Necessity isn’t the mother of invention, inconvenience is
Debono’s framework for directing attention
Innovation starts with pursuing our own thoughts in the privacy of our consciousness.
Answering the questions life is asking us.
And the good news is, this process doesn’t require extraordinary effort, merely habitual attention.
Debono, the godfather of innovative thinking and creativity, once released an obscure book about this very issue. It contains dozens of previously unreleased, privately subscribed issues of his lateral thinking newsletter from the early eighties, outlining strategies for thinking in a groundbreaking creative way.
One technique that caught my eye was called setting a framework for directing attention. Debono teaches students to look around in the course of a day for examples of inconvenience. Little human moments of frustration and annoyance and awkwardness and hassle and disruption. Troubling interactions that make people shake their fists to the heavens like skinny little antennas, cursing and wondering what they must have done in their past life to deserve such inconvenience.
It’s a bit melodramatic, but it’s also where innovation is born.
I wish there was a blank so I wouldn’t have to blank.
Imagine how many of the world’s greatest creations are rooted in that sentence.
Proof positive that necessity isn’t the mother of invention, inconvenience is.
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What’s your framework for directing creative attention?
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