Thinking Managers

Edward de Bono of says that the key to entrepreneurship is value sensitivity.

Value Appreciation

Coming up with a new idea and finding value are both difficult tasks. To generate new ideas you can use the deliberate tools of lateral thinking, but once you have found that new idea, appreciating its value is essential.
If you fail to find the value of the new idea then you will not develop it any further. This is where 'value sensitivity' is necessary.

It is worthwhile performing a 'value scan'; you scan in different directions to discover the various values involved.

A thorough scan is done by the thinker – just getting a rough idea of value is insufficient. All values should be looked for carefully and deliberately.

Think of a situation that appears negative and then attempt to find value in it. Perhaps the value is just for some people and only apparent in certain circumstances. Putting in the effort to find value is the important thing.

You should look for values before assessing the difficulties of a new idea. Finding value gives you an incentive to explore the idea fully, while seeing difficulties first will sap your motivation to take it further and look for value. If value is found first, the difficulties will be viewed as obstacles that can be overcome.

Just because you find value it doesn't mean you have to use the idea; the value might not be strong enough and the negatives might outweigh any positives.

But it is essential to put the effort into finding as much value as possible. If you make the effort, it becomes a habit, making it much less difficult to assess new ideas.

Finding value and deciding not to use an idea is very different from rejecting a new idea because you have found the negatives without looking for the positives.

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.