Creativity Lateral Thinking

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A primer on lateral thinking techniques

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Creativity Lateral Thinking

  1. 1. Creativity An exploration of lateral thinking techniques to enable more robust problem solving
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Digit
  3. 3. I’m here to talk to you about. . . Lateral Thinking
  4. 4. Let’s start with. . . “ What is lateral thinking?” Lateral Thinking
  5. 5. Lateral thinking is an unorthodox approach to problem-solving, often looking at a problem from other 'sides' rather than head-on
  6. 6. So let’s start by looking at an example of lateral thinking. Lateral Thinking . . .versus regular linear thinking.
  7. 7. Deconstructing Creativity Lateral Thinking We’ll do that by looking at how the Beatles created the Sergeant Pepper’s Album . . .and comparing a linear approach to the lateral approach that they took.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Normal Logical Thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Logically, analytically generate alternatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul></ul>Make a new Rock album Arrange Chuck Barry songs J & P Write new songs Use unrecorded old songs That’s not very exciting Let’s start with a normal, linear approach to the problem of creating a new and exciting album.
  9. 9. How they did it <ul><li>Lateral Thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Generate a new, unrelated, thought or idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 – Extract principles or characteristics from the idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the characteristic to the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul></ul>Make a new Rock album Make an opera Tell a story Opera singers Duets with opera singers Fat lady sings Fat lady on cover of album Write songs that tell a story Now let’s look at their lateral thinking approach.
  10. 10. <ul><li>Creative Lateral Thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Generate a new, unrelated, thought or idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Extract a principle or characteristic from the idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the characteristic to the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two middle steps are most important </li></ul><ul><li>One of them is not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasonable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All other steps are logical </li></ul><ul><li>All creativity uses this same template, or a simple variation on it. </li></ul>So what did we learn?
  11. 11. <ul><li>Judgment . . . a big barrier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 minute rule . . . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all ideas will create Aha’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be patient, give it at least five minutes </li></ul></ul>Here’s a tip
  12. 12. While the first idea may seem silly, the technique’s value is its ability to get you to see ideas you are not normally able to contemplate. Silly Rule Here’s another tip
  13. 13. Lateral Thinking Techniques Escape, Reversal and Random Entry techniques were created by Edward deBono. Here are four techniques that all follow that pattern There are exercises you can try
  14. 14. <ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity where you need to generate alternative solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Generate a new thought or idea </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Extract a characteristic or principle </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the characteristic to the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul>Lateral Techniques - Generic Process
  15. 15. 1. Escape Technique <ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity where you need to generate alternative solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - List characteristics of that issue that we normally take for granted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose one characteristic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Change the characteristic in some way, or eliminate it </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the changed characteristic to the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Escape Technique Practice
  17. 17. Technique Review <ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul>
  18. 18. 2. Random Entry Technique <ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity where you need to generate alternative solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Select a word at random </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a dictionary and select two numbers at random – one for the page, one for word on the page (a noun) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Extract a principle or characteristic from the random word </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the characteristic to the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Random Entry Practice
  20. 20. Technique Review <ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul>
  21. 21. 3. Reversal Technique <ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity where you need to generate alternative solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Select a characteristic of the problem or opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Reverse the characteristic </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the reversed characteristic to the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Reversal Technique Practice
  23. 23. Technique Review <ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul>
  24. 24. 4. Word/Picture Mapping Technique <ul><li>Step 1 - Identify the problem or opportunity where you need to generate alternative solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take a large piece of paper (e.g. flipchart). Place on table </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write problem/issue in center. Everyone gathers round </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - Group generates a new thoughts or ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group draws lines from issue and writes down other words they associate with key issue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - Extract a characteristic or principle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking at the new words find other words to associate with them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw lines between associated words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - Logically explore the relationship of the characteristic to the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - Select the best alternative(s) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Word/Picture Mapping Practice
  26. 26. Technique Review <ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Imagine your team was skilled at lateral thinking.
  28. 28. What value could you unlock?
  29. 29. If you’d like more info. Call us and ask for John. Tell him Digit sent you. Ennova Inc. Toronto, Ontario 1-888- 6ennova 905-294-8050 (local) John @ennova.ca

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