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Breaking Fixedness

Mental set, also known as psychological fixedness, is a common problem that can hinder individuals and teams from coming up with new and creative ideas. It refers to the tendency of people to get stuck in a certain way of thinking and to have difficulty seeing a problem from a different perspective. This can be a significant obstacle to innovation and can prevent people from finding the best solutions to complex problems.


One way to overcome psychological fixedness is to use techniques that encourage divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is a type of thinking that involves generating many different ideas or solutions to a problem without judging its quality. This can help people to break out of their usual patterns of thinking and to come up with new and creative ideas. For example, brainstorming is a common technique that uses divergent thinking to generate a large number of ideas in a short period of time. By coming up with as many ideas as possible without judging them, people can overcome psychological fixedness and find new and creative solutions to problems.


LEGO Serious Play® is an accessible and enjoyable process that combines and engages tactile senses and gets groups into flow states. The randomness of bricks and infinite combinations does a great job in breaking fixedness.


Another way to overcome psychological fixedness is to use techniques that encourage lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is a type of thinking that involves looking at a problem from different angles and considering solutions that might not be immediately obvious. This can help people to break out of their usual ways of thinking and to come up with new and creative ideas. For example, the Six Thinking Hats method is a technique that uses lateral thinking to help people consider a problem from different perspectives. By looking at a problem from different angles, people can overcome psychological fixedness and find new and creative solutions to problems.


Overall, psychological fixedness is a common problem that can hinder individuals and teams from coming up with new and creative ideas. By using techniques that encourage divergent and lateral thinking, people can overcome this problem and find the best solutions to complex problems.

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