Monthly Archives: May 2014

Frogs on a Mouse Wheel?


Current university research has shown that even a brief stroll can significantly increase creativity. Studies have measured participant’s ability to generate more than 50 percent new uses for an object, and the ideas were both novel and feasible. Interestingly, walking improved the ability to generate creative ideas even when they sat down after the walk.

Unfortunately, there is no argument to be made to your boss to go for a walk outside in a nice setting, as the research seems to show that it’s the walking that matters to invigorate creativity, not the setting. The hallway, basement, or warehouse will work just as well.

Recently researchers in the Netherlands placed a mouse wheel in the forest. It attracted wild mice that jumped on and ran for.…fun? They hopped on and ran, off and back on again. Perhaps inexplicably, frogs also jumped on and ran or hopped, and even hopped on and off….frogs on a mouse wheel….creative amphibians?

Most Failures Occur at the Interface

The French government ordered new trains for their national rail system. This is an expensive proposition, at nearly 3 billion Euros. It was disclosed just this week that the planners failed to consider that train stations in France had been built over many years, over decades, with different specifications over time. They only took measurements at newer stations. Many of the older stations are too small to accommodate the new trains, many approaching a thousand stations. Ouch.

The use of system engineering tools including forms of interrelationship, interaction, and interface matricies should be considered and examined in facilitated cross functional group exercises during project design.