The usual way to bring about chnage is to prove that something is wrong or inadequate and needs altering. But if something is already adequate, a new idea is unlikely to be adopted, however much better it is.
Language is OK at describing new things - a helicopter, television or computer - but less good at describing new types of mental behaviour. So perhaps we need to invent a new word to describe certain types of mental activity.
In a business, who should be on the lookout for 'concepts'? Concepts can occur to anyone at any time, so the answer is that it is everybody's business to look for new concepts.
At an early stage, creative people can sense the 'smell' of a new idea. They are then sufficiently motivated to pursue and develop that creative thought. But how do they do it?
It doesn't matter what the economic conditions are, better thinking is never a luxury. And now, when times are hard,
better thinking – which must must include creativity - is an absolute necessity.
Looking at similarity, difference and contrast in business ideas is a worthwhile exercise because all three can be used to boost the creative thinking process.
Some people are excellent at managing in situations when things are going very well. There are also people who succeed in managing when things are going badly. But not many people can manage successfully in times of great uncertainty.
Even more so than normal, tough times call for creative solutions. This means more than just problem solving; the skill of creative thinking is one that can – and should - be learnt.
Seeking better, simpler, faster or cheaper ways to do something should be everyone's business all the time. That includes all the heads of departments and divisions, whatever their function.
Edward de Bono explains how our very practical obsession with truth makes us anxious to pick on one perception and ignore others, and why that needs to change through creativity
Many managers are reluctant to try out new ideas because, if an idea fails, it is seen as their failure. So perhaps companies need a 'new ideas officer' to encourage, develop and protect new thinking.
Many people regard all thinking as problem-solving. It isn't. Powerful, useful new ideas can equally emerge when no obvious problem is apparent. That's what creative thinking is all about.
People who are very creative usually achieve more by themselves than in a group. For others, the opposite is true and they find it very hard to think on their own. But with the right tools, both groups can be helped to improve their thinking skills.
Creativity is not just for people with a creative temperament. Lateral thinking and its formal techniques can be learned and used deliberately by everyone.
As the old cliché goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. But just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. Remember, not all thinking is about problem-solving.
Coming up with possibilities from within the confines of an organisation can be hard because traditional management tends to prefer conclusions instead. One solution to this is to appoint a possibilities officer.
Most of us are fond of arguing. But as a means of exploring a subject, argument is a primitive, crude and inefficient technique with far too much emphasis on ego. A much better way of exploring a subject is parallel thinking.
There are many reasons why complacency occurs. Some people have an aversion to taking risks. Others are frightened of creativity and new ideas because they are unsure of how to deal with them.
Everybody has the desire to be creative. Everybody ought to want to be creative. Life can be more fun, more interesting and more rewarding with creativity.
Sometimes ideas do not survive. They are discarded or forgotten and never make it beyond the initial discussion stage. There are many and varied reasons why this happens.
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