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Thursday, September 24

Faults of Argument and Parallel Thinking!

One of my colleagues had a great argumentative mind. He would impeccably find 'fault' with every concept and idea. And yet, having found the 'fault' in reason/concept, he would fail miserably in building something new.

As I look back at many of the professional relationships I have had in Indian advertising, am amazed at how good many of us are at finding faults in other people's arguments and how little time(in relative terms) we devote to co-creating some idea/ concept!!

In case you are interested in this line of thinking, you could browse through Edward De Bono's book - Think! Before it's too late.

De Bono says...

1. With the traditional argument or adversarial thinking each side takes a different position and then seeks to attack the other side. Each side seeks to prove that the other side is wrong. This is the type of thinking that was established by the Greek Gang of Three (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) two thousand four hundred years ago.

2. Adversarial thinking completely lacks a constructive, creative or design element. It was intended only to discover the 'truth' not to build anything.

Value is never really created by only the adversarial mode of thinking! You get an ego boost. That's all about it...

3. But there is another, more constructive form of thinking called 'Parallel Thinking'. With 'parallel thinking' both sides (or all parties0 are thinking in parallel in the same direction. There is co-operative and co-ordinated thinking. The direction itself can be changed in order to give a full scan of the situation. But at every moment each thinker is thinking in parallel with all the other thinkers. There does not have to be agreement. Statements or thoughts which are indeed contradictory are not argued out but laid down in parallel.In the final stage the way forward is 'designed' from the parallel thought that have been laid out.

4. A simple and practical way of carrying out 'parallel thinking' is the Six Thinking Hats method which is now being used widely around the world both because it speeds up thinking and also because it is so much more constructive than traditional argument thinking.

5. As you may already know, the "Six Thinking Hats" is a powerful technique that helps you look at important decisions from a number of different perspectives.

While we all know these things, rarely do we put them into practice! The different hats and what they stand for are here...Am meeting a friend for some idea-generation for his new venture, so let me wear the yellow(positivity) and green(creative) hats and meet him...cheers

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