Lateral thinking expert Edward De Bono framed it succinctly when he said, “there is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all.”
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Bees called in to deter vandals at attraction - thinking laterally by using nature as a security system:
Bee hives are being planned as a natural way to tackle vandalism at the Greenfield Mills heritage site. The historic mill buildings at the heart of Greenfield Valley heritage park were forced to shut due to damage by vandals. Now park managers have been “thinking laterally” about how to maintain the site vandalism-free.
Chris Wright, operations manager at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, said: “Anyone who wanted to scale the fence would think twice about it if there were bees in there.”
“We’re not going to hide the hives and hope they sting people, we’re hoping it will add to the ecology of the valley – but deterring vandals is a happy side-effect.”
Interesting example of lateral thinking to help reduce the rate of crime:
Breaking vicious circles of crime calls for a measure of lateral thinking. It means embracing fresh approaches that may be controversial.
An initiative in North Lanarkshire, which involves focusing energy and resources on a small number of problem families, could be portrayed as rewarding bad behaviour. And yet the latest crime figures from the North Lanarkshire police division suggest this novel approach is working.
It follows that diverting a young man from a dysfunctional family into a more positive outlet for his energies is a worthwhile investment in purely economic as well as human terms.
Value Creation from Opportunities
You need to identify opportunities to create value. That is the essence of entrepreneurship. And to identify opportunities, often you need creativity/lateral thinking. The professor gives a few examples including one really out of the box idea.
An insight switch-over involves discontinuity. It involves breaking loose from an established way of looking at things in order to find a new one. For this reason insight cannot be achieved by the sequential process of logical thinking which insists that you must be right at each stage.
So logical thinking will only preserve the established way of looking at things - not change it. To do this one needs lateral thinking.
One way to stimulate creativity is humor. Edward de Bono recommends this quite consistently in his works. And when you want to be jerked out of fixed pattern thinking what is better than a RGM - Rube Goldberg Machine?
Rube Goldberg’s legendary capacity to make simple things complex (yes, you read it right!) has captivated me from my first encounter with his works in mid 80s.
Here is a video just one of the umpteen ones on YouTube. Just an appetizer this. Caution: RGM is addictive!