Provocation as a creativity technique

The provocation technique according to Edward de Bono leads further away from established thought patterns. Targeted exaggerations or falsifications of assumptions about the current situation help the participants to leave familiar thought patterns behind. Through exaggerations, the participants sense that they are not getting anywhere with their thought patterns. Ideally, they open up to new ways of thinking and leave their unsuitable paths sooner than without the provocation. For example, if a company’s incoming orders are gradually declining, it helps to imagine that incoming orders will be cut in half. Only under such conditions is there a willingness to break with continuous thinking and acting and really approach the problem in a completely new way. The provocation technique can contribute to the fact that an appropriate problem consciousness is brought about in time and effective measures are introduced. Of course, it is always difficult to get the ear of decision makers for provocations and not to be dismissed as doomsayers. Successfully initiating such provocation exercises requires empathy and diplomacy. However, the effort is worth it.


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