What is Lateral Thinking?

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What is Lateral Thinking?
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
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....Register

An Essential Approach to Evolution
Carlos Raul Magnante, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
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 thinke...

Tool for Creativity & Innovation
Jacob Andrews, Manager, United Arab Emirates, Member
Lateral Thinking and Brainstorming are two management tools for creativity and innovation in modern management.
Edward De Bono’s (1990) notion of...

Is There Any Difference?
Francisco Quintal, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
Ali's original request was for commenting on the basic De Bono's statement:... Can a person "be" a lateral thinker and yet not using such a capacity?<...

Lateral Thinking from Multiple Angles
lenworth grandison, Jamaica, Member
Lateral thinking would be to consider everyone's idea, from the CEO to the lowest level of employee, to achieve the objective, as this would provide t...

Widened Management
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Problems solving is about variation, insight and selection. Lateral Thinking is about variation in problems solving, more certainly - about widenin...

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

Lateral Thinking according to De Bono
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
Thank you for your comments. I believe De Bono, as the inventor of the term 'lateral thinking' and the tools/processes of Lateral Thinking, is making ...

Consider how Children Solve Problems
Henry Velasquez, Business Consultant, Colombia, Member
Really we have different ways to solve problems along our lives, but several factors stop us from enjoying problem solving, such as traditional...

From Lateral Thinking to Linear Thinking and Back!
Angel E. Lozari, Jr., HR Consultant, Philippines, Member
Indeed when we were kids, we naturally used Lateral Thinking. No limitations, no rules, no theorems to conform to. If a=b, and b=c, then either a=c or...

Lateral Thinking as an Aptitude
Vijay Jassal, Entrepreneur, India, Member
Dear Ali, I agree with what De Bono says, as even my experience more often has been that "Lateral Thinking is more of an aptitude than a skill". That ...

We Naturally Used Lateral Thinking, But Were Trained to Use Linear
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
@Vijay, I think you may find when you read De Bono's books that it is the other way around - we naturally use linear thinking (compounded by the fa...

Lateral Thinking is Intuitive
SANDEEP KUMAR K, Project Manager, India, Member
In my opinion, it is an intuitional way of thinking where we think out of the way (similar to brainstorming, but not structured) so as to gathe...

Lateral Thinking is NOT intuitive
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
Hi Sandeep - I think you are referring to being a 'lateral thinker' not using lateral thinking. There is nothing intuitional about using lateral th...

Lateral Thinking Can Be Learned
breath, Student (University), Nigeria, Member
Dear Ali, when lateral thinking was introduced in 1967, it was aimed to destroy the old established ways of thinking and support creativity. De Bono c...

Lateral Thinkers in South Africa
Sandy Andrew, Consultant, South Africa, Member
I coach marketing interns in the most exciting country in the world, where - as a result of the collapse of apartheid - a whole new way of thinking ha...

Born and Made
Mario Compagnoni, Investor, South Africa, Member
Hi Sandy. I have been in South Africa, best country in the world, for nearly 50 years. I think creative thinking is influenced by the same two factors...

Conditions for Lateral Thinking
Blokland, Partner, South Africa, Member
Hi Sandy and Mario, I agree with both of you! The reason why there are so many lateral thinkers / out-of-the-box approach / entreprenership in SA is ...

Solving Complex Problems in a Simple Manner
Bantwal Prabhu, Teacher, India, Member
Lateral thinking is finding a solution to a complex problem in a simple way.
It is similar to offering radical methods, views and solutions to pr...

Lateral Thinking Opens our Mind
R Lozada, Management Consultant, Venezuela, Member
Lateral thinking fractures the common sense, logical and structured reasoning we have learned and used to analyze and solve problems with vertical thi...

Lateral Thinking can be Acquired
Madan Gopal Agarwal, Business Consultant, India, Member
I agree with Bono's above mentioned statement.
Also, it is a skill which can be acquired and, when applied frequently, becomes a habit ...

Lateral Thinking as a Systematic Approach
Eurely Jose Credidio, Consultant, Brazil, Member
Lateral thinking is a way to organize our thoughts over a problem. It is a path to structure situations that our minds follows automatically. B...

Fear for Lateral Thinking
Anthony, Consultant, Malaysia, Member
I quite agree with Ali Sumner (Australia). Anyone can be a lateral thinker but they may not be using it, or not in a deliberate, systematic ...

Multiple Ways to Perceive a Problem
Mohd Arshad, HR Consultant, India, Member
De Bono's lateral thinking gives an idea to see the problem in multiple ways from different perspective, and enable us to find the optimal reso...

Lateral Thinking is Near Chaos
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Lateral thinking... Is it is disciplined thinking, or indisciplined thinking?
Both, but both are beyond limits of generally accepted. Why?...

My Approach
Steven Smith, Business Consultant, United States, Member
I used to use circular reasoning when trying to solve a problem until I straightened out and began to think horizontally (and then laterally). ...

To Steven Smith
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Circular reasoning - it meant that you can't come out of circle, you can't find solution, and go rond and round. It's high time for lt. Wen solution i...

What is Lateral Thinking?
Tebboub Abdelamelk, Professor, Algeria, Member
When we say that lateral thinking is using different ways of perception, we mean that there is no correct answer, we have to search an appropri...

Using Goes Beyond Thinking
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
Bono says "Everybody can be a lateral thinker" and that is OK because one can learn how to think laterally and find new solutions.
He also says t...

Lateral Thinking - So Now it Has a Name!
Stephanie Douglas, Canada, Member
Since I was about 14 years-old, I've questioned teachers, university professors, co-workers on why problem solving or thinking about an issue has to b...

Lateral Thinking - So Now it Has a Name!
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
Hi Stephanie - I've been reflecting on the statement I started this conversation with: "Anyone can be a lateral thinker but that does not imply they a...

Lateral Thinking is Not Always Appreciated
Benjamin Ocansey, Manager, Ghana, Member
Most solutions to the world's problems and discoveries came out of lateral thinkers. But present day educators are averse to lateral thinking. ...

Teaching Lateral Thinking
Ivan Kohlinsky, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
I don't think that one can teach lateral thinking, as someone has suggested, but one can warn people about thinking in straight lines and teach tec...

Similarity Lateral Thinking and Real Options
I.G.Uwaifo, Student (University), Switzerland, Member
Lateral thinking according to Edward De Bono, in a very simple definition means besides a known solution for a problem, there are many others. More...

Lateral Thinking is Deliberate Breaking of Patterns in Our Brain
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
Hi - I am interested in people's comments regards Edward De Bono's description of lateral thinking when he first invented the term in the 1960'...

Relationship and Patterns
Bantwal Prabhu, Teacher, India, Member
Lateral thinking leads to a thought process which looks at and understands the behavior of systems through relationships and patterns in data, info...

Lateral Thinking and Knowledge Value Creation
Firstep Eapl Astimen, Manager, Indonesia, Member
Lateral thinking is aligned with knowledge value creation from data, information, capacity to act (knowledge) and wisdom (implementation of value c...

Evolution versus Revolution
Mario de Obaldia
Angel (15th responder) tried to tell us the answer - but, since we are already 'infected' with adult-think, we continue to fall back int...

Lateral Thinking Definition
Kasthurirangan A, Business Consultant, Member
Lateral thinking" is a way to think creatively to achieve the best solution towards a win win situation. All of us must remember the footwear s...

Lateral Thinking - Critical Thinking?
dare Akinlawon, Manager, Nigeria, Member
I think lateral thinking is critical thinking! It's easier to think laterally with the mind of a child (that sees nothing as impossible) than with tha...

Unique Power of Mind
Muhammad Idrees Burhan
Analytical mind is that part of our brain which performs the function of judgment over every input it receives. But here is a virus that very often co...

Linear Was Lateral
Bhagwan Singh, Teacher, India, Member
In my opinion, all the inventions, discoveries or creations are the outcomes of lateral thinking approach. Yesterday's lateral thinking becomes tod...

On Lateral and Opposite to Lateral Thinking
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
The thought is known that any witty remark is a marriage of two concepts which before wedding even weren't familiar - extravagant mix....

On Extravagant Mixes
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Any strong (original, genial) solution of a problem is an extravagant mix. Obviously, such extravagant mix - is always the fruit of lateral thinking. ...

Lateral Thinking - a Simple Description
Alan hopwood, Business Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
Linear thinking usually provides the right answer. Linear thinking is born of our logic and experience. It is the same experience that prevents...

Lateral Thinking Kids
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
A brilliant idea initiated by Dr. De Bono. Back home, in Pakistan, I've seen young kids, barely 8 - 10 years old, working as 'helper mechani...

On Routine Thinking
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Opposite to lateral thinking is routine thinking (thinking based on a template) – e.g. a «management methodology» or a «case study».

Lateral Thinking Tools to Solve All Problems
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
Hello Konopatov S. N, in my experience using authentic lateral thinking tools for 21 years I have not had a high level of failure - I use De Bono's la...

Lateral Thinking is and Will Be the Exception
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Therefore lateral thinking can't replace routine thinking and become a rule. It was, is and it will be rather the exception than a rule. At the same t...

Lateral Thinking is Moving Across Patterns
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
If lateral thinking is an abstraction that does not exist in real life then I am wondering where this definition has come from? It has never ap...

Lateral Thinking Revisited!
Madan Gopal Agarwal, Business Consultant, India, Member
For Ali Sumner, Konopatov S N and all others - De Bono says that there are basically two types of thinking processes - one vertical (say VT) (o...

It's Too Late - Think!
Mario de Obaldia
In the definition employed by Ali, Dr. Bono's invention is on paper (books); it has sets of patterns to be followed (concepts, tools); ergo, it is a t...

Anyone Can Be a Lateral Thinker and it Doesn't Rely on Lateral Thinking.
George Pitagorsky, Consultant, United States, Member
De Bono is wise to recognize the difference between the lateral thinking method and the experiential open-mindedness that allows ...

Thinking Divergently
Ibrahima Diallo
It is refraining to think in a single mindset, deriving to an answer rather lateral thinking is about thinking divergently to raise possible ou...

Lateral Thinking is Moving Across Patterns
George Pitagorsky, Consultant, United States, Member
I agree with Ali Sumner. The ability to alter or simply eliminate patterns, mental models and any conditioning that inhibits creative thinking or s...

Lateral Thinker, But not Using Lateral Thinking?
Konopatov S.N., Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Whether there can be such persons who are lateral thinkers, but are not using lateral thinking?
Yes! The one who uses lateral thinking, has choi...

Lateral Thinking Needs training but is Not an Invention
Andrea Kelly
I agree in that we may have to be trained to think laterally. However, I do not agree that lateral thinking is an invention as we thought that way as ...

Lateral Thinking & Maria Montessori
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
@Ali Sumner:
If you wish to see Bono’s Lateral Thinking at work, visit a kindergarten or montessori kids group ...

The Difference Between Being a Lateral Thinker and Lateral Thinking
Ali Sumner, CEO, Australia, Member
@Andrea Kelly; @Arif Ur Rehman :
Once again I think you are confusing the concept of being a 'lateral thinker' with using 'lateral thinking'.

Fusion of the Lateral Thinker & Lateral Thinking
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
@Ali Sumner:
A lateral thinker hand-in- hand with lateral thinking is very often found in young uneducated, un...

Use Lateral Thinking to Challenge a System to Repair Itself
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Arif Ur Rehman: Arif: I'm interested in learning what method the young mechanics followed, if they are uneducated ...

Lateral Thinking and Thinkers
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
@Ali Sumner: I am still not clear about the difference between the thinking and thinker aspect. Secondly, how is suc...

Let's not Get Lost in Circles!
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
@Andrew Blaine: It’s random reasoning I am playing with. If I remember correctly it was Pascal who once said,” The ...


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