Creative Problem Solving
January 8, 2009
Paul Sloane, author of the book Improve Your Lateral Thinking
Typically, when we approach a problem we set artificial boundaries on it. We make assumptions about the way it's always been solved (all the things you can do and the things you can't do) and those assumptions inhibit us from coming up with really creative new solutions. And one of the first things we must do is discard all of those assumptions.
Paul says there are so many great examples of lateral thinking...
The supermarket: All shops used to be the same layout. People would walk in, ask for goods and an assistant would serve them. And then in the 1920's a man called Michael Cohen said, "What would happen if we turned the whole shop layout around and let people serve themselves?" - and he created the supermarket. Dick Fosbury at the 1968 Olympics: Up until then everybody had leapt over in the high jump with their stomach over the bar. He came up with a different approach and he went over on his back. Now everybody does it.
Even radio broadcasting is the result of lateral thinking.
When Marconi first proposed to transmit radio signals from England to Canada the experts said it was stupid. We know the earth is round and we know that radio signals travel in straight waves so they'll go off into space. But when he tested it, it worked. It was a crazy idea but it worked.
Complete interview is not available.
- Length: 1:48 minutes (1.64 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)