We are really simple creatures.
As I listened to a successful business leader of innovation I was dumbfounded at how even one of the most advanced organisations can use just a few different techniques and suddenly they’re classed as ‘innovative’. I have great respect for de Bono popularising creativity and expressing a few useful tools. And it is probably because of this that an organisation just selecting the first thing that occurs to them happens.
Perhaps it’s an explanation of why McDonalds does so well: Don’t give your customers too much choice!
Even if you felt called to use de Bono’s suite of techniques, ignoring the fact that none are validated (and that many other schools of thought exist), I remain bemused that a ‘leader’ of innovation would just choose the first technique that comes to hand. Not that the techniques themselves are poor in themselves – but surely an innovator would be called to look beyond the obvious?
If you want to use de Bono, go beyond the 6 Hats – they’re great, but they’re just the beginning. A scientist should explore water logic, action shoes, ToLoPoSoGo and a bunch of ideas outlined in Serious Creativity… AND look to other sources of thinking on creativity.
We set our standards so low… even people who innovate often end up just innovating enough. With the rise of Asia in an era of abundance and outsourcing, the only way that the developed world can continue to demand the sort of quality of life that it has grown accustomed to is through lifting up the value chain. We don’t get that by digging deeper holes: We get that by freeing our minds…
Take off the handbrake, unleash the throttle and explore the things that you’ve never thought possible… That is the path to genius.