Lateral Thinking Problem Solving

The aim is to generate different ideas and to escape from the old ones.The formulator is not shy and will suggest event the most provocative alternatives that very few would have dared to suggest even in a brain storming session!De Bono uses the following example to demonstrate the technique of “Quota of alternatives”: “Consider the problem of a business which requires highly trained operators (for instance telephone operators).This is because the Problem Formulator provides suggestions for new points of entry. Since this is a non-technical issue, it is natural to concentrate on the General operators.Problem Formulator’s suggestions (Solution space) 1. Find an alternative way to provide (World class operation of system), which doesn’t require (Highly skilled operators). Find a way to enhance (World class operation of system). Find an alternative way to provide (Highly skilled operators), which provides or enhances (World class operation of system), and doesn’t require (Increasing operator qualifications). As an example, take statement 17: Find a way to eliminate, reduce or prevent (Operators leaving the company), under the condition of (Operators become attractive to other companies). Ideation’s Problem Formulator is probably the best tool one can find to automatically generate the food for thought that Lateral thinking thrives on.There is a clear link between TRIZ, and then specially the Problem Formulator, and Lateral thinking.Generally the Problem Formulator provides means to achieve ESCAPE and PROVOCATION by generating suggestions for lines of solutions.Lateral thinking forces us away from patterns that have deep grooves in all of us, and we all know that such behavioral grooves are very difficult to get out of.Ideation’s Problem Formulator, a technique that was added to TRIZ to help develop a clear view of the exact nature of the problem that must be solved, can help us here.This chapter deals with the techniques of avoiding dominating ideas.Lateral thinking is not specifically concerned with problem analysis, nor is it concerned with proving an idea to be inadequate.

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