What is concept thinking?

Concept thinking

Many contemporary challenges in business are no longer focused on efficiency or quality, but on concepts. Take, for example, a smartphone that has shifted its primary use from 'calling' to a multi-function device. In this world of things like ideas, a different way of thinking is needed to understand everything around us. And to be able to implement this new reality in our daily work. Conceptual thinking drives inspiration, by allowing individuals to create and nurture ideas. This kind of 'creative' thinking is seen as a gift or talent. But rather it is a skill. Conceptual thinking teaches you to always focus on the bigger picture, look at all the variables and distill a plan. To take charge of a project and make it your own. 

Develop conceptual thinking skills

Asking someone else to think differently without giving them a way to do it is a real challenge. Simple tools such as drawings and flowcharts,  guide thinking and help develop the habit of using visual aids that develop conceptual thinking.



Visualization is about using images. It's not about drawing; it's about visual thinking. It pushes us beyond just using words or language. It's a way of unlocking another part of our brain that allows us to think non-verbally and that managers wouldn't normally use.

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is used to indicate how ideas or other items are linked to a central idea and to each other. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas to look for patterns and insights that provide important design criteria. We do this by displaying the data and asking people to cluster it in ways that can create themes and patterns. To succeed, mind mapping must be a team sport.


Storytelling is exactly what it sounds like: weaving a story together instead of just making a bunch of points. It's a close relative of visualization – another way to make new ideas feel real and compelling. Visual storytelling is actually the most appealing type of story. All good presentations, both analytical and design-oriented, tell a convincing story.

Need help coming up with your concepts?

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