Creative Thinking for Business
Creative Thinking E-book
9. Creativity…How Ambiguous
This one drives the engineers crazy. Similar to acting foolish, we don’t like to be ambiguous. It typically causes communication problems and has no place in certain circumstances. For instance, an infantry commander would not want to say, “Make sure you cross one of the bridges soon or else.” This could be a prescription for disaster. Rather, the infantry commander would say, “Be sure to cross Alpha bridge before 1350 hrs because we will be blowing up the south end embankment at 1355.” Makes a whole lot more sense and doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation does it?
However when it comes to creative thinking, ambiguity is a good thing, even a great thing. If we are too specific with guidelines and rules to solving problems, it doesn’t give us much leeway to generate new ideas.
One of the great sources for adding ambiguity to a problem is to “listen to your dreams.” No, I don’t mean your past unrealized dreams of being a rock star, NBA coach, or the CEO of GE. I’m talking about the dream you had last night.
Get in the habit of keeping a pencil and paper beside your bed so you can write down what you dreamed about. Do this as soon as you wake up or you’ll quickly forget the details. Go ahead and write it down. Don’t be embarrassed that your dream consisted of you flying around the mountains of Colorado with just your arms extended in a pink tuxedo.
(Although you may want to keep your dream notes secure.)