Lateral Thinking Tool: Provocation & Movement
Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking tools, Provocation & Movement, help us move from a provocative statement to useful ideas.
Employees are often admonished to “think outside the box” with no instructions for how to do so. Provocation & Movement designate a formal process that enables you exit the box with ease—and return with a compelling list of innovative ideas to consider.
First participants learn the definition of a Provocation, or PO. Then they prepare for the uncomfortable fact that Provocations are deliberately unreasonable ideas that would be immediately vetoed by those who do not understand the process.
Trained Lateral Thinkers know that these ideas are only posed to change perception and offer a new starting point from which to move to more practical alternatives. They use Movement techniques to get from the Provocation to an idea that could work.
Provocation & Movement Example: Many years ago Dr. de Bono was demonstrating Lateral Thinking tools for New York Magazine. One of the topics given to him was the shortage of police officers to patrol the streets. Using a Provocation technique called Exaggeration, Dr. de Bono produced this statement: “The police have six eyes.”
From this came the suggestion that individual citizens act as extra eyes to watch for unusual activities in their neighborhoods. The whole interview was written up in the magazine and this particular idea led to the development of the Neighborhood Watch program, now used widely throughout the United States and Canada.
Learn more about Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking Thinking Tools.