Thursday, September 25, 2008

Unconscious thought and creative solutions 

Chen-Bo Zhong
there is no doubt that unconscious processes may be most active during sleep but they can also be active while people consciously focus on something—just not the problem you hope to resolve. In our study, we manipulated unconscious thought by distracting participants from the task at hand and focusing them on a different, very cognitive demanding task. Thus, to harness the benefits of unconscious thought, one does not need to lose conscious focus. The key is to focus on an unrelated task while still keeping the goal of resolving the original problem. Second, it partially depends on the complexity of the problem. As it turns out in our research and other work by Dijksterhuis, consciously focusing on a problem is more effective than distraction when the problem does not involve remote connections. The advantages of unconscious thought are most prominent when resolving difficult problems that involve weak associations.

Topics: Creativity | Metaphor | Unconscious

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The mismatch between human-driven and machine-driven processes 

Andrea Westernein

This is the subject of a book (written in 2005) by Keith Harrison-Broninski, Human Interactions, The Heart and Soul of Business Process Management. The information is also overviewed in a paper by Harrison-Broninski at http://human-interaction-management.info/A%20Role-Based%20Approach%20To%20Business%20Process%20Management.doc. The paper and book describes the mismatch between human-driven and machine-driven processes, and that most processes are the former, while most tooling supports the latter. 

The mismatch with human processes is that:

  • People evolve and adapt a process depending on various factors (such as what they learned in another process or iteration)
    • Therefore the process canNOT be prescriptive but should be "supportive"
  • People work multiple roles and/or processes simultaneously and may bring knowledge from one role or process into another
    • Who a person is, what they do and what they know make a difference to the outcome
  • People turn information into knowledge and incorporate that knowledge into the outcome
    • Information and knowledge are not static
  • People jump around in a process trying to be as efficient and effective as possible
    • Again, the process canNOT be prescriptive but should define a typical/best practice approach

Topics: | Modeling

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