Week 4: Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking

Week 4: Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking

“Topic 6: Reorganization & Rearrangement … SCAMPER … Reversal … Dissection … Expansion … Discussion of stop & thinks … Topic 7: Lateral Thinking: PO: Provocative Orientation … PMI: Plus, Minus, Interesting … APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices … APC in process and design … Stepping Stone method: Getting outlandish … Discussion of stop & thinks … Week 4 Wrap-Up”
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Summaries

  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Topic 6: Reorganization & Rearrangement > Reorganization & Rearrangement
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > SCAMPER > SCAMPER
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Dissection > Dissection
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Expansion > Expansion
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of Stop & Thinks
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Topic 7: Lateral Thinking > What is lateral thinking?
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > PO: Provocative Orientation > PO: Provocative Orientation
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > PMI: Plus, Minus, Interesting > PMI: Plus, Minus, Interesting
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices > APC: Alternatives, Possibilites, Choices
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > APC in process and design > APC in process and design
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Stepping Stone method: Getting outlandish > Stepping Stone method: Getting outlandish
  • Week 4 - Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of stop & thinks

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Topic 6: Reorganization & Rearrangement > Reorganization & Rearrangement

  • Last week, we discussed two tools- observation and analogy- that fall under the letter “G” of “PIG In MuD.” Generate all possible solutions using innovation tools.
  • These tools help us to mix up elements, expand, dissect, and reverse our problem statement or its solutions.
  • The classic experiment proving functional fixedness is the candle problem.
  • Suppose I instruct you that you have a candle, a book of matches, and a box of thumbtacks.
  • Most people try to stick the thumbtack through the body of the candle or to melt the candle to the wall- neither of which work because the candle is too thick and heavy.
  • How would you approach this? The trick is to take the thumbtacks out of the box, stand the candle in the box, and tack the back of the box to the wall.
  • What you now have is a candle which can be lit with the matches standing up in a candle holder, which is the thumbtack box fixed to the wall.
  • I instruct him or her that they have a candle, a book of matches, a box, and some thumbtacks.
  • Why? Simply because they don’t have to take the tacks out of the box.
  • Rates of consent for organ donation are 4% in Denmark and 86% in Sweden- two countries we think of as being culturally similar.
  • How is this explainable? In both Denmark and Sweden, application for a driver’s license includes a check-off box asking whether the person wants to be an organ donor.
  • Denmark instructs applicants to check the box if they want to participate in the donation program while Sweden’s instruction is to check the box if they do not want to participate.
  • In Denmark, doing nothing is to not check the box and, thus, to not donate.
  • The result being a donation rate of 4%. In Sweden, doing nothing triggers organ donation- yielding participation at a whopping 86%. Stop and think.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > SCAMPER > SCAMPER

  • Rather than going into long definitions for each, let’s illustrate the power of their use with the help of our friend Edison.
  • Edison, as great of an inventor as he was, actually discovered very little that was truly new.
  • In late 1877, Edison recorded in his notebook a sketch of a weird and wild device that the media excitedly described as “able to talk.
  • How did Edison use SCAMPER? The genius inventor had previously created a device called a “telegraph repeater” that stored and later replayed the dots and dashes that make up a telegraphic message.
  • Edison’s use of SCAMPER thus involved- “S,” substituted telegraph repeater signals with voice vibrations; “C,” combined telegraph repeater and phonautograph; “A,” adapted by adding a voice playback mode, “M,” magnified Scott’s visual tracing to create sound playback; “P,” put to other uses the telegraph; “E,” eliminated Scott’s paper and lampblack and replaced them with more durable tinfoil; “R,” rearranged pieces from both parent devices.
  • An inventor named Dean Kamen has invented a device called the “SlingShot” which can purify enough dirty water to supply 100 people per day and requires no replacement parts and little power.
  • He then runs a column of this distilled water by a column of cool water such that the cool water boils and the boil water cools.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Dissection > Dissection

  • The map starts with the central problem- placed in the center- and then breaks it down into subproblems or steps towards that outcome.
  • That is, it forces us to define the outcome and then to dissect and sketch out the steps starting from that end and working to the beginning.
  • Then we break down the elements needed to attain that goal, such as- where to go? How many days? When it should happen and such.
  • From that, we break it down again into where to book accommodations, what kind of transport, and such.
  • Among the component parts of a problem, we hope to isolate one or more key elements with big impact.
  • Key elements are analogous to the towers holding up long and heavy suspension bridges or the single spot in the spinal cord that, if compressed, can cause paralysis from that point down.
  • It generally takes knowledge about a problem or outcome- and some luck- to pluck out such a central factor among the many possibilities.
  • When connecting end users, the phone system routes to a local and then a regional switchboard as though calls are spokes in a wheel.
  • Addresses would identify the receiver, and the system would route a packet using the quickest route based, not only on distance, but also on traffic.
  • Multiple and redundant linkages would mean that, if one computer were taken out, others would take its place.
  • Going back to Dean Kamen’s SlingShot water purification system, how is dissection demonstrated in his identification of key barriers and key solutions? Draw a mind map that illustrates this.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Expansion > Expansion

  • Evolution has been thought to occur through selection of individual genes, but a new idea in the field- promoted by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, amongst others- suggests that human trait selection may also occur at the level of the community.
  • Being part of a group magnifies individual advantage, Wilson proposes.
  • Groups being stronger than individuals, membership improves individual survival.
  • This explains why both selfishness and altruism exist as enduring human characteristics.
  • To maximize the opportunity for innovation, we should consider overarching answers like group selection.
  • Keys had been trying to prove the evils of cholesterol.
  • His first study involved white Minnesota businessmen and showed that men with super high blood cholesterol values were at major risk for heart disease, but such participants were too homogeneous to know if the elevated- but not super high cholesterol levels found amongst many Americans- were dangerous.
  • What resulted was The Seven Countries Study of traditional diets amongst 13,000 men from the US, Finland and other European nations, and Japan.
  • While Japanese men ate mostly fish and seaweed, Finnish fare included sandwiches- smearing butter atop cheese.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of Stop & Thinks

  • Before answering the SCAMPER question, consider how high-income countries purify water.
  • Public supplies are typically cleaned at the source using costly equipment, chemicals, and monitoring systems.
  • Some of the ways in which Dean Kamen used SCAMPER to overcome these problems are as follows.
  • “C,” combined distillation and heat exchange.
  • “A,” adapted to small communities using well water or sewage.
  • “E,” eliminated need for expensive power and replacement parts.
  • The system’s proceeding Kamen’s were suboptimal because they required large investment and ongoing cost.
  • The outcome Kamen was trying to achieve was to deliver accessible water to people in emerging economies.
  • A few of his steps working backward might have been to consider how to deliver water, available mechanisms for delivery, local and distant water purification processes, point of delivery options, et cetera.
  • Dean Kamen’s partnership with Coca-Cola brought him greatly needed investment.
  • Coca-Cola also has an extensive distribution system in developing countries, and so can help spread the technology.
  • Coca-Cola, in turn, is expanding outside their normal business model in this partnership in that they’re delivering a beverage that’s not bottled.
  • By mixing invention parts, reversing, dissecting, and expanding, these tools automatically challenge frames.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Topic 7: Lateral Thinking > What is lateral thinking?

  • All of these add to our toolbox for overcoming our habitual patterns of thinking for shifting frames.
  • Today we’ll take an even weirder leap into a set of methods for changing the way we perceive and think called lateral thinking.
  • What is lateral thinking? Lateral thinking is a set of methods devised by Edward de Bono to provide a means for, in his words, moving across patterns of thinking.
  • Lateral thinking avoids judgment about what is right or wrong and even about what makes sense.
  • De Bono devised a number of tools for lateral thinking, four of which we’ll visit today.
  • These are PO, which stands for provocative orientation; PMI, plus, minus, interesting; APC, alternatives, possibilities, choices; and the stepping stone method.
  • The gentleman leaned across the table, took his wife’s hand, and said, Julie, I want to give you something really special for our 25th wedding anniversary.
  • Would you prefer a new car, a mink coat, or a diamond necklace? Julie looked at him plaintively and sighed, Jack, I want a divorce, to which Jack’s immediate response was, I wasn’t planning on spending that much.
  • Jokes, it turns out, are a wonderful introduction to lateral thinking because they twist frames.
  • We expect Jack to react with sadness or anger when Julie rejects his loving gift with a surprising admission that she wants a divorce.
  • They simultaneously seem to make no sense, and yet they actually do make sense.
  • It’s like trying to make sense of an image of ourselves in a cracked mirror.
  • How does this make sense? A man walks into a party that’s just starting and drinks some punch.
  • Like all stop and thinks, I’ll let you in on some answers soon.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > PO: Provocative Orientation > PO: Provocative Orientation

  • PO puts forth a counterintuitive claim and asks us to defend it.
  • Like jokes and brain teasers, PO statements are meant to liberate us from conventional frames by offering statements that are ill-defined or seemingly illogical.
  • Consider the PO, cups should be made of ice.
  • Of course, such an invention would be useless in Houston in the summer, but how about Vermont in the winter? Cups made of ice would have the benefits of keeping drinks cold, being biodegradable, and being easy, cheap, and environmentally friendly to manufacture.
  • PO proposals, like cups made of ice, may seem too bizarre to be realistic, but have you ever heard of ice hotels? In several northern countries, such as Norway, Romania, and Canada, lodgings are built every winter of pure ice and snow, available to accommodate travelers looking for a unique adventure.
  • Visitors sleep in ice beds amidst the warmth of furs and sleeping bags meant to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Lobbies are decorated with benches made of ice, ice bars, and ice sculptures.
  • Consider POs such as robots should be able to perform independently as emergency operations personnel.
  • DARPA has always operated as though POs could be real, having sponsored development of revolutionary technologies that seemed pure fantasy until DARPA built them- the internet, Google Maps, voice recognition software.
  • POs turn into products prove the belief, imagine it, and you can do it.
  • See if you can defend the following PO counterintuitives.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > PMI: Plus, Minus, Interesting > PMI: Plus, Minus, Interesting

  • DR. ROBERTA NESS: PMI stands for plus, minus, interesting.
  • PMI takes us beyond good and bad to get to the kernel of what provokes new thoughts.
  • First judging good and bad, only to clear these aside, so we can consider what’s interesting.
  • A product we take for granted, that our grandparents would have considered extremely odd, is bottled water.
  • Bottles have the pluses of being convenient, portable, and presumably safer than tap water.
  • They have the minuses of being environmentally damaging both from discarded plastic and from the energy expenditure needed for bottling.
  • Plus, bottled water content is not highly regulated And so is highly variable in purity.
  • Some brands are less safe, than publicly available water research shows, but it’s good or bad anything that generates global sales of $60 billion per year using a source, that is widely available and free, is interesting.
  • Bottled water proves that intrinsic worth is not equal to perceived value.
  • From the freshwater springs of the Dolomites, sourced in Italy, bottled in Malta.
  • The Israeli company, Better Place, devised a plan whereby the customer pays $25,000 to own a battery powered car but does not own the battery.
  • What are the pluses, minuses, and most interesting aspects of this? Can you think of any other examples of the interesting aspects of this strategy? “.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices > APC: Alternatives, Possibilites, Choices

  • Is a tool that asks us to deliberately search for alternatives to counteract the tendency to be satisfied with quick solutions.
  • The American National Transportation Safety Board investigates every plane crash occurring in the United States.
  • At the scene itself, they can remain for days to weeks, but they don’t stop there.
  • They continued to gather data through disassembling the plane’s engine.
  • Back at headquarters, they analyze everything together a process that typically takes 12 to 18 months.
  • By not jumping to conclusions, they often find unexpected safety problems that must be fixed to ensure passenger safety.
  • Better places plan for customers to own the physical car, but for the company to own and maintain the battery is surely interesting.
  • The company has not done well for reasons you can find if you search for company information on the web.
  • What alternatives could the company have exercised to have better succeeded? “.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > APC in process and design > APC in process and design

  • Instead of simply continuing to negotiate back and forth, the contractor suggests a less expensive or less complex service at a lower price.
  • In operationalizing surprising designs, success is often found amongst possibilities beyond those most apparent.
  • The TV show, ABC Nightline with Ted Koppel, challenged the design firm, IDEO, famous for originating products such as the Apple mouse and the Palm handheld, to completely redesign something utterly familiar.
  • We went to IDEO, the product design folk, and said, take something old and familiar, like, say, the shopping cart and completely redesign it for us in just five days.
  • The shopping cart- IDEO was given just five days to get out of the box.
  • Based on what Tom Kelly, IDEO’s CEO, called instant anthropology, the design team observed parents struggling with small children, professional shoppers running the aisle cartless and returning with armfuls of commodities, and shopping cart traffic jams.
  • Team members ran down to the bike store to figure out how bikes glide.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Stepping Stone method: Getting outlandish > Stepping Stone method: Getting outlandish

  • DR. ROBERTA NESS: Stepping stones that move us into new idea space include exaggeration, distortion, and wishful thinking.
  • Writers often construct storylines by asking themselves; what would happen if, what would happen next? Such imagining by writers of science fiction includes; what if societies avoided wars, what if mind control could be used to attain world peace, what if space travel could attain light speed? By distorting a possible future, science fiction forces us to reconsider fundamental assumptions about behavior, politics, and ethics.
  • Fear stepped the world into hyper-speed in operationalizing a mammoth program of wishful thinking called the Green Revolution.
  • Stop and think, how could Better Place have benefited from use of the Stepping Stone Method? “.

Week 4 – Generate: Reorganization & Rearrangement; Lateral Thinking > Discussion of stop & thinks > Discussion of stop & thinks

  • Moving on to the stop and thinks about Better Place.
  • The pluses of the Better Place plan are that electric batteries are expensive to buy and costly to maintain.
  • The use-charge plan greatly reduces consumer outlay at purchased and the cost of battery replacement infrastructure over the life of the car.
  • Better Place’s investment would also provide a convenient network of recharging centers that would be impossible for the individual to buy outright.
  • The customer is also reliant on Better Place to fully develop the battery recharging system, without which the car purchase is not worthwhile.
  • What’s interesting is the combination of a purchase for the car body and a lease for the use of the battery.
  • Despite raising a $1 billion in funding and building hundreds of electric recharging stations throughout its home country Israel, Better Place went bankrupt in May, 2013.
  • The company should have been more focused on the concepts of electric cars and purchase lease.
  • It should have considered every possible social frame in marketing, and then extensively market tested its selling strategy before building the whole recharging system.
  • Better Place, headquartered in Israel, had the unique opportunity of being headquartered in a country with the world’s greatest need and desire to be oil free.
  • From marketing strategy to government investment, they should have been better leveraged.
  • Predictable threats to its business plan were lack of buy-in from the public and the cost of building an extensive system of electric power stations.
  • The stepping stone method, we might say, was misused by Better Place.
  • Imagining the worst rather than the best would’ve been a better use of stepping stones for Better Place.
  • The stepping stone method, like PO, PMI, and APC, all leverage De Bono’s fertile imagination to help us leap out of our frames.

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