Further Thoughts on ‘Thinking out of that dang box’
The last post was rather lengthy, so I’ll be concise. Sometimes you don’t have time to write things down, and build up a large detailed model. If you are in a group, and the group is struggling to be innovative, here is a quick strategy to generate different thoughts. AgainThis strategy is more for idea generation as opposed to solving a problem start to finish.
The strategy is to put your problem in the form of a specific and detailed question, pick out the ‘power words’, and then ask yourself questions about those words.
For instance, in the last post, the example was “how can a rectangular cake with a rectangular slice be cut in half with one straight knife cut?”
Now, let’s use our strategy of idea generation just to wander our thoughts and see what cool stuff we can think of. Using the strategy, we parse out the important words:
“rectangular cake” “rectangular slice” “cut” “half” “one” “straight” “knife” “knife cut”
Remember, we are just generating cool thoughts at this point, nothing else. At this point, we ask ourselves whatever questions come to mind.
- rectangular cakes
“what if i threw that cake up in the air?”
“What are different types of rectangular cakes?”
“Are all cakes rectangular?”
“Why are cakes rectangular?”
“Rectangular cakes are like ‘the box’ that we can’t think outside of”
“What are different types of cuts?”
“How does one make a cut?”
“What if I used a sword to cut?”
“half of what? half of the volume? the surface area?”
“what if we were in 4 diemsions, what would half a cake be?”
“what if I paid a mathematician to solve ‘half’ for me”
“straight as in arrow-straight or straight as in non-gay?”
“what else is straight?”
“what is straight but isn’t like an arrow straight?”
“what else could we use besides a knife?”
“what do the things we use to cut a cake with have in common?”
“what are different ways to cut?”
“how do chefs cut?”
“why do we usually cut slices like we do?”
Anyway, as you can see, you can generate a lot of thoughts simply by parsing the sentence and asking yourself questions about the individual objects, possibly connecting thoughts across domains that you wouldn’t have beforehand.
Thanks for reading.