Edward de Bono's recent message, father of lateral thinking: 'thinking to be a problem

Mistranslated, Be: sólo pensamos en soluciones For Problems.

Here is the original text, my translation and my comments:

"Because we often consider 'thinking' to be problem solving we do not think much about matters which are not problems. If there is a wide open road ahead of us we do not stop to consider the side roads. This is what I call ‘blocked by openness’. Many things continue because they are reasonably satisfactory so we never think any more about them. A classic example is democracy which is full of faults and limitations but can never be challenged. I can think of at least four ways in which democracy could be greatly improved.

Whose business is it to think about things which are not problems?"

“Acostumbrados a pensar para resolver problemas, no damos ninguna importancia a lo que no es un problema. Si circulamos por una enorme autopista, siempre pensamos en los carriles centrales, no en las vías laterales. Es lo que llamo “bloqueo por abertura”. Muchas cosas continúan como están porque ya están bien, and that's why we never think about them again. A common example would be democracy, a system full of errors and limitations but no one dares question. I can think of at least four ways democracy could be improved.

What business is there to solve things other than problems?"

I agree with Bono. Sometimes we tend to take for good what could be Improved. The Democracy is a good example, but we could go much further: marital relations, parents's and children's,... The general tendency is to think: if it works, let it be.

However, I think there are businesses that don't just solve problems, but they generate new opportunities. The invention of the Mop –Spanish by-the-way-, didn't solve any problems, because at that time scrubbing the floors by hand was not a problem, it was a custom. The invention was an opportunity, and today past the years, yes we might consider that hand scrubbing a floor is a problem.

The low cost would be a similar case. A few years ago, the price of a plane ticket from Madrid to Brussels, about €500, it wasn't a problem, it was ato reality assumed. The appearance of the low cost created a new opportunity to travel to Brussels for 90 euros. Thanks to that opportunity, thousands of people who hadn't even thought about traveling there have done it. Problem or opportunity? Question of nuance.

I'll leave you with this “Problem” side-thinking: In the basket there are six eggs, and six people take one egg each. How can it be that there is still an egg left in the basket?. The solution in the next post.

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About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (programs of branded internal ambassadors).

Soymimarca Partner, Integrates Personal Branding and The Human Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis and QUIFER Consultants.

I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, UPF's Social Media Graduate and UVIC, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.

My advertising DNA comes from 20 years in agencies: Time/BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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