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Creative tools > Wishing

When to use it | How to use it | Example | How it works | See also


When to use it

Use it to legitimize the offering of different ideas.

Use it to encourage others to also offer new ideas.

Use it to encourage divergent thinking.

Use it to encourage chaining of ideas.



X          Long



        X  Psychological



      X    Group


How to use it

Wishing helps expand thinking.

Think wishfully

Think of the situation in a wishful, fantastic sense. Think beyond sensible, beyond practical and feasible. Just think about what would be really nice or simply interesting. Think playfully, as a child. Step outside the box. Act as if the box wasn't there. Be wishful, wistful, wonderful.

Offer ideas as 'I wish...'

Frame ideas by starting with 'I wish'.

In writing down ideas (which you often want to do quickly), you can abbreviate 'I wish' as 'IW'.

Offer ideas as 'Wouldn't it be nice if...'

Another variant of 'I Wish' is 'Wouldn't it be nice if'. You can use this as a variation or if it seems more appropriate.

In writing down ideas, you can abbreviate 'Wouldn't it be nice if...' as 'WIBNI'.

You can also use any other variant of wishing, of course, such as 'I wonder if' or 'It would be great if'.


'I wish we could go on holiday tomorrow'

'IW we could visit the moon'

'IW coffee tasted as nice as it smells'

'Wouldn't it be nice if beer was free.'

'WIBNI cars did not need fuel'

How it works

Wishing legitimizes a statement that otherwise people might consider as too 'off the wall' and which they may secretly fear will cause others to  laugh at them or otherwise reduce their social position.

Wishing can be framed as taking a child position, saying "hey, let's have some fun!" and again legitimizes statements and also encourages others to join in the fun.

Wishing engages fantasy and unreal thinking, encouraging people to think outside the box.

'Wouldn't it be nice if' takes the person out of the statement, making it more objective. This works particularly in culture where 'I' statements are seen as perhaps too selfish.

Wishing encourages others to chain further ideas off your wish. Notice the difference between these two statements in how it makes you both feel and think:

  • Change the size of tables.
  • I wish tables could automatically change size.

Note how the 'How to' method is similar to Wishing, both legitimizing and encouraging new thinking. Where they are different is that Wishing encourages divergence, whilst 'How to' encourages convergence.

See also

Problem Statement, How to

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