Chapter 5 - How to think for great ideas

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How to think for great ideas


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too restrictive. He says we're also capable of conceptual thinking, analytical thinking, speculative thinking, right-brain thinking, critical thinking, foolish thinking, convergent thinking, weird thinking, reflective thinking, visual thinking, symbolic thinking, propositional thinking, digital thinking, metaphorical thinking, mythical thinking, poetic thinking, nonverbal thinking, elliptical thinking, analogical thinking, lyrical thinking, practical thinking, divergent thinking, ambiguous thinking, constructive thinking, thinking about thinking, surreal thinking, focused thinking, concrete thinking and fantasy thinking.19
  But most people unwittingly limit their thinking potential. One reason is the brain's ability to file material inside existing patterns. When a new problem is tackled, we're conditioned to go down the track of previous answers. We all have preconceptions, taboos and prejudices, though few of us ever admit to them. They can be emotional, cultural, religious, educational, national, psychological, sexual or culinary.
  We are also preconditioned from school to come up with "the right answer" - not the open-minded challenge for a better way. Almost every adult who has succeeded at high school or college will have firm ideas on the best educational system. And it will generally be the system that he succeeded in. Listen to anyone praise a "good school" and you will almost certainly find a school that suits that particular person's learning style.
  Now that's not unusual. You could probably go through life and never find a person totally objective about everything. And fortunately no one system of education, or religion, or health, suits all. So perhaps the first step in "conceptual blockbusting" - to use James Adams' term
20 - is to accept that we all have fears, we all have biases. The best way we know to start overcoming them is to combine fun and humor. That often works for students in particular. A fun-filled atmosphere can lead to high creativity.
  If you're not used to "far-out" brainstorming sessions, probably a good warm-up exercise is to start with a humorous challenge. Try inventing a new golf ball - one that can't get lost. Or planning what you'd do with a holiday on the moon or underwater. Or ask some "What if?" questions. Like what would happen if pets became school teachers? Or if computers ran the government? Then use some of de Bono's techniques, such as PMI, CAF, C&S, APC and his "Six Thinking Hats."
  PMI standards for Plus, Minus and Interesting. Here the students


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