Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Edward de Bono says:

Educational establishments totally underestimate the importance of "possibility." 
Two thousand years ago, China was far ahead of the West in science and technology. They had rockets and gunpowder. Had China continued at the same rate of progress, then today China would easily have been the dominant power in the world. 
What happened? What brought progress to a halt? 
The Chinese scholars started to believe you could move from "fact to fact." So they never developed the messy business of possibility (hypothesis, etc.). As a result, progress came to a dead end. 
Exactly the same sort of thing is happening in the world today. Because of the excellence of computers, people are starting to believe that all you need to do is to collect data and analyze it. This will give you your decisions, your policies and your strategies. It is an extremely dangerous situation, which will bring progress to a halt. There is a huge need for creativity to interpret data in different ways; to combine data to design value delivery; to know where to look for data; to form hypotheses and speculations, etc., etc. 
I have held academic positions at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Harvard. I have to say that at each of these wonderful institutions the amount of time spent on the fundamental importance of possibility was zero
Our culture and habits of thinking insist that we always move towards certainty. We need to pay equal attention to possibility.

Creativity Workout: 62 Exercises to Unlock Your Most Creative Ideas

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