ProxPatterns (PPs)

For creativity, innovation and problem-solving.

Key Points

What are ProxPatterns?
The ProxPatterns are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving. They are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity. As a group of related patterns, ProxPatterns are valuable in relationship with each other. If one ProxPattern doesn’t apply in a situation, another one probably does. Further, they often work together and play off each other. So, as a group, ProxPatterns can help us relate to situations in more productive, effective, adaptive, creative, playful and enjoyable ways.

Why, Where and When?
The ProxPatterns can help us relate to a variety of situations, relationships and people, ranging from simple objects and daily concerns, to social situations, to business situations, to community situations, to creative situations in the arts and design, to theoretical situations, to physical situations in engineering and science. The ProxPatterns apply to static and to dynamic (changing) situations.

More About ProxPatterns
ProxPatterns can help us carry out the Core Idea. They can be used with ProxSets. ProxPatterns can suggest ways to change or adapt elements and relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns can be used to evaluate or check relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns provide clues about ways to start and how to progress, as well as provide options and help us deal with change. ProxPatterns allow for contradictions and complexity, yet can prevent situations from collapsing into chaos. ProxPatterns can help increase viable alternatives. ProxPatterns are simple enough for daily use, and powerful enough for some of our toughest situations.

Choose a ProxPattern Group
You can help carry out the Core Idea by using and relating three groups of PPs (which is short for ProxPatterns):
Combo PPs – If you want choices for action that work and play especially well together and help elements do the same, try the Combo PPs.
Limits PPs – If you want to consider some of the limits, scope or selection of elements in your proximity, as well as possibilities within them, try the Limits PPs.
Pure PPs – If you want to consider some purely relational aspects of your situation, try the Pure PPs.
Relate the PPs – Remember, at some point most situations can benefit from using and relating PPs from all three groups (Combo, Limits and Pure). ProxPatterns often complement each other, so keep some of them in mind as you use and relate them. For example, you might need to honor someone’s feelings or point of view, yet know that there are a variety of ways to react to the situation, and also allow for some uncertainty in how they might respond.

Tip
An infinite number of ProxPatterns are possible. However, this is a starter set of very general patterns. Many of our own more specific PPs we use in daily life can be described in terms of these general patterns.

Questions

• Are you wondering what to do next? Looking for choices for action? Searching for ways to improve a situation? Want to find ways to enjoy a situation or have more fun? The Combo PPs are a good place to start.
• Are you running up against limits? Trying to be realistic? Confused by competing alternatives, issues or viewpoints? Thinking about the scope or selection of elements? Looking for opportunities? Consider the Limits PPs.
• Could you be more aware of aspects or your situation? Are you considering changing something about a situation to see what happens? Are you stuck regarding what to do next? The Pure PPs may provide some ideas.

Examples

Click the headings to read the full example.

Running Errands
Let’s say you have a number of errands to do today. While doing them …

Conversation
Conversation is almost constant change. Changes in topic, feedback, expressions, tone, timing, seriousness, playfulness, experience, goals, and so on. Using some …

Driving
Driving is about dealing with different kinds of change. And we generally want many of the changes not to be abrupt, so there are …

Rearranging the Furniture
You want to rearrange the furniture in your place. You start by …

Building a Bridge
The construction of a bridge involves many different changes. From ideas to designs to team meetings to the actual construction, many …

A New Neighborhood
Two people move into the same neighborhood. One of them is from …

Business Lunch
You are meeting a potential client for lunch. The product you …

Negotiation
In negotiation, we become highly embedded in time and relationships. Various dependencies exist and changes occur in …

Dinner Party
You are having a small dinner party. A couple of …

Giving a Presentation
You are going to give a presentation for a group of people. You’re organizing what …

Writing
You want to write a report, article or letter. You want it to …

Sustainable Energy
Sustainable energy is energy which is self-renewing, since it is part of natural systems. It does not get depleted like oil or gas reserves. Examples of …

Market Evolutions
Markets evolve as elements change. Examples of changing elements are technology, user needs, resource supplies, competition, and related markets. Though people may not think of their …

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