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Reverse Thinking

Reverse Thinking

Turning the problem upside-down.

  • Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to look at it in a new way. A logic or decision tree can help you tackle a problem by breaking possible solutions down into parts, and following those parts down new paths.

    The process of creating a logic tree is simple – analyze the problem or question, offer solutions or answers, and generate ideas about how to accomplish them. Here’s an example to get started:

    Reverse thinking can force a small team that's been focused on a problem for a long time to think about it completely differently - and come up with a broad range of new ideas that might help to solve it.

  • Depth
  • 30 Min
    30 Min


  • Small Group
    Small Group


  • 1

    Rephrase the question so you're looking for more ways to create problems, instead of solutions.

    EXAMPLE: How can we get more subscribers to our newsletter?

    REPHRASED: How can we get people to unsubscribe to our newsletter?    

    Rephrase the question  

  • 2

    Offer possible answers. Choose at least two, but more can illuminate lots of possibilities.

    Offer possible answers

  • 3

    Elaborate on your solutions. What are their most important parts? Some of your logic paths might end here, and that’s ok. But dig deeper if you need to.

    Elaborate on your solutions

  • 4

    Get down to brass tacks. How do you make your  solutions reality?

  • Remember, not every piece of your logic tree will have information for every step – some levels of the logic tree end quickly, while others extend much further. It helps to keep your logic tree in a flexible format where you can move parts of it around – which is, of course, where Post-it® Notes can really come in handy. Of course, a large area, like a Post-it® Dry Erase Surface, provides a great canvas as well.

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