Michael Michalko recently published this article on CreativeThinking.net and I found it to be absolutely fascinating!
First of all, thank you Michael for educating me on when and where the phrase ‘thinking outside of the box’ came from. I hear people use that expression almost daily, and until reading this article, I never knew where it came from.
Secondly, thank you for shining a light on the difference between ‘exclusive’ and ‘inclusive’ thinking.
Our education system has not done us any favours by teaching us to think ‘exclusively’ — focusing our attention on specific details and excluding everything else.
When people attend a brainstorming session, ‘exclusive’ thinking is what they bring with them. They can’t help it – it’s how we are all trained to think. So in our brainstorming sessions, we do our best to push against exclusive thinking and lean towards inclusive thinking.
Inclusive Thinking Boosts Brainstorming
All of the creative exercises we use in our brainstorming sessions are designed to encourage the guests to look at a problem statement or a task from different perspectives.
One of my favourite creative exercises to alter perspective and encourage inclusive thinking is called ‘Halloween Costume’. Guests are asked to bring with them a couple of things that they can wear during the session to replicate their favourite Halloween costume (from a very young age).
When the guests get into character, we then ask them to look for solutions to the problem statement from the perspective of their character – whether it’s a clown, pirate, cowboy, angel, or ghost.
As crazy as this all sounds, it’s not only a ton of fun, but it also produces an incredible amount of very creative ideas because it forces a different perspective: inclusive thinking.
Michael Michalko describes it beautifully:
“Creative thinking is inclusive thinking. You consider the least obvious as well as the most likely approaches, and you look for different ways to look at the problem. It is the willingness to explore all approaches that is important, even after one has found a promising one.”
Brainstorming for Business
Inclusive thinking can lead to amazing ideas! Let us help you get there – get in touch today.