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....Sign up

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...Sign up

Tool for Creativity & Innovation
Jacob Andrews, Entrepreneur, 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...Sign up

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?<...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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....Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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?...Sign up

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). ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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. ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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'...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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....Sign up

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. ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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».
Routi...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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'.
...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up

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...Sign up

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 ...Sign up


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