Part Three – The Box Gambit:

The “rule” of this gambit is to connect all the dots with four straight lines by not allowing your pen/pencil to leave the surface of the page. Solving this graphic riddle will require some thinking, and trial and error to be accomplished. Try it four times. Good luck.

Pen on page, link the dots, four straight lines

When developing a plan remember this exercise.  We are all in one kind of rock, paper, sissors box, metaphorical or not. Use your experience to identify examples of thinking that get an idea moving with some examples. Describe your thinking with other people (dots) as a creative or imaginative game. What are some of the examples of thinking or acting that get the dots of this box to work for you? This is a classic “connect” gambit. Use and share this little exercise with friends. Follow the rules, four times, four lines pen stays on the page, all the dots are connected by the lines. The answer is at the bottom of this page.

Congratulations on a solution or before you go for it below, take a moment to think of a problem or issue you/we would personally like to define. Use the sample questions below as a guide using the six basic questions of a journalist with some sampling answers. There are boatloads of these things available now. This meets the Occam’s Razor test.

Problem Observation

“There are at least three parks in the community in terrible physical condition, they are misused and abused.  In the evening, teenagers hangout, sometimes all night and they are making a horrible noise and a horrible mess, why I just don’t understand how or why,  and so on.

A.  Issue/Problem Defining Questions

  1. Who is responsible for the management/maintenance/budget of these parks?
  2. What is are the causes of poor conditions, the noise, and the mess?
  3. Where are these parks and other recreational places?
  4. When does the “misuse” and disturbance occur, all the time, often, infrequently?
  5. Why do these disturbances occur?
  6. How many disturbances and complaints been made?

B.  Asset/Opportunity Defining Questions

  1. Who are the parents, who else can we work with to further define this issue?
  2. What are the resources available in the short and long term to “x” or “y”
  3. Where should we direct our research or take our first action(s)?
  4. When should we get directly involved?
  5. Why must I/we work to define and solve this problem?
  6. How can we work with park management/maintenance?

The Box Gambit Animated GIF.

A graphic illustration of system change produced by Melanie Rayment is discussed in detail in System Change Part Four: Critical Thinking Pathways (here). When I noticed how Ms. Rayment put “system change” on the outside of her description, I remembered this example from one of my old training courses on pathways to creative thinking.

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