Monday, July 26, 2010

Creativity as a function of language.

From a recent article in WSJ:

Languages, of course, are human creations, tools we invent and hone to suit our needs.

It turns out that if you change how people talk, that changes how they think. If people learn another language, they inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world. When bilingual people switch from one language to another, they start thinking differently, too.

This is a yet another reason to ask problem solvers, e.g. engineers, managers, entrepreneurs, to reformulate the problem in jargon-free terms. Very often their ability to find a solution is constrained by their inability to describe the situation in language that does not imply a specific approach dictated by past professional experiences. Switching from verbal to graphical descriptions, e.g. by using the Three Magicians method or Five Elements analysis, helps overcome this issue.

tags: creativity, method, magicians, five element analysis, problem, solution, example, information

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