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Learn about Lateral Thinking

This is a brief introduction to Lateral Thinking.


If you would like to learn more than please contact one of our training partners. They provide instruction in Lateral Thinking either in person or virtually using an interactive course accessed via the Learn button on this website.

You might also enjoy reading Dr de Bono's books, especially Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity

"I invented the word Lateral Thinking to describe the process of deliberately changing ideas and perceptions."

Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono gave Lateral Thinking its name and developed techniques for using it. He has devoted his life to encouraging people to approach thinking as a skill that can be learned and improved.

Edward with his grafitti art.jpg

The language of lateral thinking

Yes, No - are the operative words for judgement, logic and analysis.

PO - is the operative word for Lateral Thinking. It stands for Provocative Operation and is in HyPOthesis, SupPOse, POssible.

Yes. No. PO_edited.png

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"Lateral Thinking is concerned with change, not with proof. It may be necessary to be wrong, in order to be right in the end."

Edward de Bono

Why we get stuck....

Our past experience shapes our thinking.

We fall into the Intelligence Trap. We believe that logic and analysis are enough and that being right is essential. We put all our effort into defending or attacking a point of view, instead of using our intelligence to explore possibilities.

We have learned that every step in our thinking has to be logical. We use judgement to reject illogical steps in our search for the right answer. Lateral Thinking uses a deliberately illogical step to provoke a new perspective.

....what Lateral Thinking is.

Lateral Thinking is a structured process to counter the natural tendency of the mind to seek out and use familiar patterns..
Lateral Thinking is a necessary complement to logic and analysis. Logic and analysis try harder with existing ideas, Lateral Thinking is for creating new ideas. Lateral Thinking is like the reverse gear in a car.
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