As a society, we often face problems that require creative solutions.
Whether in our personal lives or our careers, we all encounter situations requiring us to think outside the box. This is where lateral thinking comes in.
Lateral thinking is a term coined by Edward de Bono, which refers to creative and out-of-the-box thinking. It involves breaking down barriers and thinking in a not-immediately obvious way. Lateral thinking is often used in problem-solving, as it can help us to find solutions that are not immediately apparent.
But what does lateral thinking actually look like in practice? Here are a few examples:
- A team at a company needs help to come up with a new marketing campaign. They’ve been brainstorming for hours, but nothing is working. One team member suggests taking a break and going for a walk. As they’re walking, they pass a construction site and see a group of workers wearing hard hats. This gives them the idea to create a campaign that plays off of the idea of hard work and determination.
- A person is trying to figure out how to get to their destination, but the usual route is closed due to construction. Instead of getting frustrated, they use lateral thinking to devise an alternate route. They take a detour and discover a new neighbourhood they never knew existed.
- A group of friends are trying to decide where to go for dinner. They’ve been to their usual spots and can’t agree on a new place. One of them suggests using a random number generator to choose a restaurant. They input a few options and choose a place they have yet to go to. It ends up being their new favourite spot.
Lateral thinking is a valuable skill that can help us solve problems and develop creative solutions.
While some people may be more naturally inclined towards lateral thinking than others, it is a skill that you can develop with practice. So the next time you’re stuck on a problem, try using lateral thinking to devise a solution.
You never know what you might come up with!