Lateral Thinking Tool: Treatment of Ideas
Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking tool, Treatment of Ideas, helps develop ideas and shape them to fit an organization or situation.
Treatment is particularly useful for working with Beginning Ideas to make them more specific and practical. One Treatment method is called Shaping. Here you think of any constraints that might interfere with the execution of the idea. Then you shape the idea to fit within these constraints.
Treatment of Ideas Example: The human resources department of a large organization was generating ideas on how to market their lateral thinking classes internally. One idea was to offer the services of those who had already been trained to generate innovative ideas for those who had not had the training.
One of the constraints was that the trained lateral thinkers had their own jobs to do and were not readily available. Using Treatment, several ideas were generated for shaping the idea to address this constraint:
- Publicize a set weekly time that the team would be available for a one-hour idea generation meeting.
- Have focus areas submitted to the team online and then have team members contribute ideas individually when their schedules permitted.
The department chose to go online with their offer. Once the team produced several winning ideas for various departments, word began to spread about the power of Lateral Thinking. Eventually over 1,000 employees were trained and began to use the tools for themselves.
Learn more about Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking Thinking Tools.