Edward de Bono of www.thinkingmanagers.com describes how thinking of small ideas can often lead to bigger things.
Focusing on Small Ideas
Creativity is often thought of in the context of big ideas and big strategy changes. However, managers should also give time to small ideas and small creativity.
As an exercise, try coming up with a small change in the way you brush your teeth or the way you put on your shoes – this is good practice in creativity, even if you don’t use the new methods.
People with creative minds and habits should be able to look at anything at all and think of a different way to do it. However, the key to the process is finding value in the alternative.
Instead of finding faults in an existing product, method or process, you should focus on showing the value of the alternative. This is very different to the approach people generally take to problem solving.
Once the value has been identified you can then try to strengthen that value and maybe look at delivering it in a different way. If you can’t find a value then the thinking reaches a full stop.
Value sensitivity is a key skill for managers, but too much emphasis is placed on critical thinking and the search for the ‘next big idea’.
About the author