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Highlighting is a straightforward and vigorous technique, which can be put into place with little training and capable of capturing attention and participation. Ideas are screened, the best of which are short-listed triggering discussion.
There are noticeable similarities to the KJ-Method and the Snowball Technique, with the use of clustering. However, there is an important difference in that clusters are only created from items that are felt to be interesting or intriguing, so that the clusters identify ‘hotspots’ – groups of related ideas that have ‘connected’ with someone’s imagination.
Other clustering techniques tend to emphasise logical categorisation rather than strength of ‘association’.
Starting from a large list of ideas (e.g. from BrainStorming)
- Draw out ideas that seem intriguing or interesting (regardless of viability)
- Sort into clusters of related ideas, each cluster being a ‘hotspot’.
- Recognise the ‘hotspots’ that mean something to you, does it have any ‘associations’, perhaps it has unusual consequences or implications?
- The final solution is the ‘hotspot’, or combination of several ‘hotspots’, that best suit your needs.