Currently viewing the tag: "Intuitive thinking"

Elements of thought

The two forms of logic, inductive and deductive reasoning, were those that we learn to use more frequently throughout our life.

These two modes, based on the scientific tradition, allow a person to declare at the end of a process of reasoning if a statement is true or false.

Advances in statistical methods provide us with increasingly powerful tools to inductive reasoning. This causes, when some people get together to make decisions, very few shirk of deduction and induction, to create an argument and prove a case under discussion.

The world around us evolves and the acquisition of knowledge is no longer an abstract exercise, purely conceptual. It is an exercise that involves interaction and research about everything that surrounds us. Understand things no longer imply progress towards an absolute truth. It implies an interaction that evolves from systemic form, with the environment where we entered and which in turn undergoes the influence of other environments.

This interaction can lead us to Peirce’s words that at some point argued that no new idea can be proven deductively or inductively using past data. Today we must put the question about what may be true.

Tradition tells us that the analytical thinking leads to reliable consistency but intuitive thinking that is focused on the validity, leads us to what we should build.

This way we can use the analytical thinking to reduce the risk of manufacture or warehouse management and use the intuitive thinking to design and build new products.

It seems to be no doubt that most decision makers like to see the world through an analytical framework, quite attractive to plan and manage resources, but that, in view of the data about the survival of many companies, becomes frightening to the creation of new ones.

Asking questions is a sustainable way to find new paths, new opportunities and new businesses. Great ideas or ideas that add value do not necessarily arise from the top of the pyramid. They can arise from everywhere in the business environment.

For the design thinkers it becomes necessary to speak the two languages of reliable and valid and transform unfamiliar concepts in familiar concepts.

What if …?

Those seeking the validity cannot prove that their ideas will work, but would the future also brings good things?

“Well, the future is rarely completely different from the past, so what most companies do, which is honing and refining what they have always done—enhancing consumer experience in incremental ways, say—is a good thing. The problem is, they must link this to an element of intuitive thinking, or they can’t make serious moves forward rather than just incremental ones. Where you will particularly get into trouble is if you are busy honing and refining your offering while the world is changing, and you ignore scattered warnings about change, because they aren’t yet systematic enough for your information systems to register them” Roger Martin

Design thinkers choose to adopt a form of logic that does not generate evidence and operates in the realm of what could be!

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Some of our beliefs

” I think of design thinking as combining the best of analytical thinking — that is, thinking based on declarative logic whose purpose is to declare a proposition to be true or false — and intuitive thinking, which is knowing without reasoning. Analytical thinking attempts to prove that something is indubitably true. Intuitive thinking is about imagining a future that cannot be proven in advance…

If you went and asked consumers who had never used cell phones, “How much will you use them and at what price,” the best answer you could hope for is, “I have no clue and why are you asking me?” Worse was if people said, “I would use them this much at such and such an amount.” How could they know?-  Roger Martin

– Roger Martin

Questions about human behavior are so complex that we often cannot do much more than make smart assumptions about why or when certain behavior will occur. In addition, because many of us bother much with explanations and descriptions of human behavior, we prefer that explanations or descriptions are consistent with what we believe.

But we can be wrong about some of our beliefs.

Now imagine that we are one among several people “with reason” about certain needs of the people, but they disagree on how to resolve this problem or is on the way to find a solution.

What makes this interesting is the fact that the discord brings several good reasons to support both sides.

It is in these and other circumstances that asking questions is so important.

Make important questions means recognizing the prejudices, distinguish facts from opinions, consider relevant aspects, seek alternative points or ask to be criticized.

When we have a discussion with other people, we are inclined to defend our point of view rather than trying to understand the other person’s position. As a result, we are not going to get any new information that will help us to reach a resolution creative.

Roger Martin recommends asking questions in order to gain a deeper understanding of mental models of others and ask assertive questions so involves a sincere search of other points of view and attempts to fill the gaps of understanding.

For example, we may use the data analysis (using visualization) to generate new questions and not only finding answers justifying our point of view.

Sometimes it is important to stop and sit to analyse. The power of analytical thinking gives us the ability to ask the right questions, while our natural attraction in design thinking by the assumptions or the “what if …?” often leaves no space for thinking about the meaning of the question.

Ask interesting and surgical questions to meet the needs of others, with the help of analysis and synthesis, naturally complementary parts of divergence and convergence.

Here are some good moments to ask questions:

When we seek through observation to meet the needs of the user to resolve ergonomic problems in a particular subject, ask questions can help us find the meaning of things and make them desirable.

When we co-create ask a question develops new ideas possibly richer than the first interesting ideas.

When we seek to identify a problem, ask questions leads to divergence and facilitates its definition when converge.

People were taught to understand users or consumers through a set of data and accept them as possible answers. Now we must teach people how to use the data to ask questions.

“Analysis of a situation can be approached in two different ways. Firstly, ‘questioning’ which involves breaking down the problem’s complexity into component patterns that form the whole Secondly, ‘evaluation’ which involves looking for patterns in the situation without acknowledging their role. Markus (1969) lists four basic sources of information available in a design decision-making situation: the designers’ own experience, others experience, existing research and new research. In the beginning of design projects requiring fresh creative thinking, the most important questions have to do with the definition of the problem. The way we state a problem can have a crucial impact on the way we attempt to solve it.” – Edward Prince

What do you think of this?