Thinking Managers

Edward de Bono of draws a distinction between ideas creativity and artistic creativity and points out that the formed can be learned in the same way as any other subject.

Ideas and Creativity

Some people are considered creative while others are not.  People who are thought of as creative do seem to have a lot of ideas.  But they are motivated towards creativity and are on a constant lookout for new ways of doing things.

Lateral thinking is a valuable tool for producing new ideas.  It is founded on the understanding that the brain is a self-organising information system that forms asymmetric patterns.

Lateral thinking’s formal techniques can be learned, practised and used systematically.  There is no need to wait for new ideas to happen as they can be formally produced.
In the same way as we learn maths or French, “idea creativity” can also be learned.

Unfortunately, people are often reluctant to accept that idea creativity is a skill that can be learned.  The first thing you have to do is separate idea creativity from artistic creativity, and then you can commence learning and developing the skill of thinking for new ideas.  This is the basis for “lateral thinking”.

When we talk about “innovation”, we really mean implementing a new idea for your business. Perhaps the idea has been borrowed, copied or stolen from someone else’s organisation.  It is a rare occurrence for innovation to come about from a genuinely new idea.

New ideas don’t come about very often without motivation because the human brain is designed to make patterns and habits.  This ability is useful and without it life would be impossible.  However, there are also times when we need to escape from the tramlines of routine.  This is essential to creativity.

About the author
Edward de Bono is the world's leading authority in the field of creative thinking and the teaching of thinking as a skill.