Lateral Thinking

Lateral Thinking – Edward de Bono

Lisa Huninghake IM 504 - July 2014
Edward de Bono first described the Lateral Thinking Theory in 1967. Lateral Thinking generates novel solutions to a problem. There are Four Critical Factors:
1. Recognize the ideas that disrupt perception of a problem.
Don’t get locked into existing patterns. Recognize this and break the “gridlock”.
2. Look at things differently.
Try not to use judgment. Find the movement in an idea and escape from the pattern. Consider this PO … Possibility.
3. Relax rigid thinking.
Move backwards in an idea; exchange it for a different idea.
4. Use an idea as a stepping-stone.
Come at the idea from a random point; identify what you take for granted and then “escape” to a new way of thinking.

Example of Application:
Post it notes! This product started out as a search for an adhesive. The adhesive stuck lightly, but didn’t adhere. It was a failure. Dr. Spencer Silver and Art Fry worked together on the failure and turned it into a landmark product for 3M. All four Critical Factors in Lateral Thinking were used in their work.

Why use Lateral Thinking?
Applies to all aspects of human problem solving and perceptions - useful in management development and engineering - important for the integration of science, technology, engineering and math in schools.

Edward de Bono website:
Instructional Design Lateral Thinking
Lateral Thinking Course Lecture 4 –1
Lateral Thinking Course Lecture 4 –2
Lateral Thinking Course Lecture 4 –3
Post-it Note history

Created by Lisa Huninghake