The 21st century will be "provocative", otherwise it might not be!

Provocations are Gateways to the Future

Berthold Brecht said

Provocation is a way to put reality back on its feet

At a time in our lives when everything is upside down, isn't that exactly what we should be doing?

We still have to agree on the word "provocation". Here, the etymology opens a surprising door for us: to provoke, from the Latin "pro-vocare": to call out, to make come, to excite, to challenge, to give birth to something.

Of course, Provocation can sometimes take shocking and shaking forms, without which it would not generate virtuous effects. Thus, the topless women of the Ukrainian movement "Femen" whose slogan was "Get out, get undressed and win".

But here we are talking about provocation of the mind and in the mind.

Provocative Operation" (PO) is a super powerful creative thinking technique invented by our friend and "master", Dr. Edward de Bono.

Provocation is deliberately stating something that doesn't exist (something UNKNOWN) -for example "planes land upside down"- as a springboard to provoke the brain to get off its usual "mental highways" (the KNOWN).

Since the brain hates instability, it will try to "find a way" to "get back to the familiar road" that keeps it from thinking: back from the unknown to the known.

And out of the chaos, comes a new order: a new perspective, a concept, a new idea, a "eureka" - which seems quite logical in retrospect. But that a logical reasoning would not have allowed to reach.

The method makes sense because

  1. the brain is a self-organizing system that excels at creating "routine patterns" and therefore at recognizing what it already knows
  2. We have learned to only say something if there are good reasons for saying it. With the language of Provocative Operations, we say something to see what happens next. We use the word "PO" and it opens up POssibilities, POtential, supPOsitions, HyPOthesis, Poetic.

Opening new doors to the Future

This is why we say that "Provocative Operations", based on the functioning of the brain, allow to "make the impossible possible".

Let's be clear; it's not about achieving what the provocation states. It is about thinking radically differently, OUT OF OUR BOX, to arrive at "never seen" solutions.

This is not useless at a time when the need for radical solutions is ever greater.

The practice allows us to

  • travel into the unknown with pleasure,
  • explore without knowing,
  • look for possibilities instead of looking for the truth,
  • use every idea - whether it comes from ourselves or from someone else - as a springboard to a totally different and FUTURE idea that can open us new perspectives.

In everyday life, this attitude is simply revolutionary and joyful.

It's simple: instead of judging - or suspending judgment - look at any idea as a door to the future that can change our own perceptions.

Maybe , as Alvin Toffler said,

Change is the process by which the future invades our lives

This is the path to the Positive Revolution

« A positive revolution may be contrasted with a negative one in to following way;

  1. Instead of attack, there is construction
  2. Instead of criticism, there is Design
  3. Instead of Change through Violence, there is Change through Perception
  4. Instead of the power of guns, there is the power of Information
  5. Instead of the hard edges of "Rock Logic", there is the flow of "Water Logic"
  6. Instead of Ideology to provide the direction, there is a Humour to allow changes in Direction
  7. Instead of a centrally organized system, there is a self-organising system

Although the Positive Revolution is non-violent, it is by no means passive. On the contrary, the emphasis is on Action and Effectiveness.

Edward de Bono, "Handbook for the Positive Revolution" 1991.