LATERAL THINKING TO GENERATE NEW IDEAS
I used Edward de Bono’s Random Word technique to generate some new ideas.
These were exercises in his book “HOW TO HAVE CREATIVE IDEAS”.
I liked the process so much that I decided to share the results of my first effort with my friends and readers.
The Random Word technique requires you to select random numbers from Tables given at the end of the book; you use the first number for the Table number, the second for column number, the third for Group number, and the fourth to select the word in the Group as your Random Word.
As my first exercise, I selected the three areas in which you are asked to provide new Ideas; these are:
(1) NEW IDEAS TO MAKE A BANK MORE ATTRACTIVE TO IT’s CUSTOMERS,
(2) THE PROBLEM OF GRAFFITI BEING PAINTED ON BUILDINGS IN A TOWN,
(3) THE PROBLEM OF CARS GOING TOO FAST ALONG A STRAIGHT STRETCH OF ROAD.
Can you generate some ideas of your own? Read on to check my answers, then contribute by posting some great comments!
The first problem:
(1) New ideas to make a bank more attractive to its customers.
Using the tables, I got the digits 6423. Using the appropriate table, column, and Group, I got the Random Word “REFUGEE”
As a first exercise, I noted down the first few ideas:
# Treat customers as well as you treat asylum – seekers;
# A refugee camp with tents and free food being distributed, and
# The Bank’s staff move around the room identifying the clients, their needs, and helping them finish their work.
My New Idea: instead of customers taking tokens and lining up, waiting for Teller’s to do the work, everything is automated & the staff moves around the room, speaks to the clients, understands each one’s issue, and then guide them appropriately, thereby resolving many issues, shortening the waiting time, and increasing human interaction. This would make Banks way more attractive to clients than they are now!
(2) The problem of graffiti being painted on buildings in a town
Using the tables the numbers generated is 5162, and the Random Word is AROMA.
The first few ideas:
# Buildings should smell nice
# Use perfumes to camouflage bad smells
# Use paint which emits specific, pleasant smells.
My New Idea: The outer walls of buildings should be painted by the owners themselves in specific themes – Flowers, vegetation s, Natural scenes, which also give out specific aromas/scents to attract people. Outsiders are less likely to paint graffiti on walls which have such scenes and also smell nice.
(3) The problem of cars going too fast along a straight stretch of road
Using the tables, I got the numbers 6534, and the Random Word generated is BET.
The first few ideas:
# Gambling den
# Hoardings showing a casino
# Hoardings saying there is a bet on an accident happening
My New Idea: My New Idea: Along the straight stretch of road, a few electronic boards are placed; the boards mention the number of accidents that have happened along that stretch of road, and also the speed above which most accidents happen. One board states that the Mayor has placed a $100 bet on an accident happening today. Motorists will be intrigued and curious to read these boards; they will slow down also to avoid accidents.
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