What does that mean I hear you ask? The idea behind De Bono's approach is often to un-think a situation. Defy logic. Subvert the norm. Stop thinking. Today's session used the PO method to provoke alternative views on a subject.

De Bono suggests using the phrase PO before a statement to indicate that you are deliberately changing the pattern of thought. Using exaggeration, distortion, wishful thinking, inversion or being provocatively outrageous are all ways to stimulate new thought channels on a existing paradigm.

Using ideas from his book we explored:

- PO cups being made of ice
- PO you only dial one digit on a phone

We felt a bit like cheaters on the first. For the launch of MINX nightclub last year (which we named and branded), we used custom-designed ice receptacles. Clearly PO ice cups have already found a purpose. Other brain-stems were: that the cup was the drink, they could be used to dispense drink over set periods depending on melt rate, that their launch would have to include a prize trip to Antartica or pet penguins.

We believe that PO one digit phones is where the concept of speed dial emerged; that selections would be a scroll-through process; that the button was simply on/off, synch or select - everything else would be voice (or brain-thought) driven; that your unique finger-press would transfer vital statistics like mood, urgency, and subject matter.

Onto a practical PO application we looked at the boys' emerging decorative artworks business. PO-ing revealed myriad material applications as yet untapped, which should keep the lads employed for years to come.  

We also chose a client to PO. Custom Fleet have recently launched new carbon reduction program, Drive Lightly. We used our PO session to develop some conceptual creative for their launch campaign. When the artwork is complete we'll upload it, so stay tuned.

If you have a business product or issue that needs solving, perhaps Thinking Club can help. If you are willing to have your case study published here then we'll happily run a session just for you. It's free, except we request that you make a small donation to your favourite charity. Just drop us a line.

Until next time, keep your thinking caps on.

The Thinking Club