Globally the financial markets are in freefall. The sub-prime crisis has hit banks now, and is threatening to affect many other industries and sectors over the coming months.
I friend of mine working in an investment bank, with the absence of money to lend, was recently told to ‘be creative’ and ‘find other ways to do business’ with his clients.
This approach is common in management. When times are tough, when resources are low, when prices are slashed and there is little to distinguish you from your competitors; we run out of ideas and think that cutting staff and costs is the only way to survive.
The sad fact about recession is that so many organisations fail to recognise the single most important asset they have in their business – their people. Rather than lay people off to get out of a problem, why not develop staff to think creatively so they can WORK your business out of the tough times?
So what can you do in your business?
Everyone can learn to Think Laterally
Dr Edward de Bono is the father of the term ‘Lateral Thinking™’. His firm belief is that anyone can learn to be creative through the use of a unique set of tools and techniques.
Edward de Bono’s techniques have helped thousands of businesses and organisations develop their teams creative ability so that they can problem solve more effectively, improve existing services and create totally new products.
A process that works
Now used all over the world by governments, multi-nationals and even in peace talks, de Bono is keen to stress the business application of these techniques. If you want to take your team on a woodland retreat, walking in the hills and simply hoping for inspiration – these tools are not for you. They are practical, tried and tested and get results.
You Die before You Die
Lateral Thinking™ works on the principle that the brain ‘self-organises’ information. Put another way, it makes sense of the world around us by making assumptions about information that you have learnt over time. For example; you know to put your shirt on before your tie, to write with the sharp end of a pencil; you don’t challenge this thought process every time. Lateral Thinking™ forces you to challenge your preconceptions and, by doing so, think differently.
In a Lateral Thinking™ session, de Bono tells us about how the insurance company Prudential in the USA made the provocative statement “you die before you die”. This apparently led to an entirely new concept in life insurance. It provoked to come up with the notion of paying out 75% of a life policy if someone became terminally ill – a new concept, which apparently took the industry by storm!
I want one of those!
If you need to take the step towards embedding creativity personally, in your team or throughout your whole organisation, the process is simple.
- Train Yourself – attend one of de Bono’s Lateral Thinking™ two-day workshops, delivered throughout the UK.
- Train Your Team – Call +44 (0)20 7924 9760 to have a de Bono certified instructor come to your office to train your team – how you want, and when you want! Enquire about in-house workshops…
- Train Your Organisation – Save time and money by training your own training team trained to embed the techniques in whole departments. Find out more…