“… and not building on that”: The Relation of Low Coherence and Creativity in Design Conversations

  • Axel Menning
  • Benedikt Ewald
  • Claudia Nicolai
  • Ulrich Weinberg
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


The purpose of this chapter is to explore the relation between coherence and creativity in design conversations of innovation teams. Low coherent segments in a conversation can be understood as the linguistic equivalent of shifts of the focus of attention while designing. Focus shifts have a positive influence on ideational productivity. We therefore reason that low coherent speaker turns function as creative stimuli in team conversations. How this works in practice we illustrate with a case study of an innovation team observed in the wild.



We gratefully acknowledge the various ways in which the HPI Stanford Design Thinking Research Program has enabled this research. We also want to thank Andrea Scheer, Bastien Grasnick and Petja Ivanova for their critical contributions and Dr. Sharon Nemeth for copyediting.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Axel Menning
    • 1
  • Benedikt Ewald
    • 1
  • Claudia Nicolai
    • 1
  • Ulrich Weinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.HPI School of Design Thinking, Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems EngineeringPotsdamGermany

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