Talking About Teaching Fall 2014 | Srikant Datar | Summary and Q&A

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July 16, 2015
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Harvard University
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Talking About Teaching Fall 2014 | Srikant Datar

TL;DR

Break functional and structural fixedness by assigning new tasks to existing resources, leading to innovative solutions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is functional fixedness?

Functional fixedness refers to the tendency to view an object or process as having a fixed purpose or structure that cannot be modified or used in new ways.

Q: How can task unification break fixedness?

Task unification involves assigning new tasks to existing resources, breaking the traditional mindset of how those resources should be used. This promotes innovative thinking and problem-solving.

Q: Can you give an example of task unification?

One example is using a jack intended for lifting a car to turn a rusted screw on a flat tire, instead of using other tools. This breaks the fixedness of the jack as being used just for lifting.

Q: How can division help break fixedness?

Division involves breaking a product, process, or business model into its component parts, allowing for new configurations and innovative solutions that were not previously considered.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The content discusses the concept of functional and structural fixedness and how it limits innovative thinking.

  • Techniques like task unification and division are introduced as ways to break fixedness and promote creative problem-solving.

  • Examples of applying these techniques in different contexts are shared, highlighting the potential for innovation.

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