Flowchart as Visual Creative Thinking Technique

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way” – Edward de Bono

According to neurosurgeons and medical experts, visual creative thinking denotes the act of thinking taking a physical form. Medical science informs us the human skull represents a wonder of animal anatomy. Also known as the cranium, the human skull encases the brain, an important organ that enables perception of the physical world and processes thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. To wit – the best ideas on the planet have originated and evolved inside the confines of the human mind. Visual creative thinking finds demonstration when a creative person uses visuals to create new concepts, ideas, schools of thought, and explore uncharted possibilities. We could state such thinking represents fresh initiatives to perceive people, processes, and phenomena; such thinking also aids the human imagination to solve manifest problems, investigate certain phenomenon, and generate new ways of thinking. Flowcharts represent a certain analytical paradigm that can help propagate visual creative thinking in modern times.

Intelligent and creative thought processes can empower the modern organization attain business objectives within defined time frames. Flowcharts can help drive implementations of visual creative thinking in the multiple contexts of modern business. A business organization could deploy flowcharts to overhaul key operational processes and recast strategy in tune with emerging realities. Such a flowchart can take shape as a distributed illustration that revamps and optimizes, for instance, vendor relationships in light of new business goals. The designers could deploy visual creative thinking to create separate buckets of vendors inside the diagram. Each bucket could be graded in terms of the past performance of a group of vendors; this act of bucketing also allows organizational players to assess vendor potential to contribute to processes that power business growth in the future. We note the implementation of the ideas embodied in said flowchart can help drive the visionary zeal of the founders of said organization. The ideas that issue from the flowchart could also provide critical inputs in steering certain actions designed to help the organization create and retain a competitive edge in evolving markets.

The operators of an organization may deploy visual creative thinking to attack common problems that decelerate its performance. In line with this, they could deploy a flowchart to etch the framework of a troubleshooting initiative. Such a flowchart can depict actions pertaining to gathering and assessing relevant information; generating ideas that could drive a resolution to common problems; raising questions that interrogate the premises of flawed processes; considering alternative courses of action; arriving at reasoned conclusions; and effectively communicating the outlines of resolution to all stakeholders. We note this attempt at visual creative thinking must undergo several iterations and refinements prior to actual implementation. Therefore, the flowchart may emerge as the site of much interrogation, conflict, revisions, and other such developments. These actions may convert said illustration into a corporate battle plan, one that thrives on a series of inputs and brings forth concrete ideas that may drive organizational reform. In addition, designers of such illustrations may create visual spaces inside the diagram to accommodate specific outcomes from each thought process.

Shoestring budgets, among other factors, could propel interesting techniques that hinge on visual creative thinking to optimise business operations. A flowchart designed for the purpose could emerge as a visual illustration that describes cryptic instructions in a bid to achieve the stated objective. In line with this, business operators may variously populate the stages of this flowchart with calls to action that centre on substitutions, combinations, adaptations, modifications, eliminations, and reversals. This approach to visual creative thinking essentially seeks to de-construct certain business processes and implement plans typified by the actions listed above. Therefore, members of an organization could explore creative strategies that seek to substitute certain raw materials, for instance, as part of efforts to reduce input costs; similarly, they may combine a raft of actions under one head in order to enforce accountability, etc. We note this flowchart illustration could emerge as the typical hydra, with multiple axes that denote separate linearity of recommended actions. Additionally, such a flowchart may trigger the emergence of interesting business insights as a by-product of visual creative thinking.

Flat lines could serve as precursors of illustrations that serve as a crucible for visual creative thinking. A business operator that seeks to enter and dominate new territories could begin the design of a flowchart from a series of flat lines etched on a canvas. The subsequent actions could include positioning a range of business objectives inside these lines; the nuts and bolts of putting strategy into place; illustrating the emanating cash flows from business activities; envisaging the lines of business expansion; techniques to defeat extant competition in a certain region; driving interactions with stakeholders; reinforcing primary business activities in consonance with objectives; etc. We note this approach to visual creative thinking must allow for significant room to accommodate revisions or re-setting of business goals and objectives. Future versions of this flowchart could gain the benefit of including data from ongoing business operations. Such data and information could help steer the tenor of business operations and guide the enterprise to higher levels of commercial success. In addition, the illustration could guide the business operator to design and expand new business campaigns.

Interesting avenues of interrogation could form the basis of re-engineering existing business systems and processes. Such a technique could hinge on designing illustrations that focus on visual creative thinking as part of the master campaign. The consequent flowchart could take shape as a stylized curve punctuated with multiple sites of interrogation. The why, how, who, when, and what could serve as markers designed to elicit responses from the organizational structure of a business enterprise. We note such efforts represent the preliminary aspect of the overall project; the responses that distinguish each such query could precede significant change in the tapestry of business operations and elevate the sponsor organization into a reformed corporate citizen. In addition, designers could position the same (and more detailed) queries in subsequent iterations of the diagram as part of attempts to improve the quality of response. Further, reviewers could be enrolled to evaluate the nature of each response and transform the visual creative thinking campaign into an instrument of organizational overhaul.

Constraints bear latent potential to spur the process of visual creative thinking in a variety of modern contexts. However, acknowledging constraints and their effects must underlie any project that seeks to raise the performance of modern commerce. In line with this, businesses could elect to design flowcharts that map the constraints that attend a particular process or sub-process. For instance, an operator of commercial transportation services could identify constraints such as input costs, the seasonality of business, the commercial success of competitors, the mismatch between trained manpower and ambitious business goals, etc. The application of creative thought could help resolve these constraints to a certain degree, thereby promoting the efficacy of deploying visual creative thinking in the domain of modern commerce. Creativity could take the form of operating transportation services through routes free from traffic congestion, raising successive batches of trained manpower, offering discounts to last-minute travellers and freight customers as a technique to defeat entrenched competition, etc. The final illustration thus emerges as a document that aids the objective of attaining business expansion and achieving smoother business operations.

These ideas and stratagems allow us to appreciate the centrality of applying creative thinking processes to flowchart illustrations.

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