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Â Next in the line up of constraints we're going to talk about individual

Â constraints.

Â Let's start with now with intellection.

Â We just talked about perception and I want to talk about intellection.

Â So perception is bringing the information in and

Â now the problem is what do we do once we have the information inside?

Â We might think of this problem really is,

Â is how do we come up with new solutions to new problems?

Â Not old solutions to new problems, right?

Â We want to get to new places if we're going to have innovation.

Â 0:28

So the kind of, let's call them four sub-constraints,

Â the kind of problems that you face inside of this problem of thinking.

Â So one is problem framing.

Â It's like where do we draw the boundaries around the problem that we're facing?

Â The second might be the problem solving strategies that we used.

Â How was that we approach the problem?

Â And there are different strategies that we can use, and

Â if we use the same strategy all the time, that's problematic.

Â We have premature convergence.

Â That is where we come in on an answer that we think is the right answer too soon, and

Â we really haven't explored the space enough.

Â And then there's also the problem of persistence.

Â Where we don't carry through,

Â we just basically lack of persistence in a way that doesn't allow us to get to

Â the most optimal new solution to the problem that we're trying to solve.

Â 1:11

So let's talk about problem framing for a moment.

Â A good friend of mine, Jim Adams, wrote a book, I think it is one of the greatest

Â books on creativity ever written, is called Conceptual Blockbusting.

Â In that book, he's got a problem.

Â It's called the no line dot problem.

Â I want to take a look at this problem.

Â 1:25

So here's a line dot problem.

Â We have nine dots and your job is to draw no more than four straight lines,

Â without lifting the pencil from the paper that will cross through all nine dots.

Â See if you can do this.

Â Just you grab a piece of paper, put nine dots there, and see if you can do it.

Â 1:41

Again, make sure you don't curve the pen, that you don't curve the lines.

Â That you actually, they're straight lines and there is only four of them.

Â Well here's one solution to the problem.

Â You notice anything about the solution?

Â 1:54

The solution actually requires you to leave the frame.

Â There is actually looks like there are nine dots and

Â you actually have to leave that space, that implicit square,

Â in order to solve the problem, because you have to break the frame.

Â And I think this is where the term thinking outside the box comes from.

Â Is where we have to sort of go outside of a little box that's implicit in those

Â nine dots.

Â 2:13

So, again here is the problem where we don't frame it probably.

Â Where we look at the problem and we see it small problem and

Â we can't think about going outside the lines.

Â And that's a constraint we bring on ourselves.

Â That's not something that's in the rules of this problem.

Â So if you can do it with four lines, you can probably do it with three lines.

Â Do you think you can do it with three lines?

Â 2:37

So how about this solution?

Â So we take the nine dots and

Â we start with the idea that the dots are not infinitesimal points.

Â The dots are actually dots.

Â I'm showing you some dots with actual size.

Â And so what we can do is we can start a line that starts on the outside edge of

Â one dot.

Â Comes up, goes through the middle of the next dot and

Â goes through the inside edge of the next dot.

Â Goes up until it has to connect again, then comes back down at a slight angle.

Â Goes all the way down and comes back up again in at a slight angle.

Â And so we've connected all nine dots using just three lines.

Â That seemed a little bit easier than the one before.

Â Okay well if we can do it with three lines,

Â we can probably do it with two lines.

Â Let's just get right down to business lets get down to one line.

Â How could you solve this problem using only one line?

Â 3:20

So you may have come up with some of these solutions.

Â One big fat line, that's one way to do it.

Â Turn the paper in the plane, and draw a line through that.

Â And that would get through the edges of the line.

Â That would be another way.

Â You might even cut the pages, cut the dots out.

Â Put them in a line and draw across there.

Â There is one we call the statistical method, where you crumple up the paper,

Â and jab the pencil through it a number of times.

Â And you'll have a distribution of times that you've made it through.

Â And there's a certain number of dots and on and on and on.

Â There's so many different ways that we can do it using only one line.

Â So what should be interesting is, it's so easy with one line and

Â it's so hard with four lines.

Â If I had said at the very beginning, draw one line through these nine dots,

Â between one and four lines and connect all the dots starting with one line,

Â you might have actually gotten it.

Â So again, it's about framing the problem and

Â how is it we bound the problem that we're faced?

Â Generally problems are not going to be given to us in ways that are easy to

Â solve, and so we want to think about the framing.

Â So one thing about framing is that we frame problems in ways to help ourselves.

Â We frame problems in ways that make them easier to solve.

Â We frame the problems in ways that make it safe to go forward.

Â We may be told to do a problem in a certain way.

Â The boss comes in and says I want you to do this problem in this way.

Â And so that frame is set for us and it's very difficult to go outside of that

Â because it may feel risky, it may feel unsafe.

Â And that's what we have to do though, if we're going to be innovative.

Â We have to press past that frame.

Â 4:46

Now let's talk about problem solving strategies,

Â the ways that we solve problems.

Â We've become seduced by the ways we solve problems.

Â Maybe you're really good at math, and so

Â what you will tend to do is go around looking for problems as if they were math

Â problems, because math problems are the ones that you're good at.

Â And being good at a problem solving method makes you want to do more of that,

Â because it feels good to be good at something.

Â And what we have to do is to make sure that we're are not seduced by our problem

Â solving strategy and that we are actually always applying the right problem solving

Â strategy to the particular problem.

Â It is not about what we're good at, it's about what is suitable for that problem.

Â 5:17

So let me give you couple of exercises here.

Â So here is an exercise in your mind.

Â So do this in your mind and then you'll hit pause in a moment.

Â In your mind, figure out how many capital letters of the English alphabet

Â use curved lines in them using a simple font like this one.

Â And don't count on your fingers or write them down.

Â So again, how many capital letters of the English alphabet use curved lines?

Â 5:41

How many did you come up with?

Â Now write that number down.

Â Now I'd like you to do the exercise again.

Â So now I want you to take a look here and do the exercise again in your mind.

Â Determine how many capital letters of the English alphabet use curved lines in them

Â using a simple font like this one.

Â Don't use your fingers and don't write them down.

Â 6:00

That was a lot easier the second time, wasn't it?

Â Hopefully I did not introduce any new information.

Â And we all know what the alphabet looks like, but

Â somehow it's easier the second time.

Â Why is that?

Â 6:09

One thing is that the two parts of our brain,

Â the part of our brain that looks at for shapes and

Â does that kind of determining which an A, does an A have this?

Â Does a B have this?

Â That's one part of our brain.

Â Another part of our brain is to keep tally.

Â Well was that one, two, or B.

Â What is a B? Two is that one or three?

Â And all of a sudden we're sort of at jumble because we're going back and

Â forth in parts of our brain, literally in parts of our brain.

Â It's very difficult to keep track and do the shaping, sorting at the same time.

Â And so here's one where we have this problem solving,

Â even this the raw material of our brains makes it really difficult to solve certain

Â kinds of problems.

Â Here's another problem that we may have, let me go grab a piece of paper and

Â I'll be right back.

Â 6:56

I actually have a large piece of paper.

Â It's the thickness of a normal sheet of paper, but really large.

Â I mean I'm just sort of showing you here, but

Â imagine this were a really gigantic piece of paper.

Â So in your mind, what I want you to do is to imagine this piece of paper,

Â the thickness of a normal sheet of paper.

Â I want you to fold it in half once.

Â Now there are two layers.

Â Then fold it in a half.

Â Obviously, there are four layers.

Â Fold it again.

Â 7:19

If I were to continue folding this, so

Â we see this thing is getting kind of a thickness here.

Â It's thicker than a one sheet of paper.

Â If I continued folding this over 50 times, how thick would it be?

Â I know you want to say you can't fold it 50 times.

Â That's why I said in your imagination, imagine a large piece of paper.

Â If I were imagine folding this 50 times, how thick would this piece of paper be?

Â Put it in my pocket.

Â 7:45

Some estimates that I've gotten in my classes somewhere between here and here,

Â and five miles, and everything in between.

Â Some people this big, and some people gigantic.

Â 7:54

Well, let's take a look at how would we do the math?

Â Well, let's take 500 sheets of paper.

Â 500 sheets of paper or a ream of paper is about this thick,

Â about 5 centimeters thick.

Â 8:09

So how many sheets do we have?

Â Is it 2 times 50, is it 50 squared, is it 2 to the 50, is 50 to the 2?

Â Well actually, the answer is 2 to the 50.

Â And so 2 to the 50 is this gigantic number.

Â It's a pretty big number here isn't it?

Â But we get to take some zeros off the back,

Â because we were measured in millimeters, right?

Â So we have to bring that in.

Â And so the thickness actually is 112, what is that 112 billion meters.

Â That's pretty thick.

Â Which means it's about 112 million kilometers.

Â Now, how thick that is, that's about between halfway from here to the sun.

Â That's about 70 million miles, if you think of miles.

Â Or 112 million kilometers, halfway to the sun.

Â How can that be?

Â How can this little stack of paper just by folding it over about 30 or

Â 40 more times reach halfway to the sun?

Â 9:04

Well one thing we may think about is that what I try to do is trick you by

Â bringing a real piece of paper out and sort of showing you that.

Â And pushing you into a problem solving mode where we use our visual, we're trying

Â to use our visual senses to solve the problem, instead of actually using math.

Â If I had said get out a calculator and try to solve the problem 2 to the 50,

Â very quickly your calculator would say, this is a gigantic number.

Â It would kick into scientific notation, and you would understand this is

Â a gigantic number and we need to think about this differently.

Â I don't think I need that right now.

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Â