When you focus your attention on a specific subject, a couple of patterns get activated in your brain and these dominate the perception at that moment. These patterns are created by your knowledge and your experiences, they have a tendency to produce predictable ideas, therefore using them to think about problems can be in itself problematic. These patterns also become stronger by its use, we tend to strengthen and protect our patterns instead of questioning them.
A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it. - Bertrand Russell
What should one do to break these habitual behaviours?
If you change your focus when thinking about something you "know" to thinking about something that is totally unrelated, then different patterns get activated. Now, here's the possibility to create a connection between two different patterns, these connections will not always be novel, but you can always judge its value after the process.
Think about the opposite of your problem. Most problem definitions are positive oriented, they focus on the challenge to get better or more. Instead of trying to get better by adding, we can look at things in the opposite way. Instead of saying how can we sell more products, turn it on its head and think what should we do so people don't buy our designs.
Start by stating your problem definition:
What should we do to prevent interest in our work?
- Using none-environmental materials
- Breaking consistency
- Lack of product knowledge/description
- Not helping & solving problems
- No perceived value
- No risk prevention, no guarantee
- Not thinking about the user
- Not taking the users perspective
This process focus the weaknesses instead of adding strength. By preventing weakness in creative ways, what is left is something strong. But why stop there, You can add more strengths after removing the weaknesses. Or you can think about how you could make a weakness in to a strength.
The trick here is to think of both sides, being able to think about opposite sides of a problem at the same time, can create a connection between different patterns. After dissecting both sides; maybe a new perspective will percolate your perception and change how you conduct your work.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe by RSS!