet, rather than, say, a trio or a quintet? OK, where 2 participants combine to make 1 interaction, a team of 3 will create 3 interactions. So, (numerically speaking) if each interaction leads to an idea, it doesn't matter whether we have two, or three, participants - we will get the same number of relations (=ideas) per person. However, a team of 4 offers twice as many relations as a team of 3. It will therefore deliver 50% more, per person, because having 4 team members implies 6 relations. In the diagrams below, imagine each node as a participant and each line as a relation that might lead to an idea - which might represent a synergy.

magenta-tetrahedron.jpg square-50cm-spacer.jpg Tetraeder-Animation.gif square-50cm-spacer.jpg green-tetrad.jpeg
TetrahedronXXXXXXSolid tetrahedronXXXXInnovation can be 'quadratic'

The workshop harnesses the idea that clusters of four are more auspicious than, say, 3 or 5.

Colour coding

participant-colours.png tetrad-ABCD-6-synergy1.jpg

Combining things to create synergy requires difference, therefore each participant needs to be identified. We avoided assigning numbers to participants, as this may suggest priorities of importance, and the workshop should not be hierarchical. We have chosen 4 fairly arbitrary participant colours to remind everyone that we need difference without hierarchy.

Schedule for PHASE ONE

The schedule of activities simple. A 15 minute briefing session for the 4 participants ensures that everyone can focus onto the task in hand without hesitation or confusion. Each participant has a 15 minute bisociation sessions with each of the other three, in turn. This means that there are 3 sessions, each consisting of 2 simultaneous meetings.

00.15XX00.25XXXXMagentaXbisociates withXYellowXXXXSYNERGY 1
00.1500.25XXXXBlueXbisociates withXRedXXXXSYNERGY 4
00.2500.45XXXXMagentaXbisociates withXBlueXXXXSYNERGY 2
00.2500.45XXXXYellowXbisociates withXRedXXXXSYNERGY 5
00.4500.55XXXXMagentaXbisociates withXRedXXXXSYNERGY 3
00.4500.55XXXXYellowXbisociates withXBlueXXXXSYNERGY 6

Schedule for PHASE TWO

This only applies if 4 people elect to conduct a second workshop that continues from the first one. These would run using the SYNERGIES as a starting point. This means that new synergies can be found by combining existing ones. Theoretically, there is no limit to the growth in synergies, provided the new synergies could be noticed and synergised with others. This process would produce an exponential growth of synergies that would soon become a synergy-of-synergies.

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