Different thinking methods to generate newness

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The different thinking methods to generate uniqueness

Some of the different thinking methods to generate uniqueness are as follows:

The logical thinking method

The vertical thinking method

The lateral thinking method

The critical thinking method

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The creative thinking method

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The radical thinking method

The radical thinking method is here meant in a good way of turning an idea on its head to come up with useful other ideas, which can lead to newness.

Each of the thinking methods comes with its own definition, rules and principles.

For creative thinking the following can be regarded as some of the rules and principles:

Generating of alternatives:

A particular method or way is only one from among many others. The natural tendency is to look for the best possible approach, 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.

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.

Challenging assumptions:

Assumptions are also patterns based on certain boundaries or limits. 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 “why” technique can also be helpful here to challenge assumptions by repeatedly questioning an answer with “why.” The intention is to create discomfort and increase the possibility of restructuring the pattern.

Deferring Judgement:

In vertical thinking we exercise judgement at every stage to make certain that the information is right. With lateral thinking one allows invalid information to cause restructuring that is valid. In other words the concern is more with to where an arrangement of information can lead us.

Instead of judging each arrangement and allowing only those that are valid, one defers judgement until later.

The emphasis shifts from the validity of a particular pattern, to the usefulness of that pattern in generating new patterns.

In his book Lateral Thinking, De Bono states as follows:

“The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar there is to new ideas

“The major dangers of the need to be right all the time are as follows:

– Arrogant certainty attends a line of thought, which though correct, may have started from wrong premises.

– 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.

– It is assumed that being right is enough – an adequate arrangement blocks the possibility of a better arrangement.

– The importance attached to being right all the time breeds the inhibiting fear of making mistakes.”

Escaping From Dominant Ideas:

One must try to get into the habit of trying to pick out the idea, which seems to one self to dominate the issue. The purpose is to see the situation clearly enough to be able to generate different points of view. It is a matter of identifying the dominant idea to avoid it or escape from it.

One must try to convert a vague awareness to a definite pattern. Otherwise it will be extremely difficult to generate alternative ways of looking at the situation. The dominant idea will keep on dominating the issue.

Isolating Crucial Factors:

A crucial factor can immobilize a situation and make it impossible to change a point of view. It is extremely difficult to loosen up a pattern unless one can identify the rigid points.

The purpose of isolating a crucial factor is to be able to challenge the validity of it. Once it is found not to be crucial, more freedom for different viewpoints will emerge.


Then one also gets different techniques to stimulate or enhance a specific thinking method, like the following examples.

Scamper – also known as Osborn checklist
Mind mapping
Brainstorming
Storyboard
Written scenario
Drawing
Itemised response
The value comparison
The Harris profile
The six thinking hats
The fan concept
Provocative operation

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Most of the methods and techniques have been incorporated in our training manuals.

Any person can become more creative by self-induced shifts in attitude and psychological processes.

The following titles are included with membership:
  • 27 Creativity and innovation techniques explained
  • A Do It Yourself creative thinking manual
  • Training guidelines on creative thinking
  • The 8 D Problem-solving process

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