When to use it

Use Reversal to stimulate new thinking when you are stuck in a rut.

Use it to reframe a problem, looking at it from a different angle.

Use it when you are seeking different views to define the problem.

How to use it

Take any part of the problem

Select all of the problem or just a part of the problem. If thinking about flying, you could take the concept of flying, wings, jet engines, take-off, fuel burn, etc.

Reverse it in some way

Any form of perverse, backwards or other-sighted thinking is allowed.

Look at it from the opposite viewpoint. If male, view from the female viewpoint, and vice versa. Instead of looking up at it, look down. Look from the inside instead of at the outside, and so on.

You can reverse the basic concept, principles, physical elements, attributes, etc.


The room is dark. I am looking for ways to make it lighter. Instead of looking for ways of adding light, I look for ways of removing dark, for example by putting mirrors or white paint in darker corners.

You can also use reversals as simple provocation: – e.g. ‘Orange drinks me’ rather than ‘I do not drink orange’.

How it works

Reversal is a simple but surprisingly powerful method that kicks you out of your current rut but easily finds another view (so you don’t have to wander around lost, looking for new and useful place to dig.

See also

Reverse Brainstorming, Reverse Planning, Absence Thinking