Lateral thinking

Lateral Thinking - Theory The brain is not intended for creative thinking

The brains power is in forming patterns and sticking to these patterns SO To become creative you need to block normal channels and “cut across patterns in a self-organizing information system”
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Explaining lateral thinking
• Mind is like mud – grooves are formed where water/thoughts run. Need to form new avenues • “Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize Winner

Vertical thinking Vs Lateral thinking Vertical thinking 1. Take a position Lateral thinking 1. Take a position

2. Develop arguments 2. Put forward different views which which are: are: • related to 1 • not derived from each other • derived from 1 • all correct Area of focus • all coexisting Area of focus Truth Possibilities, alternatives, what Logic “might be” “What is”

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Lateral thinking - Exercise

VII
Add a single line to turn this into an eight

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Lateral thinking - Exercise

IX
Add a single line to turn this into a six

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Solutions

1. 2. 3.

IX SIX IX6
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Deliberate lateral thinking tools

1. 2. 3. 4.

The six thinking hats Provocation Random inputs Synectics
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The six thinking hats - Process and rationale Rationale Cooperative exploration replaces adversarial thinking Ego factors are removed Negativity is “not allowed” Process Meeting of several people Deliberate “putting on” of different hats i.e. different attitudes Everyone wears each hat simultaneously Hats are changed during meeting
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Six thinking hats White hat
Association White paper: neutral carrier of information Data and information

Red hat
Fire, warmth

Black hat
Strict judge, intolerant of wrong doers

Area of focus

Feelings, intuition

Critical judgement

Questions/discussion topic

What info do we have? What info is missing? Where will we get it? How will we get it?

This is what I feel My gut feel is that I don’t like the way My intuition tells me

The regulations don’t allow He doesn’t have the experience Those prices won’t be profitable We won’t fill capacity
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Source Edward de Bor

Six thinking hats continued... Yellow hat
Association

Green hat
Vegetation, Rich growth

Blue hat
Sky Overview

Sunshine Optimism Logical, positive view
Benefits (logically based) Feasibility This would work if we did X The benefit would come from Y High labour costs mean a lower workforce

Area of focus

Creative thinking New ideas Additional alternatives Are there alternatives? Could there be another reason? What is a creative solution

Agenda Next steps Process control Let’s summarize views Let’s look at priorities The points to discuss are...

Questions/discussion topic

Source Edward de Bor

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Six thinking hats continued... Yellow hat
Association

Green hat
Vegetation, Rich growth

Blue hat
Sky Overview

Sunshine Optimism Logical, positive view
Benefits (logically based) Feasibility This would work if we did X The benefit would come from Y High labour costs mean a lower workforce

Area of focus

Creative thinking New ideas Additional alternatives Are there alternatives? Could there be another reason? What is a creative solution

Agenda Next steps Process control Let’s summarize views Let’s look at priorities The points to discuss are...

Questions/discussion topic

Source Edward de Bor

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Sequence is not fixed, but often it is: 1 White – info 2 Green – ideas 3Yellow – benefits of ideas 4 Black – evaluation 5 Red – feelings 6 Blue - conclusions

Six Thinking hats - Evaluation “+” “+” “-” Takes people away from normal attitudes Easy to use Participants often feel very awkward and ill at ease initially

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Provocation

Provocation: an absurdity which takes you out of your main line of thought Examples; Po, you close the letter after you post it Po, restaurants do not charge for food Po, police have 6 eyes
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Provocation - Process 1. 2. Set up a provocation “Move” forward from the provocation by e.g. • Extracting a principle • Focusing on the difference • Look for the benefits 3. Arrive at an original idea

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Provocation - Process 1.Set up a provocation eg bring back the town crier – used for ad company 2.“Move” forward from the provocation by e.g. • Extracting a principle – what does the town crier do? goes to thee people changes message according to audience can’t be switched off • Focusing on the difference • Look for the benefits 3.Arrive at an original idea – idea was to have adverts on pagers cos they 12 can’t be switched off and cd also be tailored to individuals

1.Set up a provocation eg employees should wear stripy shirts if they want promotion 2 & 3.“Move” forward from the provocation arrive at original idea by e.g. • Extracting a principle –be open about career ambitions  frank feedback for those who want it •Focusing on the difference – clear to everyone what you want  shd you only invest training in those who are ambitious? • Look for the benefits – self-fulfilling ie those who’ve said they want promotion are more keen therefore put them in tougher jobs where they can prove themselves and be promoted
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Provocation - sources
Source 1. 2. Chance/accidents “Escape” from the normal i.e. cancel, negate, drop, remove, deny, all that you take for granted Exaggeration Example Po, radio waves can shoot down planes Po, restaurants do not charge for food Result Concept of radar Development of diners card

3.

Po, police have 6 eyes Po, you close the letter after you post it

Development of neighborhood watch Concept of direct mail sent in private mail
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4.

Distortion

Provocation - Evaluation “+” “-” “-” Good for thinking radical new thoughts Difficult to apply uncomfortable for many Time consuming becoming familiar with the toolkit

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Random input Process Take a problem Apply a random input • word • image Take the first characteristic that comes to mind Develop solution [NOTE Do not link the random word to previous ideas]
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Evaluation Easy to do Works for a group or an individual Produces new thinking Can feel uncomfortable

The need for creativity We need it... Creativity produces new ideas in: Science Arts Business Leisure etc, etc, etc... …but we lack it • The brain is not naturally creative • Education is concerned with “right” and “wrong”

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