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How do you get a coconut out of a tree?

A sneak peek into the current chapter I'm writing on APPLIED CREATIVITY: my model driving optimal creative thinking, skills and process.

Imagine you are primal man, living in a village on a tropical island.

On your daily scavenge for food, you observe a cast of crabs scuttling across the white beach sands; larger than your usual crustacean, these crabs scale the nearby palm trees and proceed to knock down the rather large, heavy seeds… coconuts.

With two front pincers the size of your forearms, these crabs hug the coconuts and with a satisfying ‘crunch’… begin peeling off the husk to feast on the creamy, white innards.

A radical idea occurs to you… if crabs eat coconuts, maybe you could eat coconuts too?

One small problem… the coconuts are atop a tree.

How do you get a coconut out of a tree?


Like a good villager, you conform to culture, turning to common logic and existing LINEAR process:

  1. There is no established process (or cave paintings) on coconuts... obviously it can’t be done.

  2. You ask a colleague if they know how to retrieve the coconut. No-one's ever eaten coconuts... so why would you want it? They point out there is no established process... obviously it can’t be done.

  3. If crabs eat coconuts it must mean coconuts are only edible by crabs.

  4. You scale the tree and recover the coconut. It is encased in a hard shell that you cannot open. Your first assumption was correct... you've wasted all this time and energy. You are ridiculed by your colleague and ostracised by the village before dying of starvation.

Logically… the idea of eating coconuts is absurd.

But let’s say, as a radical thinker, you really, really want the coconut, how would you solve this problem?

When existing tools + process are insufficient,

how can you flex your CREATIVITY to eat coconuts?


To learn how you can apply the Six CREATIVE Skill Sets to develop optimal thinking, process and outcomes... download our creative model here...

To learn more about solutions I design, leaders I coach and creative teams I work with, view my services here.


Christopher. S. Sellers is an Expert on Creativity + Innovation

Founder + Director of Black Bulb Creative


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