When identifying improvements and solutions, most of us have a preference for logical thinking. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative.
Much of what we call “intelligence” is our ability to recognize patterns. The human mind is great at recognizing patterns. We recognize sequences, cycles, shapes, processes, similarities, probabilities, etc. This is our comfort zone.
Patterns give us the power to understand the world and, as a consequence, they rule our thinking. They become the “rules” and “mental models” we live by. We use them to determine what is “typical”, “likely”, “estimated”. We use the rules and models to infer meaning. From meanings we make assumptions. We act based on the conclusions we reach from rules & assumptions.
The problem is – How do we make creative connections if our minds are full of existing patterns.
Our ‘pattern recognition machines’ (minds) mean that new combinations (thinking laterally and being creative) when identifying solutions is often difficult.
There is a difference between ‘logical’ and ‘lateral’ thinking. Neither is good or bad; better or worse. One is not necessarily more successful than the other. But they are different and you need different tools/techniques during a Lean Six Sigma project.
Most of us have a preference for the logical. But that preference doesn’t mean we can’t be creative thinking laterally. It’s a skill which can be learned.