Thinking the Unthinkable” in his book Creative Thinkering.

Thinking the Unthinkable

For this week’s assignment we’re going to take a look at an activity Michalko introduces in the chapter “Thinking the Unthinkable” in his book Creative Thinkering.

Suppose you own a business (of any kind) and want to issue unique invitations to your grand opening.

For your notes:

1. Define the business.

2. Be a dreamer:  First, list as many fantastical ideas as you can (At least 10).  Some examples:

-Have the invitation magically appear on the invitee’s desk.

-Have a chair fitted with a sensor so that, when a prospect sits, the chair invites the person.

-Guarantee wealth and happiness to all who come.

-Create a plant that sprouts an invitation

3. Be a realist:  Now bring ALL of your fantasies down to earth by working with theconcepts you find in them.  Some of the concepts from the preceding list are “magically appear,” “guarantee,”  “sprouts,” and “magic pill.”  Refine your ideas.  Create a new list of realist ideas (At least 10).

Quick note: For the purposes of this course we’re going to shy away from being a critic for now. That’s taking us into the direction of innovation. Right now we are solely interested in finding a way to freely produce as many absurd ideas as possible!

Once you’ve completed the activity use these questions to evaluate your experience. Answers should be in paragraph form (i.e. a paragraph for each question).:

1. What was most helpful about this exercise?

2. What was most challenging?

3. Could you apply this type of activity in another area of your life? Could this exercise be helpful in the future?

4. How would you rate the value of this exercise on a scale of 1-10? Why?

5. In one sentence-what did you learn?

6. Building upon your thoughts in number 5, what ideas were generated and which ones were most interesting? Why?

7.  Would you prefer this activity to last weeks?

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