How: Create a focus question specifying the problem or issue the map should help resolve. List the key concepts roughly that apply to the area of knowledge. Put the most general, inclusive concepts at the top of the list, and most specific at the bottom. Build a hierarchical organization of the concepts, using post-its on a wall or whiteboard, large sheets of paper, etc. Revision is a key element in concept mapping, so participants need to be able to move concepts and reconstruct the map.
Seek cross links between concepts, adding linking words to the lines between concepts. This method helps in building ideas for solutions. It is useful to illustrate a problem, by testing unspoken assumptions about its scale. It helps one think about what would be appropriate if the problem were of a different order of magnitude.
How: After defining a problem to be addressed or idea to develop, list all the component parts of the idea or if a problem, its objectives and constraints. Choosing one component, develop ways of exaggerating it and note them on a separate sheet.
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The fishbone technique uses a visual organizer to identify the possible causes of a problem. This technique discourages partial or premature solutions and demonstrates the relative importance of, and interactions between, different parts of a problem. How: On a broad sheet of paper, draw a long arrow horizontally across the middle of the page pointing to the right.
Label the arrowhead with the title of the issue to be explained. Sub-spurs can represent subsidiary causes. Ideally, the fishbone is redrawn so that position along the backbone reflects the relative importance of the different parts of the problem, with the most important at the head. This method simply asks the Who? Laddering techniques involve the creation, reviewing and modification of hierarchical knowledge.
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In a ladder containing abstract ideas or concepts, the items lower down are details or sub-sets of the ones higher up, so one moves between the abstract and concrete. Laddering can help students understand how an expert categorizes concepts into classes, and can help clarify concepts and their relationships. Why questions are ladders up; so-what questions are ladders down. Negative brainstorming involves analyzing a short list of existing ideas, rather than the initial massing of ideas as in conventional brainstorming.
Examining potential failures is relevant when an idea is new or complex or when there is little margin for error. Evaluating these negative ideas can lead to possible positive solutions. In most role-playing exercises, each student takes the role of a person affected by an issue and studies an issue or events from the perspective of that person. How: Role plays should give the students an opportunity to practice what they have learned and should interest the students.
Provide concrete information and clear role descriptions so that students can play their roles with confidence. Once the role play is finished, spend some time on debriefing. The method uses action verbs to stimulate ideas and creative thinking. How: By providing a list of active verbs that may be associated with your problem and hence will create ideas. The verbs are about doing to get students to think about the action. Post-up can gather ideas from large groups, numbering from the dozens to the hundreds.
Participants are given slips of paper or Post-it notes and asked to write down ideas which are discussed or evaluated. How: Each student is given a stack or note-pad of at least 25 small slips of paper or Post-it note pad. The pads can contain idea-jogging graphics or be designed so that ideas can be sorted and separated easily.
A question or problem is read to the group e. Students write down one idea per sheet, in any order. Once the writing begins to slow down students can post their ideas on a wall or flip-chart paper. Then, the students work as a group to discover and explore themes. Story boards can help with planning, ideas, communications and organization. This method allows students to see the interconnections, how one idea relates to another, and how pieces come together. Once the ideas flow, students become immersed in the problem and tag-team off other ideas. How: Use a cork board or similar surface to pin up index cards or use Post-it notes on a whiteboard.
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Begin with a set of topic cards, and under each place header cards for general points, categories, etc. Under these, place sub-heading cards that will be contain ideas and details generated that support the headers. During a story board session, consider all ideas relevant, no matter how impractical they appear.
Open branch offices and move to territories for each branch. Shop your competitors to get creative recruitment ideas. Guest lecture at a local college. Raise your minimum referral bonus amount. Get testimonials from temps who have used your training facility. Hold an open house. Place a coupon in the paper — give something to the applicant for registration.
Use space at the Department of Labor.
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List available positions with the Department of Labor. Present a high school career day. Mobile recruiting — bus for recruiting ideas. Contact local libraries. Recruit from GED classes. Work with the Board of Education. Advertise at theaters on-screen. Offer remote testing — go to the temp. Advertise on radio. Get on your local morning news program. Consider an infomercial. Produce an XYZ Staffing video. Advertise on city buses. Advertise on back of supermarket register tapes.
Have outside sales people display magnetic signs on their car doors. Give away phone calling cards to your temps. Applicant Retention and Reactivation Keep your best temps employed. Offer better pay to your temps — pay higher than your competition. Hand out referral bonuses on the job site; take picture for your newsletter. Work with companies who are adding staff. Share success stories. Have former applicants bring a friend, bring a boss, etc.
Implement an incentive program to pay for medical benefits. Ideas: work a minimum number of hours, or refer a minimum number of people. Must work 28 hours per week to stay on the plan. After 90 days eligible for the program; after 6 months you pay part. Send monthly relationship builders to highly qualified temps — post cards, notes, birthday cards, etc. Call to reactivate highly skilled temps. Help temp applicants who want perm jobs find perm jobs as well.
Provide discounts on daycare. Hold a special drawing for new applicants. Provide bonuses to long-term temps.
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Offer your clients a faxed laundry list of temps coming available. Provide more recognition for temps. Develop a relationship between the temp and your staffing service. Offer a scale for increased vacation time — earn more than one week. Offer an XYZ Staffing day care service. Hold an XYZ Staffing picnic for temps. Allow temps to pick up paychecks at alternate locations. Offer a frequent hours club — gift for working certain number of hours. Hold a family fun night. Hold an XYZ Staffing golf outing. Improving Skill Level of Current Applicants Put a process in place for automatic follow-up after temps are interviewed.
Encourage them to train and work for your service. Get lists of job descriptions from clients, and train around these needs. Gather evidence that training pays off for your temps — higher pay, better assignments, etc. Quantify what improved skills mean to your temps. Include an article in each issue of your newsletter discussing need for specific skills. Provide coupons to your applicants for free training. Provide coupons to train on a specific skill. Offer additional training room hours, after business hours.
Ask the trainees why they are training.