Lateral Thinking


Lateral thinking is closely connected to creative thinking. It generates a wealth of ideas by removing the barriers from following a particular path. With this tool you wander into unknown territory rather than sticking to an established route. 

The key Differences Between Lateral And Logical Thinkers Are: 

Lateral thinkers are not born but made. You can learn this thinking approach but to be effective you need to practiced this skill regularly.

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1. Purposefully stimulate the creation of new ideas. Compare this to creative thinking which often relies on inspiration and is not necessarily structured.

2. Solve problems, requiring insight and a re-shaping of existing approaches.

3. Develop and improve designs.

4. Opens the mind. The lateral brainstormer is consciously aware that things might not be what they seem.

This thinking process does not mean constantly questioning or denying everything: "Well, you say it’s raining. But is this what we would define as rain?"


Lateral brainstorming rearranges information and looks at different ways of doing things. You can constructively encouraged this type of thinking by following the below:

1. Reversing Situations:

For example, students instruct teachers, customers help shop assistants, fix alimony before marriage. It doesn't matter how ridiculous the idea is; you don't know where it might lead.

2. Removing the dominant feature within an idea :

For example, money might be the dominant obstacle to developing a new product. Remove the need for money and continue the discussions without allowing money to be mentioned. An unique solution might emerge once the problem no longer blocks the thought processes.

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Let Ideas Stew :

Tight schedules, pressurized lives, the "need it by yesterday" approach to organizations drive us to think quickly, decide immediately, and then spend double the amount of time undoing the damage. Ideas, however unlikely, need time to settle, germinate or die quietly. Lateral thoughts sleep on lumpy mattresses stuffed with unfinished, unconnected, undeveloped and even bizarre which we refuse to reject until the last possible moment.

Stop Thief! :

Why is a lateral thinker like a burglar?

Sneaking in through a side gate (although he planned to enter via the back of the property) a burglar breaks a window and enters the house with the intention of stealing a camcorder kept in the study. However, he spots a diamond ring and necklace on the kitchen counter. He forgets all about the camcorder and makes off with the jewelry.

The lateral thinker can choose not to approach the problem by the most obvious and planned route (like the burglar). Instead he stumbles across something which was not being sought in the first place.

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