Po (lateral thinking)

Edward De Bono - Po: Beyond Yes And No


PO: Beyond Yes and No

1. NO is the basic tool of the LogicSystem.

2. YES is the basic tool of the BeliefSystem.

3. PO is the basic tool of the CreativeSystem.

Po: Beyond Yes and No is the basic primer of arevolutionary way of thinking. Edward de Bono maintains that most of usare trapped within the rigid confines of traditional thinking, limited byconcepts which have developed simply for the purpose of arriving at the 'right'answer. While humanity has advanced technologically, in the realm of ideas andthought processes we are, he says, still using the restricted and therestricting concepts that have always been used.

He offers Po as a device for changing our ways ofthinking: a method fro approaching problems in a new and more creativeway. It is the product of a research scientist who notably - and veryentertainingly - thinks for himself.

The basis of logical thinking is the word"no". By enabling you to reject what is wrong, it allows you to beright at each step. The new word, Po, is a new thinking tool - but with acompletely different function. Po lets you step outside the harsh rigidity ofthe YES/NO system and change from the present thought pattern to creating newideas.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

A "po"is an idea which moves thinking forward to a new place from where new ideas orsolutions may be found. The term was created by Edward de Bono as part of a lateral thinking technique to suggest forward movement, that is,making a statement and seeing where it leads to. It is an extraction from wordssuch as hypothesis, suppose, possible and poetry, all ofwhich indicate forward movement and contain the syllable "po." Po canbe taken to refer to any of the following: provoking operation, provocativeoperation or provocation operation. Also, in ancient Polynesian and the Maori, the word "po" refers to the originalchaotic state of formlessness, from which evolution occurred. Edward de Bonoargues that this context as well applies to the term.

For example, Salesare dropping off because our product is perceived as old fashioned.

4. po: Change the colour of the packaging

5. po: Flood the market with even older-looking products to make it seem moreappealing

6. po: Call it retro

7. po: Sell it to old people

8. po: Sell it to young people as a gift for old people

9. po: Open a museum dedicatedto it

10.           po: Market it as a newproduct

Some of the above ideasmay be impractical, not sensible, not business-minded, not politically correct, or just plain daft. The value of these ideas is thatthey move thinking from a place where it is entrenched to a place where it canmove. The above ideas might develop into...

1. po: Change the colour of the packaging

                     update the productcasing to bring it up to date (electronic goods can often do this)

2. po: Flood the market with even older-looking productsto make it seem more appealing

                     take a cut down versionand release it as an older cheaper one to make this product seem like the top of the line

3. po: Call it retro

                     instead of retro say"tried and tested" or "industry standard"

4. po: Sell it to old people

                     good idea

5. po: Sell it to young people as a gift for old people

                     good idea

6. po: Open a museum dedicated to it

                     exhibit only yourcompetitor's products

                     sell this product inthe museum

                     make the experienceeducational within your sector

                     open a café

                     accept group bookings

                     add a theme park

7. po: Market it as a new product

                     give it a new name andcall it state of the art

The point of these examples is that aninitial po may seem silly, but a further development may seem very good indeed.The intermediate silly idea is a necessary step to find the good idea. If sillyideas are not allowed to form, the subsequent good idea will be undiscovered.Po allows silly ideas to form so that good ones can follow.