Seeing the Same Thing Differently

Look at the diagram below: what do you see? A small cube in the bottom left-hand corner? Now turn the page slowly in a clockwise motion, keeping your eyes fixed on the diagram. As you are turning the diagram, a new shape appears. Keep turning. When the shape is upside down, many people find it has become another diagram. This is like seeing the same thing differently!!!

organisational development change management

"...this new concept challenges our assumptions ... A gentle movement of the cube didn't change the image we have of it. The world changes, and we don't see it, and then all of a sudden we see the change in the full light of day..."

Luc de Brabandere, 2005

A number of things can be learnt about this little geometrical-metaphoric manipulation!!!!!

"...we see cubes when there ain't any! This drawing is two-dimensional (by definition), but it comes across as three-dimension

- even if the figure is the same, two different people will often see it differently.

- the transition from one way of seeing to another is brusque, there's a small shock.

- even when he or she knows all about them, the viewer cannot easily shift from one form to the other. We are not in total control of the way we see things..."

Luc de Brabandere, 2005

Some exercises to encourage seeing things differently, eg think of 4 things that can

- apply torque like a screw driver (answers: knife, coin, key & finger)

- fasten paper like a paper clip (answers: staple, pin, glue & hair clip)

- hold liquid like a cup (answers: saucer, coconut, kettle & bowl)

An example of this perception change is Bill Gates and the Internet. In the early 1990s, Microsoft was a successful company worth about $US 70 billion and employing around 20,000 people. The Internet was on the rise in importance as demonstrated by Nestcape in 1994. In 1995 Gates sensed the paradigm shift and changed the direction of Mircrosoft to focus on the Internet.

On the other hand, what can happen is people

"...began to believe that you could move from certainty to certainty to certainty. So they never developed a possibility system, hypothesis, speculation, imagination......we're collecting all the data, the computer analyses it, and tells us what to do. That's very dangerous unless we develop creativity that means 'OK, that's the data, let's look at it differently..."

Edward deBono as quoted by Lyndall Crisp, 2007

(sources: Luc de Brabandere, 2005; Lyndall Crisp, 2007)

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