24 March 2011

Learning Innovation from Confucius Part 6 – Method M3 Bipolar & M4 Multi-Uses

Continuing from Learning Innovation from Confucius Part 5 – Method M2 Solve Contradiction, we talk about twp additional personal innovative skills, namely M3 Bipolar  and M4 Multi-uses here.

M3 Bipolar – Integrative Thinking
he Confucius saying comes from Analects 9:8
子曰‘吾有知乎哉、無知也。 有鄙夫問於我、空空如也、 我叩其兩端而竭焉’
Confucius said,”Do I have knowledge? No. I don’t. When a crude person asked me, my mind was empty. I know at both extremes and exhaust all possibilities.
This is the yin-yang thinking mindset. We start with one end and ask about the other end. If we start with looking at the surface, then end with what is inside. If we look from the angle of quality, we also ask about the quantity. We don’t just look right, we also look left. We look down and we also look up. By exploring the extreme ends, we can discover more systematically. More such Yin-Yang thinking framework is covered in Yin-Yang Thinking Framework – Innovative and Critical.

M4 Multi-uses or Multi-Purposes.
Analects 2:12 君子不器。
The wise gentleman is not just an utensil (of one use only)
A vessel while designed for a particular use need not be used for that purpose only. Confucius tells us that man is of greater capability.Man is creative, adaptable and multi-purposes. A typical innovation exercise is challenge the student to come out with as many uses as possible for a particular object such as a paper-clip.  An average person will try to think of how to use the paper clip in its present form. A more creative one will bend it to make other shapes for other purposes. A more creative one will trade it for other thing and come out with even more uses.

Next :Learning Innovation from Confucius Part 7 – Method M5 Speedy Process

Lim Liat copyrighted March 2011

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