This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Introduction Purpose of this module Established ideas Vertical Thinking Lateral Thinking Difference between lateral and vertical thinking Difference in creativity and lateral thinking Principles of the lateral thinking process Practical techniques to generate alternatives De Bono's six thinking hats Structure to introduce lateral thinking Guidelines for treatment of ideas Kick-start your own creativity How To Mind Map Mind mapping in eight Easy Steps Bibliography Some more techniques for creative thinking Further web resources, techniques, books and software for creativity
This module is not a comprehensive analysis of creativity or lateral thinking. However, it covers the main points and the aim is to give enough background for practical application of the principles. Traditionally the people with western culture focus on obvious problem areas. The eastern culture, however, focus on all areas, not only problem areas. The idea is to get improvement and not to concentrate only on crisis management. We can use lateral thinking and creativity to focus on all areas to get improvement and better ways of doing things.
The purpose of this module is to supply you with knowledge so that you can:
- Use the techniques to get improved creative results; and - Teach them to others.
In the previous chapter we saw that habits, attitudes and perceptions are responsible for conditioning of the mind.
Once the pattern is definite. for instance moral principles and social norms. foolproof and acceptable. We store information. Restructuring of established patterns in the mind is not easy. which stores and retrieves information. before moving on to the next step. At each step we use logical judgement to evaluate and select the most relevant alternative. which unfortunately also has the effect that the pattern becomes rigid. useful and must exist. selfmaximising. To understand how the human mind works we can compare the human mind to a computer system. Lateral Thinking: Lateral thinking is a process of escaping from restricting patterns. It is looking at concepts and ideas in a different way and the stimulation of new ideas. Once the pattern has been filed. This self-organising. recommendation or solving a problem is sound. memory system is very good at creating patterns. Vertical Thinking: Vertical thinking is the traditional type of thinking where one moves forward by sequential steps.Our upbringing and education instilled established ideas and concepts in our minds. It is about exploring illogical avenues for triggering of new ideas to find superior solutions. Difference between lateral and vertical thinking: LATERAL Generative (richness of different alternative approaches) Movement to generate different directions Provocative Can make jumps Not necessary to be correct Irrelevance and chance intrusions are explored for better results Explores least likely It is a probabilistic process VERTICAL Selective (correctness of selected alternatives) Movement if there is a direction or reason Analytical Sequential Correct at every step (negatively blocking off certain pathways) Excludes the irrelevant Follows most likely paths It is a finite process . The more we use a pattern the more it strengthens. Lateral thinking and vertical thinking are complementary to each other. we can recall it instantaneously. we file and encode it. concepts and ideas like encoded patterns. This effective memory system can easily recall patterns. combine patterns and add to them. This is to ensure that an argument. restructuring of old patterns and provocation of new patterns. This type of thinking is necessary. In other words the pattern can become restricting in the sense that we block out other alternative patterns.
In other words the concern is more with to where an arrangement of information can lead us. In his book Lateral Thinking. The emphasis shifts from the validity of a particular pattern. Instead of judging each arrangement and allowing only those that are valid. Principles of the lateral thinking process: Generating of alternatives: A particular method or way is only one from among many others. Lateral thinking is the process (vehicle) to get a creative result (destination). one defers judgement until later. The natural tendency is to look for the best possible approach. The purpose of the search is to loosen up rigid patterns and to provoke new patterns to arrive at something better than the obvious alternative." . De Bono states as follows: "The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar there is to new ideas." The intention is to create discomfort and increase the possibility of restructuring the pattern. but in lateral thinking one must look for as many different approaches as possible and not come to a stop at the most promising approach. With lateral thinking one allows invalid information to cause restructuring that is valid. Deferring Judgement: In vertical thinking we exercise judgement at every stage to make certain that the information is right. Difference in creativity and lateral thinking: Creativity is about a creative result that improves something.We must understand the differences in order to be able to use both effectively. Challenging assumptions: Assumptions are also patterns based on certain boundaries or limits. to the usefulness of that pattern in generating new patterns. The "why" technique can also be helpful here to challenge assumptions by repeatedly questioning an answer with "why. We must challenge the validity of concepts and the necessity of boundaries in trying to restructure patterns. An example is the nine dots where one has to break through the self-imposed boundary.
The reason is that the whole of the present picture is adequate and the only viable one. it is difficult to see any other picture. It is extremely difficult to loosen up a pattern unless one can identify the rigid points. one can break a concept up into smaller parts (fractions) and consider the smaller parts for alternatives.Arrogant certainty attends a line of thought. .It is assumed that being right is enough . . Practical techniques to generate alternatives: Fractionation: Often when one faces a problem or concept. which seems to one self to dominate the issue. The purpose of isolating a crucial factor is to be able to challenge the validity of it.The importance attached to being right all the time breeds the inhibiting fear of making mistakes. The dominant idea will keep on dominating the issue.An incorrect idea which would have lead on to a correct idea (or useful experiment) is choked off at too early a stage if it cannot itself be justified."The major dangers of the need to be right all the time are as follows: . Then you have to reshape each factor . We can then reconstruct the whole picture or pattern with the new smaller parts into a new form. Isolating Crucial Factors: A crucial factor can immobilize a situation and make it impossible to change a point of view. which though correct. more freedom for different viewpoints will emerge. The purpose is to see the situation clearly enough to be able to generate different points of view. To generate movement for alternatives. One must try to convert a vague awareness to a definite pattern. ." Escaping From Dominant Ideas: One must try to get into the habit of trying to pick out the idea. Once it is found not to be crucial. It is a matter of identifying the dominant idea to avoid it or escape from it. may have started from wrong premises.an adequate arrangement blocks the possibility of a better arrangement. We can compare this to the riddle of a murder case where all the separate pieces of information are written down as separate factors. Otherwise it will be extremely difficult to generate alternative ways of looking at the situation.
It is about stimulation from sources outside one's own mind. A deliberate routine like the use of a dictionary.The safety officer guides the chairman. What one must not do is to try and select a word that seems relevant or suitable to the problem. the more useful the information may be. The idea is that any information is stimulating. with the possibility of ultimately arriving at a better viewpoint. The more irrelevant. It does not matter whether the reversed situation makes immediate sense or not. It is the method of reversing a situation and seeing what it brings forth.The meeting leads the safety officer.and try to fit the separate pieces together in different ways to come up with various pictures (answers to the riddle).The safety officer does not lead the meeting.The chairman is not the safety officer. . What matters is what can flow from it. to link it up with the problem under consideration. For instance. the statement "The Chief Safety Officer leads the monthly safety meeting. A certain situation can have different forms of reversal. or that they abolish a meeting or replace it with another structure. . Two methods are as follows: Cross-disciplinary fertilisation: .The members lead the meeting. This is a deliberate effort to mix in unconnected pieces of information to provoke the . We form a chain of ideas by the random word. this is named random word stimulation." can have several reversals such as: .The safety officer disrupts the meeting. Then spin a dice for the number of the word on that page. . . Here we use randomly selected words to get movement. . The above reversals can eventually lead to members being chairman on rotation basis. The purpose is to escape from the standard way of viewing a situation. The selection must be truly random. Reversal: Usually this technique is not useful in it self. but in what it can lead to. We can induce random stimulation in various ways.exposure to the ideas from completely different fields. One way to achieve this is to select a page number from the page range of a dictionary. Random Stimulation: Value management practitioners intensively utilise this method. no matter how unrelated it may be.
treat it sequentially as follows to see where it can lead to: .UNNECESSARY ** . LESS Decrease water shortage Provocative Operation: We can use provocation deliberately in several ways to get movement of ideas.Extract A Principle/Concept/Feature: When someone has an idea.original pattern into restructuring or a new line of development. Ideas Methods Broad directions Purpose or objectives EXAMPLE: Pamphlets Education Increase Radio Use * Do without TV Efficiency ** Save * . The Concept Fan: With this method you take the broadest concept or approach and backtrack (fan) to more detail.RECYCLING. Provocative Operation .
willingness for promotion and effort will be visible. treat it sequentially as follows to try to arrive at a novel concept: (i) Spell out what is normal and natural about it (traditional). menu." (i) Principle . the employee will try harder. EXAMPLE. .matching of performance appraisal and desires. order form. (iii) get movement by substituting an alternative. reaction at home (why are you not ambitious?). (ii) Difference . (iii) Consequences . (ii) focus on the difference that will be forthcoming. seats. (iv) shape an idea of how you can carry out the alternative. (iv) Positive aspects . How has it always been done? (ii) Escape from the normal way by cancelling. Provocative Operation – Escape When you consider a problem area or an area for improvement.(i) Extract a principle/concept/feature. cost of shirt etc. where he renders the public a service. (v) find a better way than the original idea. tables. (iii) what other consequences can be expected. negating or dropping a normal aspect. (v) Special circumstances .emotional stress. invoice etc. Restaurant (i) Normal aspects . (iv) try to see the positive aspects. (v) under what special circumstances can it have a direct value? EXAMPLE: Provocative idea: "Everyone who wants to be promoted must wear a yellow shirt.promotion with relocation easier.it will be a visible signal of ambition or desire.waiter.
not to handle the phone but be able to speak and listen. length. Remember each stage can lead to further novel ideas which you must capture in writing." the escape can be "the waiter does not write it up. Numerous organisations. to do good at each .make hearing piece a fixture. now use this method.Reversal: You can also arrive at novel concepts by following the next steps: (i) Spell out what is normal.dial before picking up (v) Wishful thinking . (v) Apply wishful thinking . order form and invoice? Provocative Operation . but mainly in meetings.I do (iv) Idea . It gets people out of an argumentative mode. (iv) Distort by changing the time sequence. holding it etc.by picking randomly one aspect such as "order form.dial number.dial several numbers."Wouldn't it be nice " EXAMPLE: Telephones (i) Normal . (v) Better idea -combine menu. The hats technique is a powerful tool to focus on one hat at a time. (iv) Distortion . worldwide. (ii) Reversal . De Bono's six thinking hats: This method is useful in conversations. (iii) Exaggeration . personal thinking. pick up hearing aid.combine the order form with invoice.(ii) Escape . (ii) Take one of the normal aspects and reverse it to an opposite. (iii) Exaggerate to beyond normal range of measurement to create an unstable idea that may lead to another idea (weight. number)." (iii) Movement .
Structure to introduce lateral thinking: . intuition. feasibility. reasons. emotions (Feelings) Black Hat - Caution. Green Hat - Create new ideas. Red Hat – Feelings. value (Positive). provocation (micro-culture to reverse the natural black hat thinking). benefits. system. White Hat - This is the thinking mode where everybody (Data) seeks and supplies information data. what is needed. what is available and what is missing. comparing. positive. policies. The sequence is not fixed but can alter to suit the situation. trying to be objective. Blue Hat - Control to manage the thinking (Direction) process. (Creative) possibilities. hunches. Yellow Hat - Logical.one. experience. considering in terms of negative facts. ethics. further alternatives. before moving on to the next hat.
5 Draw up a task sheet of specific target areas and nominate someone for each area. 4 Draw up a cloud nine. dream file . Self-test questions: 1 The brain uses a system that is very effective at forming patterns. fantasize where you would like the areas to be. 4 shape with real-life constructive constraints.visualise. 4 3 Describe what you understand by lateral thinking. Make use of two columns to list six of the differences. which will benefit from creative thinking. 6 Use the practical techniques when no movement is forthcoming.1 Train the team members the practical techniques of lateral thinking and the traits of a creative team. 3 remove faults. 3 List of areas. to put energy into creative maintenance. Guidelines for treatment of ideas: 1 Increase the power of the idea. What is this system called? 2 2 Describe what you understand by vertical thinking. 2 Use the six hats technique to make creativity easier. 2 overcome weaknesses. 5 apply black hat cautions. 5 4 There are eight differences listed between lateral and vertical thinking. and 6 possible rejection takes place last. 12 5 Name five principles of the lateral thinking process 5 6 Name seven practical techniques to help in generating alternatives for lateral thinking 7 7 Name three provocative operation techniques 3 8 Name the five sequential steps used in the provocative technique of extracting a principle 5 9 Name the five sequential steps used in the provocative technique of escape 5 10 Name the five sequential steps used in the provocative technique of reversal 5 11 Make use of two columns to list the colours of the six thinking hats together with the . but enhances rigidity.
. Kick-start your own creativity: Enhancing your creativity and thinking skills can and should be a lifelong journey.respective meaning of each 12 12 List the six action steps to establish structure for lateral thinking 6 13 List the six guidelines for treatment of ideas 6 Total possible marks 77 Task assignment: 1 Select an area of improvement in your working environment. 4 Apply the provocative operation technique of escape or reversal or both.Your opinion of the success of the team. 5 Write up a report covering the following: . How To Mind Map: . 2 Get a team together to help you with the task (it can also be your family members). .Description of novel idea and its real life value. Explore the worldwide internet for more resources. 3 Educate them in the techniques and traits of a creative team.Description of how the provocative operation was used (outcome of sequential stages). . to try and get the group to arrive at a conclusive novel idea.Description of improvement area.
thinksmart. http://www. http://www. Penguin Books. 2004.Question Summary .Colour Mind mapping in eight Easy Steps: You can look it up and read further on the internet. 1990. Penguin Books 3 The worldwide internet. 2004 4 Mind mapping in eight easy steps.Structure – Paper – Lines – Words – Images .thinksmart. 2 Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono.com/ Bibliography: 1 Lateral Thinking by Edward De Bono. by Joyce Wycoff. 1991.com/ Some more techniques for creative thinking: Here is a small selection of techniques: · Random Input · Problem Reversal · Ask Questions · Applied Imagination .
· Lateral Thinking · Six Thinking Hats · The Discontinuity Principle · Checklists · Brainstorming .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.