Lateral Bucket Challenge

Tom Espezel-Bentley







By @TomEspezel


My Phone Buzzes. 1 new notification. A video of a soaking wet man dressed as a roman soldier (complete with spear) informs me that I have 24 hours. Sounds like the plot to the new Liam Neeson thriller right? Unfortunately not. Instead I have 24 hours in which to get seriously involved with a bucket full of ice water.


I knew this day had been coming but Ito tell the truth I was really enjoying the days before I had to become that ‘shivering wet guy’ that has been invading news feed for the past few months. Don’t get me wrong; I think what’s going on for ALS is great and I have no qualms about donating to a worthy cause. It’s not my hatred of ice or fear of buckets that’s putting me off either. The fact is I don’t really want to do ‘just another video’. Another 30 second clip that people automatically compare to the hundreds of others they have seen, and (considering I wont have any bikini clad women or water cannons) dismiss as another average challenge.


Luckily this has coincided with my finishing of ‘Lateral Thinking’ by Edward De Bono. It’s been a really interesting read and I wanted to try out some of the techniques he recommends so I though this would be the perfect opportunity.


Which technique should I use? I was just going to pick one at random but then I though I could go one better and use his ‘Random Stimulation’ process instead. For those of you who can’t remember what it is or havant got to this yet, Random Stimulation in a nutshell is using the most out of context and (you’ve guessed it) random starting points in order to generate ideas that would otherwise have remained unexplored. The specific exercise that I chose involved choosing a word at random from the dictionary and then using it in conjunction with the problem you are trying to tackle over a short period of time.


My word was ‘inquire’.  My problem ; “Making the ice bucket challenge unique”. And my time limit was 4 minutes. Below are my resulting trains of thought;


“How to make the ice bucket challenge unique?”


Inquire – ask – dig


Dig a hole in the ground, fill it with ice, jump in said hole. Make a hole in the ceiling, get someone to pour ice water through hole.


Inquire – question – Heston – Heston Blumenthal


Use dry ice instead. Make a bucket of dry ice-cream and pour that on your head. Just eat the ice cream.


Inquire – inquest – judge


Set up a panel to judge your attempt. Get others to get involved and make it a competition. Points awarded for originality, creativity and style.


Inquire – ask – Ask Jeeves – Jeeves


Get a butler to pour ice on you whilst smoking a pipe in an armchair. Get in touch with all the butlers of famous people and convince them to sabotage the famous people in bed with ice buckets. Dress up as a butler and try and get into buckingham palace and ice bucket the queen.


Inquire – Investigate – Invest


Try to ice bucket London bankers and get them to give sizeable donations to charity. People on the street who try to get people to sign up and donate to charities should start ice bucketing people in order to get them to donate.


Offer a mobile ice bucket challenge completely with props, costumes and green screen backgrounds. Upload peoples videos directly onto social media and encourage them to donate on the spot. 


I really enjoyed the process and was happy with the ideas generated in such a short amount of time. It also felt really good knowing that all this reading is actually having a positive impact. Now as I sit here dressed as a butler, eating dry ice ice-cream and about to donate online, I just cant wait until the 9th and all the lateral thinking shenanigans it will bring.

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