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How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks

How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks

How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks

    How can you think of things that no-one else thinks of? The answer is by deliberately taking a different approach to the issue from everyone else. There are dominant ideas in every field. The brilliant thinker purposefully challenges those dominant ideas in order to think innovatively.

    Thinker

      Albert Szent-Gyorgy, who discovered Vitamin C, said, ‘Genius is seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no-one else has thought.’ If you can identify the standard viewpoint then survey the situation from a different viewpoint you have an excellent chance of gaining a new insight. When Jonas Salk was asked how he invented the vaccine for polio he replied, ‘I imagined myself as a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.’

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      Ford Motor Corporation asked Edward de Bono, who originated the concept of lateral thinking, for some advice on how they could clearly differentiate themselves from their many competitors in car manufacturing. De Bono gave them a very innovative idea. Ford had approached the problem of competing from the point of view of a car manufacturer and asked the question, “How can we make our cars more attractive to consumers?” De Bono approached the problem from another direction and asked the question, “How can we make the whole driving experience better for Ford customers?” His advice was that Ford should buy up car parks in all the major city centers and make them available for Ford cars only. His remarkable idea was too radical for Ford who saw themselves as an automobile manufacturer with no interest in the car parks business.

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      In 1954 the British Government held an auction for commercial television regions. Many companies were interested in bidding for the franchises. They analysed the demographics of the regions to identify which were the wealthiest regions that would produce the most advertising revenues. The result was that they focused on London and the South-East of England. Sydney Bernstein was Managing Director of a small chain of cinemas, Granada Cinemas. He wanted to compete in the auction. He told his people, ‘Don’t look for the richest region, look for the wettest. Find me the region with highest rainfall.’ This turned out to be the North-West of England. Granada bid for this and won it. Bernstein’s idea was that it was better to have a region where it rained so much that people stayed in and watched TV. He succeeded by approaching the problem from a different point of view. He thought what no-one else thought.

      The spectators at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968 were amazed to see a young athlete perform a high jump with his back to the bar. Until then, every high jumper ‘rolled’ over the bar with his or her face down. Dick Fosbury, an American, introduced an entirely new approach, the ‘flop’, leaping over with his back close to the bar and his face up. Fosbury was ranked 48th in the world in 1967; yet in 1968 he caused a sensation when he won the Olympic Gold Medal with his unprecedented technique and a leap of 2.24metres. What he introduced was literally a leap of the imagination – and it revolutionized high jumping. Nowadays all the top jumpers use his method. He thought what no-one else thought and conceived a new method.

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      How can you force ourselves to take a different view of a situation? Instead of looking at the scene from your view try looking at it from the perspective of a customer, a product, a supplier, a child, an alien, a lunatic, a comedian, a dictator, an anarchist, an architect, Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci and so on. Challenge all the common assumptions. If everyone else is looking for the richest region, look for the wettest. If everyone else is facing the bar then turn your back on it.

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      The great geniuses did not take the traditional view and develop existing ideas. They took an entirely different view and transformed society. Picasso took a different view of painting; he saw cubes, shapes and impressions instead of accurate images. Einstein imagined a new approach to physics; a world where time and space were relative. Darwin conceived a different view of the origin of species; he saw how they might have evolved rather than been created. Each of them looked at the world in a new way.  In similar fashion Jeff Bezos took a different view of book retailing with Amazon.com, Stelios took a new perspective on flying with Easyjet, Swatch transformed our view of watches and IKEA changed the way we buy furniture.  If we can come at problems from entirely new directions then we can think of things that conventional thinkers miss. It gives us unlimited possibilities for innovation.

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      Paul Sloane

      Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

      Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

      Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

      1. Humans Of New York

      Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

       2.  Paris in Four Months

      Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

      3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

      George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

      4. Andrew Knapp

      Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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      5. Idafrosk

      Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

      6. GrandmaBetty33

      Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

      7. Maya_on_the_Move

      Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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      8. Leoleoparis

      Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

      9. Jacob Santiago

      Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

      10. Julie’s Kitchen

      Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

      11. iloveplaymo

      iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

      12. “Red” Hong Yi

      Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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      13. Alexis Diaz

      A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

      14. Murad Osmann

      Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

      15. Simone Bramate

      Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

      16. Willie Kessel

      Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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      17. Nick Ulivieri

      Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

      18. Jo Jerry

      Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

      19. GoPro

      GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

      20. Vin Farrell

      Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

      Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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