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The ability to ‘image’ or ‘imagine’ something is typical of human beings. The term ‘imagination’ has three basic meanings: to describe something (descriptive imagination), to create something (creative imagination), to challenge something (challenging imagination). The interplay of these three kinds of imagination makes up so-called strategic imagination, which is the source of original strategies in companies.

Descriptive imagination is the kind of imagination we use to “evoke images that describe a complex and confusing world “out there””; it also enables us to make sense of it and to see new possibilities and opportunities (LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, 2002, p. 14).

While descriptive imagination allows us to see what is there in a new way, creative imagination is the kind of imagination that allows us to see what is NOT there, i.e., to create something really new. It is the essential feature of visioning, brainstorming, thinking “out of the box”.

While creative imagination adds new elements to what is already there, “challenging imagination starts from scratch and assumes nothing”. Making often use of deconstruction and sarcasm, through challenging imagination “we negate, contradict, and even destroy the sense of progress that comes from descriptions and creativity” (LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, 2002, p. 16).