Random Input

Making Creative Leaps

Use this tool to generate fresh ideas.

© iStockphoto/zentilia

Have you ever found yourself stuck while brainstorming a problem, going over the same ideas over and over again?

In situations like this, it can be difficult to break out of your normal thinking patterns and come up with truly new, creative ideas.

This is when using creativity techniques like Random Input can be helpful. Random Input is a lateral thinking technique, which moves you outside your established thinking patterns so that you can develop creative and innovative ideas.

About the Tool

Random Input was created by psychologist Edward de Bono in 1968, and published in his 1992 book, "Serious Creativity." It's useful when you need fresh ideas or new perspectives during problem solving.

For many types of problem solving, we tend to think by recognizing patterns that we've seen in the past, and applying solutions that we've seen work. Sometimes, though, we get stuck inside these patterns: within them, there may be no good solution to a particular sort of problem. This is where it can be difficult to step outside that pattern of thinking, even if you want to.

Random Input is a technique for linking other thinking patterns into the ones we are using. It helps us move outside our normal way of thinking, so that we can come up with new solutions to our problem.

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