How to use Boundary Examination:
- Write out the problem statement, visible to the whole group, beginning “How to….”.
- Underline the most important words and phrases.
- Examine each underlined word or phrase in turn for assumptions and possible connotations. See how the meaning changes if you use a synonym or near synonym.
- Through group discussion you may arrive at a word or phrase which they feel describes the problem more accurately. This should be noted down.
- Using these new words and phrases, rewrite a new problem statement beginning “How to…” or, “How might we …….”
Source: De Bono E. (1982) Lateral Thinking for Management. Penguin Books.
Return to: Clarify the challenge (tools to support problem exploration and definition)