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The idea development process

The interactive course and the My Thoughts service on this website use the following idea development process. Once you have learned the Lateral Thinking methods in the course you can apply them using My Thoughts.

Your computer will then facilitate your thinking through a series of prompts.

The first thing you will be asked to do is to describe what you want to think about by giving the topic a short title.

Click on the light bulb icon            to reveal a tip on what to do.


Click the pencil icon          to edit your thoughts.

You will presented with different options based on how much time you have:

5 Mins will short cut the process to the Random Word technique only to prompt a change in direction.

15 Mins will skip the Focus stage and give you a choice of Explore tools.

20 Mins+ will take you through the whole process:

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How we frame the situation has a significant influence on how our thinking develops. The program will ask if you wish to change your focus or identify dominating ideas.


Change of focus

Our choice of where to focus attention is important, but it is only with hindsight that we can say that we had the "correct" definition of the situation. It is more helpful to try alternative definitions and starting points to see where this leads your thinking.

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There are four Lateral Thinking techniques to choose from in the Explore Stage. Alternatives, Random Word, Challenge and Provocation. The program will generate prompts to help you use these methods effectively.

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The Movement stage of Lateral Thinking. Your computer will provide different Movement cues.

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This stage is an opportunity to record the “beginnings of ideas” not just finished ideas; to recognise if there are nascent values in the new ideas that could be further developed; to focus on where there are differences from the status quo.

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A summary of your progress and a decision about what to do next with the ideas your are developing.

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Step back from the content of your thinking and reflect on what was happening with your thinking. Did your perception of the situation change? Did you generate new concepts? What were the dominating ideas and alternatives? Decide where next to direct your thinking on this topic.

Watch a 1 minute video on how the My Thoughts service works and sign up for the Lateral Thinking Course.

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