Lateral thinking

This paper presents a conceptual and conceptual approach to understanding indirect and creative approaches, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that can be obtained by using traditional step-by-step logic . [1] The term was promulgated in 1967 by Edward de Bono . He cites as an example the Judgment of Solomon , where King Solomon resolves a dispute over the parenting of a child by calling for the child to be cut in half, and making his judgment according to the reactions that this order receives. [2]

According to de Bono, lateral thinking deliberately distances itself from the standard perception of creativity as “vertical” logic (the classic method for problem solving).


To understand lateral thinking, it is necessary to compare lateral thinking and critical thinking. Critical thinking is primarily concerned with judging the true value of statements and seeking errors. Lateral thinking is more concerned with the “movement value” of statements and ideas. A person uses lateral thinking to create a new idea. Edward de Bono defines four types of thinking tools:

  1. idea-generating tools intended for the break-up of current thinking patterns-routine patterns, the status quo
  2. focus tools for broaden where to search for new ideas
  3. harvest tools intended to ensure more value is received from the idea of ​​generating output
  4. treatment tools that promote consideration of real-world constraints, resources and support [3] [ need quotation to verify ]
Random Entry Idea Generating Tool
The thinker chooses an object at random, or a noun from a dictionary, and associates it with the area they are thinking about. Bono gives the example of the randomly-chosen word “nose” being used to photocopy, leading to the idea that the copy could produce a smell when it was low on paper, to alert staff. [4]
Provocation Idea Generating Tool
A provocation is a statement that we know is wrong or impossible but is used to create new ideas. De Bono gives an example of considering the river pollution and setting up the provocation “the factory is downstream of itself”; This leads to the idea of ​​forcing a factory to take its water from a point downstream of its output, an idea which later became law in some countries. [5] Provocations can be set up by the use of any provocative techniques -wishful thinking, exaggeration , reversal, escape, distortion, or arising. The thinker creates a list of provocations and then uses the most outlandish ones to move their thinking forward to new ideas.
Movement Techniques
One can move from a provocation to a new idea by the following methods.
Challenge Idea Generating Tool
A tool which is designed to ask the question “Why?” in a non-threatening way: why something exists, why it is done the way it is. The result is a very clear understanding of “Why?” which naturally leads to fresh new ideas. The goal is to be able to challenge anything at all. For example, one can challenge the handles on the coffee cups : The reason for the handle seems to be that the cup is often too hot to hold directly; Perhaps coffee cups Could Be made with finger grips insulated, gold there Could Be separate coffee-cup holders similar to beer holders, gold coffee shoulds not be so hot in the first place.
Fan Idea Generating Tool Concept
Ideas carry out concepts. This tool systematically expands the range of concepts in order to end up with a wide range of ideas to consider.
Based on the idea that the majority is always wrong (as suggested by Henrik Ibsen [6] and by John Kenneth Galbraith [7] ), take it that is obvious and generally accepted as “goes without saying”, question it, take an opposite view, and try to convincingly disprove it. This technique is similar to Bono’s “Black Hat” of Six Thinking Hats , which looks at its credentials to be cautious and conservative.

Problem solving

Problem Solving
When something creates a problem, the situation or the situation of the situation drops. Problem-solving deals with finding out the problem and then figuring out ways to fix the problem. The objective is to get the situation to where it should be. For example, a production line has an established run rate of 1000 items per hour. Suddenly, the run rate drops to 800 items per hour. Ideas as to why this is happening and the way it works.
Creative Problem Solving
Using creativity , one must solve a problem in an indirect and unconventional manner. For example, if a production line produced 1000 books per hour, the production line, or reduce the production line.
Creative Problem Identification
Many of the greatest non-technological innovations are APPROBATION Realizing year while gold Improved process design in everyday objects and tasks Either by accidental luck or by studying and Documenting real world experience.
Lateral Problem “Solving”
Lateral thinking will often produce solutions as obvious as “obvious” in hindsight. That lateral thinking will often lead to problems that you never knew you had, or it will solve simple problems that have a huge potential. For example, a production line produced 1000 books per hour, lateral thinking may suggest that a drop in output to 800 would lead to higher quality, more motivated workers etc. etc.
Lateral thinking “puzzles”
These are puzzles that are supposed to demonstrate However, any puzzle that has only one solution is “not” lateral. While lateral thinking can help you build such puzzles, the lateral thinking tools will help you solve puzzles.

See also

  • Cognitive Research Trust
  • Derailment (thought disorder)
  • Lateral thinking puzzles , also referred as situation puzzles
  • Oblique Strategies
  • Provocative operation
  • Parallel thinking
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Serendipity
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Creativity
  • Edward de Bono


  1. Jump up^ “Oxford English Dictionary: Lateral Thinking” . Oxford University Press . Retrieved 19 December 2016 .
  2. Jump up^ Diebold, John (18 November 1968). “Snoopy or the Tiger?” . New York Magazine . New York Media, LLC. p. 61 . Retrieved 5 June 2017 .
  3. Jump up^ Lateral Thinking: The power of provocationmanual: Published in 2006 by de Bono Thinking Systems
  4. Jump up^ by Bono, Edward (2015). Serious Creativity: How to Be Creative Under Pressure and Turn Ideas into Action . Random House UK. p. 263. ISBN  978-0091939700 .
  5. Jump up^ From Bono, Edward (1992). Serious creativity: using the power of lateral thinking to create new ideas . HarperBusiness. p. 145. ISBN  9780887305665 .
  6. Jump up^ In An Enemy of the People , 1882.
  7. Jump up^ Siracus, Joseph (2012). Encyclopedia of the Kennedys: The People and Events That Shaped America . ABC-CLIO. p. 269. ISBN  1598845381 .