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3. Creativity > 21. Contemplate Po

Contemplate Po

Use a new word to examine seemingly impossible alternatives, juxtapose random ideas, and challenge stale concepts.

Creativity expert Edward de Bono invented the word po to shake up people’s thoughts. He listed several etymologies for it. One is that it can be seen as “arising from such words as hypothesis, suppose, possible, and even poetry”; another is that it stands for provocative operation, a kind of mental hack to get ideas “unstuck” and move them forward.1

Wherever the word comes from, po is a great tool for playing with ideas and seeing the potential surrounding them, without getting too caught up in the details.

In Action

Provocative operations with po come in three basic kinds, which de Bono calls PO-1, PO-2, and PO-3.2 Each is useful to provoke certain kinds of thinking and move a creative situation forward in a different way.


  

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