I like thinking frameworks. Even though they sound restrictive, I’ve found that in fact, they often help to generate more innovative ideas than the free-form brainstorming. In his article “The Joke Model of Creative Thinking” at Mediate.com, John Cooley shows how the structure and formulas used to create a joke can be applied in conflict resolution:
It is the quality and the timing of the punchline that comprise the creative act and speeds the joke to a satisfying resolution. It is this same kind of punchline -- specially selected new information -- that must be injected into the mediation process at the appropriate time in order to yield highly satisfactory, optimal, or even super-optimal, solutions. A point deserving special emphasis, which may indeed serve as the punchline of this article, is as follows: It is the mental process which occurs in joke processing in a microsecond--at the time of and just before surprise--that must be replicated in the mediation setting in order to achieve super-optimum solutions; it is as if that mental process of reframing be viewed under a microscope and in slow-motion to be effectively discerned and applied.
The substantive steps of reframing in the joke process may be replicated in mediation on a gross scale and at a cosmically decelerated rate of speed. Two questions present themselves: First, what are punchlines in mediation? And second, at what stage of the mediation process should they be introduced?
You can read the article here.