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Lateral thinking

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Page 1: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking

Page 2: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Lateral Thinking - Theory

The brain is not intended for creative thinking

The brains power is in forming patternsand sticking to these patterns

SO

To become creative you need to blocknormal channels and “cut across patternsin a self-organizing information system”

Page 3: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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

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Vertical thinking Vs Lateral thinking

Vertical thinking

1. Take a position

2. Develop arguments which are:• related to 1• derived from 1

Area of focus

TruthLogic

“What is”

Lateral thinking

1. Take a position

2. Put forward different views which are:• not derived from each other• all correct• all coexisting

Area of focusPossibilities, alternatives, what

“might be”

Page 5: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Lateral thinking - Exercise

VII

Add a single line to turn this into an eight

Page 6: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Lateral thinking - Exercise

IX

Add a single line to turn this into a six

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Solutions

1. IX

2. SIX

3. IX6

Page 8: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Deliberate lateral thinking tools

1.

2.

3.

4.

The six thinking hats

Provocation

Random inputs

Synectics

Page 9: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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The six thinking hats - Process and rationale

Rationale

Cooperative exploration replaces adversarialthinking

Ego factors are removed

Negativity is “not allowed”

Process

Meeting of several people

Deliberate “putting on” of different hats i.e. differentattitudes

Everyone wears each hatsimultaneously

Hats are changed during meeting

Page 10: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Six thinking hats

White hat Red hat Black hatAssociation White paper:

neutralcarrier of information

Fire, warmth Strict judge, intolerantof wrong doers

Area of focus Data and information

Feelings, intuition

Critical judgement

Questions/discussiontopic

This is what I feelMy gut feel is thatI don’t like the wayMy intuition tells me

The regulations don’t allowHe doesn’t have the experienceThose prices won’t be profitableWe won’t fill capacity

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

Source Edward de Bor

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Six thinking hats continued...

Yellow hat Green hat Blue hatAssociation Sunshine

OptimismLogical, positive view

Vegetation,Rich growth

SkyOverview

Area of focus Benefits (logically based)Feasibility

Creative thinkingNew ideasAdditional alternatives

AgendaNext stepsProcess control

Questions/discussion topic

Are there alternatives?Could there be anotherreason?What is a creative solution

Let’s summarize viewsLet’s look at prioritiesThe points to discuss are...

This would work if we did XThe benefit would come from YHigh labour costs mean a lower workforce

Source Edward de Bor

Page 12: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Six thinking hats continued...

Yellow hat Green hat Blue hatAssociation Sunshine

OptimismLogical, positive view

Vegetation,Rich growth

SkyOverview

Area of focus Benefits (logically based)Feasibility

Creative thinkingNew ideasAdditional alternatives

AgendaNext stepsProcess control

Questions/discussion topic

Are there alternatives?Could there be anotherreason?What is a creative solution

Let’s summarize viewsLet’s look at prioritiesThe points to discuss are...

This would work if we did XThe benefit would come from YHigh labour costs mean a lower workforce

Source Edward de Bor

Page 13: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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

Page 14: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Six Thinking hats - Evaluation

“+”

“+”

“-”

Takes people away from normalattitudes

Easy to use

Participants often feel very awkwardand ill at ease initially

Page 15: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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Provocation

Provocation: an absurdity which takes youout 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.

3.

Set up a provocation

“Move” forward from the provocation by e.g.

• Extracting a principle• Focusing on the difference• Look for the benefits

Arrive at an original idea

Page 17: Creativity - Lateral Thinking

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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 peoplechanges message according to audiencecan’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 can’t be switched off and cd also be tailored to individuals

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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 wantpromotion are more keen therefore put them in tougher jobs where they can prove themselves and be promoted

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Provocation - sources

1.

2.

3.

4.

Source Example Result

Chance/accidents

“Escape” from the normal i.e. cancel, negate, drop, remove, deny, all that you take for granted

Exaggeration

Distortion

Po, radio waves canshoot down planes

Po, restaurants do not charge for food

Po, police have 6 eyes

Po, you close the

letter after you post it

Concept of radar

Development ofdiners card

Development of neighborhoodwatch

Concept of direct mail sent in private mail

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Provocation - Evaluation

“+”

“-”

“-”

Good for thinking radical newthoughts

Difficult to apply uncomfortablefor many

Time consuming becoming familiarwith the toolkit

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Random input

Process

Take a problem

Apply a random input• word• imageTake the first characteristic thatcomes to mindDevelop solution

[NOTE Do not link the randomword to previous ideas]

Evaluation

Easy to do

Works for a group or an individual

Produces new thinking

Can feel uncomfortable

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The need for creativity

Creativity produces new ideas in:

ScienceArtsBusinessLeisureetc, etc, etc...

• The brain is not naturally creative

• Education is concerned with “right” and “wrong”

We need it... …but we lack it