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B822 Techniques Library: Using ‘Crazy’ Ideas


Ken Dodd

Ideas that could get you fired if suggested or are laugh out loud funny; so there’s a risk. (Techniques Library 2010)

Developed by Rickards (1974) as ‘Wildest Idea’ and de Bono (1982) as ‘Intermediate impossible’.

Why beneficial?

  • They break down assumptions.
  • The humour can energize a group and trigger more ideas (including some unthought of that might work)

Use these techniques:

  • brainstorming
  • Free Association
  • excursion

Treat it seriously to see where it takes you

Don’t get stuck on a non-starter (but aren’t they all implicitly a non-starter if they are going to get you fired or ar laughable?)


Rickards, T. (1974) Problem-solving Through Creative Analysis, Essex, UK, Gower Press.

de Bono, E. (1982) Later thinking for Management, Pelican Books.

VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed. Van Nostranran Reinhold. Technique 4.61. p. 202


Intuition in creative decision making in business

In management decision-making:

Perception,  Intuition, tacit knowledge and apprehension of Eastern cultures have a role to play. (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995)

Logic, precision and evidence has been the way of the West.

N.B P56 the unconscious has a role to play.

Neurones and dendrites.

Plasticity: though as metaphors go I  prefer paths through a wood, rather than water on a jelly (de Bono). Telegraph, to analogue telephone, to high-speed internet broadband might be even better.

What we see is very much affected by what we expect to see.

P57 (how does this impact on a trial several years after the event?)

We recreate images of past events anew on each occasion. p57

i.e. No one has a photographic memory. People’s recollection of events change years after.

And we find it easier to recall memories laid down in a particular state. e.g. recalling a dream can be as easy as positioning yourself in bed as you were when you had the dream. (Prepare for an exam by revising and testing yourself in exam-like conditions?)

p62 Our memory of how to do things is often tied to the situation in which it was learnt.

N.B. The importance of intuitive decision-making that can assimilated information that is too complex to verbalised.

P65 Mintzberg (1975, 1996) use of intuition by managers. Isenberg (1987) managers often by-pass rigorous, analytical planning altogether, particularly when they difficult, novel, or extremely entangled problems.


For the next week keep a record of any intuitions and hunches you have, and note what led you to recognise them.

Keep a diary of intuitive judgements and decisions you make, and subsequently note whether or not you were proved right.

P76 ‘It seems we have a strong tendency to apply rules mindlessly, which means we easily miss new approaches.

P78 People perform close to their labels. Research shows. (So never label a person or child).

P84 the unconscious mind often fails to match, particularly where information is incomplete.


Claxton, Going Beyond cleverness: how to be smart without thinking.

Nonaka, I and Takeuchi , H ‘Oraganizational knowledge creation’.

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