Conceptual Blocking Essay

1991 Words8 Pages
Conceptual blocking plays a huge role in today's organizational settings and everyday life. Conceptual blocking is a mindset that prevents people from seeing a problem from a unique perspective ("Habits that block creativity"). Conceptual blocks make problem solving difficult as it makes us think with a very restrictive criteria. Because of this, conceptual blocking leads to managers adopting solutions to problems that are a lot less desirable or overlooking ideas that would allow things to be done in an entirely different way. Reduction in conceptual blocking is heavily desired as it fosters outside-the-box thinking and leads to innovation. Conceptual blocks occur in every type of organization - small, medium, and large. Moreover, most managers do not realize that their ability to see or solve problems is being hindered by conceptual blocks. Conceptual blocks can take many forms; they could be constancy, commitment, compression, and complacency. Each of these different types of blocks inhibits the ability of people in solving problems creatively. Constancy blocking can occur if a person looks at the problem too narrowly. For example, in Admiral Kimmel's case, the Admiral never considered that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor. In his mind, the problem was that the Japan was going to attack Philippines, Guam, or other islands in Pacific Ocean and would not attack Hawaii. Commitment blocking occurs when a person looks at a problem through past prism or life experiences and use those past experiences as a model in solving current problems. Compression problems occur when people make their own assumptions about their problems and create artificial constraints around it that inhibits their ability in solving the problem. Complacency blocking arises because people do not ask questions regarding their problems thinking that people will consider them to be less intelligent.
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