Lateral Thinking Tool - random input


Wang Qiong: De Bono China's chief lecturer



Our brains are very good at making connections, and it can connect two seemingly unrelated things together. Random input is to take full advantage of this feature of the brain, seemingly need to solve the problem has nothing to do with the things or objects to open up a new idea. "How to improve product packaging," the example is the random input tool to think about the process.

The technique of random input is simple and easy to use, and can be very effective in helping people break the shackles of existing patterns. It can produce stimulating, exciting ideas.

In a self-organized, pattern-created system, once a pattern is created, you can easily think along the existing trajectory of that pattern. To get out of that existing track to get new ideas, very difficult. The use of random input can help us to open new ideas for the focus of thinking. Therefore, the random input in our inherent ideas to repeat, it can not think of new concepts when the effect is particularly evident.


This is the simplest way to "level thinking" tools, and also the most interesting one. Nowadays this method has been used in most of the world's major advertising agencies. Random thoughts, such as random objects, words, people, magazines, or exhibits. The key to this approach is that random things can not be deliberately chosen. Because if you can choose, is intentionally close to the relevant aspects of reality ideas, that will only strengthen the existing ideas, but will not change them. Therefore, this approach requires people to passively accept a random outcome. Or consciously producing a random outcome.
The simplest form is random to find a word. You can specify the page number on the dictionary and specify the first few words on the page.


Dr De Bono, for example, has discussed teacher training in a country. The country is growing rapidly and needs a large number of teachers. We randomly found the word "tadpole" in the dictionary, apparently has nothing to do with the training of teachers. From the tadpole word we can imagine is that they have a tail. Therefore, we can say: "PO" teacher has a tail. In fact what does that mean? It can mean that there are two assistants or trainees around the teacher, slowly, they can more and more take over the teacher's work. In this way, the number of teachers can be increased by a factor of two, and a training institute can be set up to enable in-service teachers to train in the future.




Random words are used to explore those hidden thoughts. The link between traffic lights and cigarettes allows us to create a new idea: mark a red line at a distance of 1.5 cm from the cigarette butt to inform smokers of the most dangerous areas and prompt them to extinguish the option of cigarettes .






At first glance, this seems illogical - think that a random word can solve all the problems (make sure it has to be chosen at random). However, in a model system, this is indeed very reasonable. If you live in London, I throw you anywhere in London and eventually you will find your way home (using your knowledge, maps, directions, etc.). When you get home, you'll find yourself walking a different path than you used to. This is the principle of random vocabulary. We are in the process of thinking will be along the traditional road. If we walk along the random vocabulary prompts, it will find its own association. These associations will be linked to the problem sooner or later. We can now proceed along this new road to solve the problem and see what we can find.

In fact, some randomly found vocabulary and the problem of the relationship is too close, and therefore rarely play a stimulating role. This happens from time to time. However, this is not the case if the random vocabulary has very little to do with the problem to be solved. This is not surprising, because if we follow random words, it will prompt us with more vocabularies until we find the closest one. We can also extract from the random vocabulary of some elements, such as "elephant" to convey to us the meaning of the word can be very great. Obviously, this applies to most scenarios.


Some have told Dr De Bono how they have used random words to design important new products in many areas. These areas include: financial services, household goods, bridge construction and so on. In each of the following cases, a random word is used to stimulate new ideas.
       1. Random words "soap", scene: furniture design.
       2. Random word "forest", scenario: operating a bank.
       3. Random words "rocket", scene: choose a vacation place.
       4. Random vocabulary "vote", the scene: to reduce the situation of urban traffic congestion.
       5. Random words "cloud", scenarios: to encourage energy conservation.
       6. Random vocabulary "newspaper", the scene: a file of new television programs.


Often, we experience the external environment of debate and conflict to change old ideas and generate new ideas. But this method does not enable us to fundamentally change. Horizontal thinking method allows us to gain insight and reorganization of the information obtained in a controlled manner in a controlled manner under the new ideas to change their old ideas, the original perception and way of doing things. From its own internal change, in order to achieve the true sense of the "change from the inside out."


Horizontal thinking is a set of creativity training tools that enable us to learn creative processes and methods for problem solving and problem solving, generate new values, and enhance the competitiveness of individuals and teams. For enterprises, the specific value of the performance in: to improve the organizational and individual innovation ability; to identify the problem, the definition of innovation and need to work direction; application of normative tools for creative thinking; harvest thinking results, in-depth development; for innovation To provide a platform and micro-culture; break through the routine, to change the habit of dealing with the original problem.
Innovation is no longer an old-fashioned brainstorm, nor is it an artist-inspired dash, but a new value that can be gained through systematic thinking and steps in horizontal thinking. "Horizontal thinking" allows us to jump out of the "thinking of the box" so that we think more colorful, more quality, so that "mind sailing!