Lateral Thinking: Concepts, Training Methodologies and Applications in Business

Essay by frisblueUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2007

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

IntroductionRegular human thought patterns follow a standardised sequential approach which adheres strictly to logical reasoning and common sense. The lateral thinking concept conceived by Edward De Bono in 1967 (1991) is based upon harnessing the creative right side of the brain, spawning buzzwords such as 'thinking outside the box', 'thinking outside the square', and 'innovative and creative thinking'. De Bono is a prominent psychologist, consultant, management expert and author (Lewis 2005) who has written in excess of 60 books translated in over 34 languages (Kaul 2005). This significantly demonstrates the global relevance and application of lateral thinking. People of different ages, lifestyles, societies and ethnicities can be taught thinking - proving that lateral thinking is not a God-given talent (Feldman 2004), but a skill that can be taught cross-culturally. Lateral thinking is one of the few effective concepts despite the presence of such diversity. The master himself defines lateral thinking as:"You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper..

Lateral Thinking is for changing concepts and perceptions…The brain as a self-organising information system forms asymmetric patterns. In such systems there is a mathematical need for moving across patterns. The tools and processes of lateral thinking are designed to achieve such 'lateral' movement. The tools are based on an understanding of self-organising information systems… In any self-organising system there is a need to escape from a local optimum in order to move towards a more global optimum. The techniques of lateral thinking are designed to help that change."(de Bono n.d.)This report will outline the concept of lateral thinking, describe verified methodologies that can develop and enhance lateral thinking skills, and discuss how its applications in a business context not only has, but will enable organisations to achieve continuous growth and prosperity.

Concept of Lateral Thinking:...