Lotus Blossom Technique

Lotus Blossom – a creative technique for generating new ideas

1. Authors

Thomas Eliot, Yasuo Matsumura, Michael Michalko

2. History

This method was first applied by Thomas Eliot in his literary work. In his works, he always started with the main theme, from which new independent subtopics consistently grew. Later, Yasuo Matsumura developed a method of creative thinking called the “Lotus Blossom technique”, which displays this strategy in diagrams. Michael Mikalko improved this method and suggested options for using it to solve practical problems.

3. Description

This technique involves starting with a central theme or problem surrounded by eight empty circles or “petals” and working outward, using ever-widening circles. Related ideas or applications are written in empty circles. Central themes lead to ideas that themselves become central themes, surrounded by the next eight empty circles and so forth.
The unfolding themes trigger new ideas, solutions and opportunities.

4. Main functions

1. The technique helps you create more and higher quality ideas, fresh solutions and insights for your own business and life.
2. This method is a powerful tool for creatively solving problems you frequently encounter.
3. This is a systematic approach to problem analysis, Organization of Information, task planning and compilation of lists.

5. Methodological and theoretical grounds

Application of the method based on the deployment of a universal radial structure that underlies the structure and optimal functioning of the neuron and many other integral natural objects.
This universal structure, known as blossoms, is a framework for idea generation, starting from one central theme or a centre blossom. Eight related themes flow out from the main theme and each of them is used as the central theme to sequentially generate 8 more themes.
This structure underlies radial thinking and the compact organization and system analysis of information. The natural process of radiant thinking underlies the creation of a Mind map (T. Buzen), however, the Lotus blossom is more structured and internally active.
This universal-centred structure 3х3 gains self-activity and its empty cells require their filling with ideas.
Application of the “Lotus Blossom Technique” allows you to activate the left and right hemispheres of the brain and visualize the very structure of the idea.
The technique encourages you to see patterns, make connections and have a fully fleshed-out idea space.
When you complete a structure with ideas and applications for each theme, property or feature not previously seen will emerge.
The connections you make between the themes ideas and applications will sometimes create an emergent new property or feature and not previously considered.

6. Procedure and Basic stages

1. Draw a Lotus Blossom diagram and write down the central theme, an item to be improved or a problem in the centre of the diagram.
2. Think of 8 related ideas in the surrounding squares or circles, that are labelled A through H.
3. Take each of the eight previous themes and create eight new themes around it. Write them in new squares. It now becomes the basis for generating eight new ideas or applications.
4. Study and evaluate your ideas.
5. Look around the best ideas you now have and seek to link some of these back to the original problem.