What is Lateral Thinking?

Lateral Thinking
Knowledge Center

Best Practices
Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

What is Lateral Thinking?

I would like members comments on Edward de Bono's statement:
"Anyone can be a lateral thinker, this does not imply they use lateral thinking.

  Carlos Raul Magnante
Business Consultant, Italy

An Essential Approach to Evolution

I completely agree with De Bono, and I'd like to look at the "reverse sense" of his statement. Can I assume that, whenever I act as "lateral thinker", I'm able to abandon the "linker thinker" approach?
Linear thinking links my past to the future, so the only way I know to introduce changes goes through lateral thinking, which breaks with the past.

  Jacob Andrews
Entrepreneur, United Arab Emirates

Tool for Creativity & Innovation

Lateral Thinking and Brainstorming are two management tools for creativity and innovation in modern management.
Edward De Bono’s (1990) notion of “lateral thinking” and Tom Peters' and Robert Waterman's (1982) argument of entrepreneurship and innovation could occur when the management is ready to give freedom to create innovation and ready to accept both good results and mistakes.
These theories are somewhat against the bureaucracy. The team needs to think differently from the current flow. In short, they need to swim against the current odds.
Ideas are arrived at through the attempt to break free from current ways of thinking, by restructuring existing patterns of information in the mind and by exploring alternative and novel ways of viewing a situation, problem or object (courtesy to University of Leicester).

  Francisco Quintal
Business Consultant, Mexico

Is There Any Difference?

Ali's original request was for commenting on the basic De Bono's statement:... Can a person "be" a lateral thinker and y...

  lenworth grandison

Lateral Thinking from Multiple Angles

Lateral thinking would be to consider everyone's idea, from the CEO to the lowest level of employee, to achieve the obje...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

Widened Management

Problems solving is about variation, insight and selection. Lateral Thinking is about variation in problems solving, mor...

  Montse Julibert, Spain

Many Creative Solutions

You can find many good solutions for only one problem or need. It's simply using lateral thinking to find many creative ...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking according to De Bono

Thank you for your comments. I believe De Bono, as the inventor of the term 'lateral thinking' and the tools/processes o...

  Henry Velasquez
Business Consultant, Colombia

Consider how Children Solve Problems

Really we have different ways to solve problems along our lives, but several factors stop us from enjoying problem solvi...

  Angel E. Lozari, Jr.
HR Consultant, Philippines

From Lateral Thinking to Linear Thinking and Back!

Indeed when we were kids, we naturally used Lateral Thinking. No limitations, no rules, no theorems to conform to. If a=...

  Vijay Jassal
Entrepreneur, India

Lateral Thinking as an Aptitude

Dear Ali, I agree with what De Bono says, as even my experience more often has been that "Lateral Thinking is more of an...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

We Naturally Used Lateral Thinking, But Were Trained to Use Linear

@Vijay, I think you may find when you read De Bono's books that it is the other way around - we naturally use linear thi...

Project Manager, India

Lateral Thinking is Intuitive

In my opinion, it is an intuitional way of thinking where we think out of the way (similar to brainstorming, but not str...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking is NOT intuitive

Hi Sandeep - I think you are referring to being a 'lateral thinker' not using lateral thinking. There is nothing intuiti...

Student (University), Nigeria

Lateral Thinking Can Be Learned

Dear Ali, when lateral thinking was introduced in 1967, it was aimed to destroy the old established ways of thinking and...

  Sandy Andrew, South Africa

Lateral Thinkers in South Africa

I coach marketing interns in the most exciting country in the world, where - as a result of the collapse of apartheid - ...

  Mario Compagnoni
Investor, South Africa

Born and Made

Hi Sandy. I have been in South Africa, best country in the world, for nearly 50 years. I think creative thinking is infl...

Partner, South Africa

Conditions for Lateral Thinking

Hi Sandy and Mario, I agree with both of you! The reason why there are so many lateral thinkers / out-of-the-box approa...

  Bantwal Prabhu
Teacher, India

Solving Complex Problems in a Simple Manner

Lateral thinking is finding a solution to a complex problem in a simple way. It is similar to offering radical methods,...

  R J Lozada
Management Consultant, Venezuela

Lateral Thinking Opens our Mind

Lateral thinking fractures the common sense, logical and structured reasoning we have learned and used to analyze and so...

  Madan Gopal Agarwal
Business Consultant, India

Lateral Thinking can be Acquired

I agree with Bono's above mentioned statement. Also, it is a skill which can be acquired and, when applied frequently, ...

  Eurely Jose Credidio
Consultant, Brazil

Lateral Thinking as a Systematic Approach

Lateral thinking is a way to organize our thoughts over a problem. It is a path to structure situations that our minds f...

Consultant, Malaysia

Fear for Lateral Thinking

I quite agree with Ali Sumner (Australia). Anyone can be a lateral thinker but they may not be using it, or not in a del...

  Mohd Arshad
HR Consultant, India

Multiple Ways to Perceive a Problem

De Bono's lateral thinking gives an idea to see the problem in multiple ways from different perspective, and enable us t...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

Lateral Thinking is Near Chaos

Lateral thinking... Is it is disciplined thinking, or indisciplined thinking? Both, but both are beyond limits of gener...

  Steven Smith
Business Consultant, United States

My Approach

I used to use circular reasoning when trying to solve a problem until I straightened out and began to think horizontally...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

To Steven Smith

Circular reasoning - it meant that you can't come out of circle, you can't find solution, and go rond and round. It's hi...

  Tebboub Abdelamelk
Professor, Algeria

What is Lateral Thinking?

When we say that lateral thinking is using different ways of perception, we mean that there is no correct answer, we hav...

  Jagdish B Acharya
Consultant, India

Using Goes Beyond Thinking

Bono says "Everybody can be a lateral thinker" and that is OK because one can learn how to think laterally and find new ...

  Stephanie Douglas, Canada

Lateral Thinking - So Now it Has a Name!

Since I was about 14 years-old, I've questioned teachers, university professors, co-workers on why problem solving or th...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking - So Now it Has a Name!

Hi Stephanie - I've been reflecting on the statement I started this conversation with: "Anyone can be a lateral thinker ...

  Benjamin Ocansey, Ghana

Lateral Thinking is Not Always Appreciated

Most solutions to the world's problems and discoveries came out of lateral thinkers. But present day educators are avers...

  Ivan Kohlinsky
Management Consultant, United Kingdom

Teaching Lateral Thinking

I don't think that one can teach lateral thinking, as someone has suggested, but one can warn people about thinking in s...

Student (University), Switzerland

Similarity Lateral Thinking and Real Options

Lateral thinking according to Edward De Bono, in a very simple definition means besides a known solution for a problem, ...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking is Deliberate Breaking of Patterns in Our Brain

Hi - I am interested in people's comments regards Edward De Bono's description of lateral thinking when he first invente...

  Bantwal Prabhu
Teacher, India

Relationship and Patterns

Lateral thinking leads to a thought process which looks at and understands the behavior of systems through relationships...

  Firstep Eapl Astimen
Manager, Indonesia

Lateral Thinking and Knowledge Value Creation

Lateral thinking is aligned with knowledge value creation from data, information, capacity to act (knowledge) and wisdom...

  Mario de Obaldia, United States

Evolution versus Revolution

Angel (15th responder) tried to tell us the answer - but, since we are already 'infected' with adult-think, w...

  Kasthurirangan A
Business Consultant

Lateral Thinking Definition

Lateral thinking" is a way to think creatively to achieve the best solution towards a win win situation. All of us must ...

  dare Akinlawon
Manager, Nigeria

Lateral Thinking - Critical Thinking?

I think lateral thinking is critical thinking! It's easier to think laterally with the mind of a child (that sees nothin...

  Muhammad Idrees Burhan, Pakistan

Unique Power of Mind

Analytical mind is that part of our brain which performs the function of judgment over every input it receives. But here...

  Bhagwan Singh
Teacher, India

Linear Was Lateral

In my opinion, all the inventions, discoveries or creations are the outcomes of lateral thinking approach. Yesterday's l...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

On Lateral and Opposite to Lateral Thinking

The thought is known that any witty remark is a marriage of two concepts which before wedding even weren't familiar - ex...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

On Extravagant Mixes

Any strong (original, genial) solution of a problem is an extravagant mix. Obviously, such extravagant mix - is always t...

  Alan hopwood
Business Consultant, United Kingdom

Lateral Thinking - a Simple Description

Linear thinking usually provides the right answer. Linear thinking is born of our logic and experience. It is the same e...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Lateral Thinking Kids

A brilliant idea initiated by Dr. De Bono. Back home, in Pakistan, I've seen young kids, barely 8 - 10 years old, workin...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

On Routine Thinking

Opposite to lateral thinking is routine thinking (thinking based on a template) – e.g. a «management methodology» or a «...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking Tools to Solve All Problems

Hello Konopatov S. N, in my experience using authentic lateral thinking tools for 21 years I have not had a high level o...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

Lateral Thinking is and Will Be the Exception

Therefore lateral thinking can't replace routine thinking and become a rule. It was, is and it will be rather the except...

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

Lateral Thinking is Moving Across Patterns

If lateral thinking is an abstraction that does not exist in real life then I am wondering where this definition has com...

  Madan Gopal Agarwal
Business Consultant, India

Lateral Thinking Revisited!

For Ali Sumner, Konopatov S N and all others - De Bono says that there are basically two types of thinking processes - o...

  Mario de Obaldia, United States

It's Too Late - Think!

In the definition employed by Ali, Dr. Bono's invention is on paper (books); it has sets of patterns to be followed (con...

  George Pitagorsky
Consultant, United States

Anyone Can Be a Lateral Thinker and it Doesn't Rely on Lateral Thinking.

De Bono is wise to recognize the difference between the lateral thinking method and the experiential open-mindedness tha...

  Ibrahima Diallo, United States

Thinking Divergently

It is refraining to think in a single mindset, deriving to an answer rather lateral thinking is about thinking divergent...

  George Pitagorsky
Consultant, United States

Lateral Thinking is Moving Across Patterns

I agree with Ali Sumner. The ability to alter or simply eliminate patterns, mental models and any conditioning that inhi...

  Konopatov S.N.
Professor, Russian Federation

Lateral Thinker, But not Using Lateral Thinking?

Whether there can be such persons who are lateral thinkers, but are not using lateral thinking? Yes! The one who uses ...

  Andrea Kelly, Jamaica

Lateral Thinking Needs training but is Not an Invention

I agree in that we may have to be trained to think laterally. However, I do not agree that lateral thinking is an invent...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Lateral Thinking & Maria Montessori

@Ali Sumner: If you wish to see Bono’s Lateral Thinking at work, visit a kindergarten or montessori kids group at play....

  Ali Sumner
CEO, Australia

The Difference Between Being a Lateral Thinker and Lateral Thinking

@Andrea Kelly; @Arif Ur Rehman : Once again I think you are confusing the concept of being a 'lateral thinker' with usi...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Fusion of the Lateral Thinker & Lateral Thinking

@Ali Sumner: A lateral thinker hand-in- hand with lateral thinking is very often found in young uneducated, untrained ‘...

  Gary Wong
Consultant, Canada

Use Lateral Thinking to Challenge a System to Repair Itself

@Arif Ur Rehman: Arif: I'm interested in learning what method the young mechanics followed, if they are uneducated and u...

  Andrew Blaine
Business Consultant, South Africa

Lateral Thinking and Thinkers

@Ali Sumner: I am still not clear about the difference between the thinking and thinker aspect. Secondly, how is such st...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Let's not Get Lost in Circles!

@Andrew Blaine: It’s random reasoning I am playing with. If I remember correctly it was Pascal who once said,” The heart...


More on Lateral Thinking:
🔥Creativity Requires Lateral Thinking AND Vertical Thinking
Lateral Thinking Looks Like Applied Systems Thinking to Me
Use Eastern Philosophy for Lateral Thinking
How to Think Laterally
How to Foster Lateral Thinking?
Lateral Thinking - Sometimes Suppressed
Lateral Thinking can Improve the Brain and Memory
Lateral Thinking the New Thinking Which Makes the Difference
Increased Scope of Thinking
Lateral Thinking Should Be Taught at Univ / MBA
Why Lateral Thinking is Important?
Young’s 5 Steps to Help to Produce Creative Ideas
Lateral Thinking = Thinking Outside of the Box
Lateral Thinking Culprit
Lateral Thinking is Creative Thinking
Lateral Thinking is Divergent Thinking
Lateral Thinking is Inborn
Lateral Thinking-not a Predefined Thought Process
What is Genius? Relation to Lateral Thinking?
Factors to Unlock Creativity
Using Lateral Thinking to Find an Exciting Job
Lateral Thinking Methods and our Decisions
Lateral Thinking Quotes
Quotes on Lateral Thinking and Creativity
Role of Chance in Lateral Thinking
Lateral Thinking = Critical Thinking
Not Anyone is Able to Learn Lateral Thinking
Best Practices
👀What is Lateral Thinking?
The Italian Way to Think
Lateral Thinking Methods / Tools
Lateral Thinking versus Logical Thinking
Lateral Thinking and Meta Thinking
Lateral Thinking Question
Special Interest Group

Do you have a keen interest in Lateral Thinking? Become our SIG Leader

Lateral Thinking
Knowledge Center

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2022 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.8 - Last updated: 4-7-2022. All names ™ of their owners.