Abstraction -- the Essence of Innovation


  • Ed Sickafus Ntelleck, LLC




Innovative thinking techniques, i.e., heuristics applied during problem solving, stir both subconscious thinking engines into action; our left- and right-brain hemispheres. However, these two engines use different protocols in viewing and analyzing the same problem simultaneously. One parses a problem logically, consciously rationalizing each step while expressing its progress in language – a more tedious process than that of its compliment. The other, which favors images to language, visualizes a problem situation holistically and proffers instantaneously intuitive solution concepts to the conscious. Both dredge the depths of memory searching meaningful, but different, associations with our past experience. One engine uses the preferred thinking of technologists. The other engine uses that of verbal and graphic artisans. Yet, both types of thinking are creative and solve problems.

     This paper focuses on problem-solving heuristics commonly used by technologists and describes how these heuristics can be made to spark intuitive solution concepts through effective use of abstraction.


Keywords: innovation, problem solving, unified structured inventive thinking, heuristics, structured problem solving, left-brain logic, right-brain intuition, heuristic innovation

Author Biography

Ed Sickafus, Ntelleck, LLC

President, Ntelleck, LLC