Whether or not we are aware of it, when we start out looking for new, bigger, better ideas in any field we are most often influenced by arbitrary boundaries of thought that severely limit our creative playing field.
When people in the bedding industry, for example, think of improving beds, they make many assumptions about its necessary properties: shape, materials, height, degree of levelness, temperature, measure of softness or firmness, color, texture, sounds it makes or doesn't make, and so on.
Most of these assumptions come directly from what has been done before in this category. Are these suppositions right? Are they the best answers? Are there better routes to take our thinking? We'll never know if we are slaves to those presumptions, even if we are conscious of the limits they put on us.
A thinking tool I have been working with and refining for years helps people escape the gravity of these limiting assumptions that hold back so many thinkers. It's a tool that not only chooses to ignore all of the preconceptions in any category of thinking, it actually uses those knowns as pushing-off points to change the direction of thinking by 180°, in much the same way lap swimmers use the end of the pool to propel themselves in the opposite direction. Not surprisingly, I call this method of ideation 180° Thinking.
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