Associational Thinking Center:

Associational Thinking

AT Tale - Warp Speed

At the turn of the 20th century, when Wilbur and Orville Wright were struggling to develop a workable airplane, one of the biggest challenges they faced was how to get the plane to turn.

One day at their bike shop, Wilbur was absentmindedly twisting a box in his hands as he talked with a customer. Suddenly he recognized that this is exactly what he’d seen birds do to navigate stably in the wind. They warped their wings.

In that instant, Wilbur also realized he could do the same thing with an airplane wings. He could warp them.

It was the answer to the mystery of controlled flight.

Wilbur and Orville soon developed control wires to warp their plane’s wings, giving them the critical roll control they needed.

Wilbur’s associative leap from box to bird to airplane wings not only solved a problem that had stumped everyone before him, it also signaled a way of thinking differently that has particular meaning for us today. Associational thinking takes seemingly unrelated bits of information and connects them to make powerful creative breakthroughs.

- Putting Thinking into Action -