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03 July 2015

RVO:Creativity Mental Block #1: Searching for the one right answer

This post is a continuation of THIS POST. Please read it before you read this post

"Nothing is more dangerous than an idea if that is the only one we have".....Emile Chartier

Our education system teaches us to look for one right answer. However, in reality, depending on different perspectives and contexts, you could get multiple answers for the same problem. Most of the time, the alternative solutions may be far superior.

Von Oech asks us to look for 'Second best answer' to all the problems. He suggests the following steps to identify the alternative solution.
  1. Ask 'What if' questions
  2. Reverse the problem
  3. Modify the question. For example, instead of asking 'What is the solution', ask 'What are the solutions'
  4. Ask questions that whack people's thinking
  5. Rephrase the question
One of the quotes by Heraclitus says 'When there is no sun, we can see evening stars'. One has to identify the 'Sun', the dominant feature of the problem. and defocus on it to get creative ideas.

Von Oech says that in problem solving, forgetting what you know is as important as knowing. He mentions the story of a pot filled with water. No more water can flow into it. For it to be filled with new, fresh water, it is necessary to throw out the old water.

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