A Simple Exercise in Anticonventional Thinking

Anticonventional thinking forces out of our normal pathways of creative problem solving to consider a wider range of potential solutions. Jeffrey Baumgartner explains how it works via a simple example.

Creative Problem Solving Technique: Become the Problem

When we are trying to generate ideas in order to solve a problem, whether through anticonventional thinking, brainstorming or another method, we typically distance ourself slightly from the problem. We look for ideas on how to improve our company’s product, how to deliver better customer service, how to cut costs or alternative business models. In all of these cases, we separate ourselves from the problem and, by so doing, we potentially limit our understanding of the problem. Why not take a different approach and become the problem?

Idea Management: How to Select the Right Solutions to Implement

Most ideation activities result in the generation of a number of ideas. However, in most cases, only one idea – or a collection of ideas combined into one bigger idea – will actually be implemented. This does not mean that any one of the solutions is actually the right solution. Only that one solution is chosen. Unfortunately, the designers of many an innovation initiative fail to consider this simple fact. As a result, the chosen idea is often not in the best interest of the individual or the organisation running the initiative. Worse, in many cases no idea is ever implemented.

Overcoming Opportunity Blindness and Path Dependence: How To Think Your Way to Multiple Futures

In the age of permanent uncertainty there is a resurgent interest in scenario planning. Executives that have witnessed high profile decline of strong companies know that past success is no guaranteed guide to the future. Kevin McDermott & Peter Kennedy argue that scenario planning can be lifted out of its conventional uses in strategy development and risk management and used instead to avoid “opportunity blindness”.