Part Two: Peaking Behind the Curtain

In this post, I take a look at the conversation that was scribed which focuses on the topic of lateral thinking, the author Edwards de Bono and building your toolbox for idea creating. Many of these same concepts play out in Graphic facilitator’ and Graphic Scribes’ worlds.

In the thINKing Canvas below, the group explores books 5 through 8 of Jim Gilmore’s 24 books of inspiration, innovation and the application of lateral thinking. Unlike vertical thinking which is focused around sequential processes like flow charting, mind mapping or even time lining, processes of a “NO” function as described by de Bono,  lateral thinking avoids the rigid contiguous stepping and allows provocation to create side stepping and alternative ides to emerge. It is this function of provocation that helps create “new” ideas and not hashing through old or existing streams of thought.

So, how does this apply to the “Experience Economy” book?

In the “Experience Economy”, both authors, Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore use the processes of lateral thinking and “PO” to divert the thinker from traditional trends in economic offers which may only produce slight alterations in a standard mechanism, to allow insight which may lead to progress of a higher level of offering called “Experiences.” It is these experiences with create unique differential in a given market or industry. Simply stated, to help create experiences within your offering, an owner/operator must break the traditional thinking construct and develop innovative mechanisms of presenting and delivering their offering.

One interesting method to help achieve this is through the use of your creative toolbox. By using the various steps gathered from Jerry Rhodes “Conceptual Toolmaking” and Edward de Bono’s thoughts on lateral thinking, one could re-explore their offering in its existing state and develop an innovative way of re-delivering.

Take Starbucks as a prime example. Starbucks wanted to create an experience around the coffee-house business. By possibly applying “PO” and the idea of reversal, Starbucks went from “Serving coffee to people”, the traditional business model, to “Serving people with coffee.” Yes, a subtle difference, but when you explore the direction of intent, you see the focus has change from serving the coffee to people, a traditional model, to that of serving people with coffee, a more personal interaction. This also affects the environment that host the action of serving as well as the culture of the staff who will perform the action of serving.

To summarize, apply Edward de Bono’s processes and exercises of lateral thinking and building your own Conceptual Toolbox can help you reconsider your offering and guide you closer to creating something more than just another business, rather an experience.

Next time we will dive into books 9 through 14 and explore failures, progression of ideas and baseball.

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