There’s never been a better time for lateral thinking. But, as with all elite cognitive skills there is good news and bad news.
The Good News: Lateral thinking is fast. Often ten times faster than logical thinking. Lateral thinking gives you more. Much more. More options. More hope. More choices. More solutions. More value. More ideas. More opportunities. More futures. More mindfulness. More cognitive resilience.
The Bad News: Lateral thinking is hard. It’s not for everyone. In fact, most people most of the time are thinking inside their box. That’s just the way it is. It’s the natural way of things. However, lateral thinking is thinking outside the box. It’s not easy. It takes effort, practice and skill.
I’m Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and thank you for visiting the School of Thinking. The reason I say that lateral thinking is hard is because a lot of people know about lateral thinking, sure, they’ve bought the book and some have even read it but … can they actually do it with skill and virtuosity?
Very, very few in my experience. In the I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong world of our Western Greco-Roman logic education it’s a very difficult cognitive feat to escape from the box of our own thinking. We are inclined to defend the rightness of our ‘truths’. We favour judgement or Black Hat Thinking. We find it easier to criticise than to design. The great Max Planck observed how difficult it is even for scientists to escape from current truths when he said, “Science advances one funeral at a time”.
We can all observe every day – in relationships, in business, politics, media and even in science – just how hard it is for most thinkers to escape from logical binary thinking so they can shift sideways to lateral trinary thinking. We do, of course, see quite valuable exceptions.
Academically, I hold the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking (1980) but my own lateral thinking skills were first acquired at Scheyville, an officer leadership school in the Australian Army, in the late ’60s. It was an intensive 22-week program of mostly being taught and drilled in outside-the-box thinking in preparation for jungle warfare in Vietnam. It’s interesting to see that today, 50 years later, the military still values these difficult lateral thinking skills in its elite training programs. Recently (July 2020), Commanding General for US Army Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Fran Beaudette, told the graduating class after their 50-week intensive training;
“From here, you will go forward and join the Green Berets where you will do what you are trained to do: challenge assumptions, break down barriers, smash through stereotypes, innovate, and achieve the impossible.”
The numerical or metric synonym for lateral thinking is x10 thinking. Although x10 thinking is not natural for humans it can be taught and learned and applied. This is what we have been doing at the School of Thinking for 40 years.
Lateral thinking (x10 thinking) is our best tool for creating value, our best hope for solving wicked problems, our best defense against imagined or real fear: fear of mistakes, fear of failure in career, business or job-related situations, fear of family crises, relationship conflicts, social media, fear of political or global issues.
Lateral thinking is science-based. Professor Jenny Graves holds the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. She said, “I applaud School of Thinking for its teaching of scientific thinking”.
There are ten lessons in this at home mentoring course. This full course includes cutting-edge cognitive theory and instruction about the potential of your PFC (Pre-Frontal Cortex, your 4th brain). It gives you simple but powerful software for your brain and coaches you in real life application of this potential. The career and life results are exciting, tangible and can be measured.
Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is the best-selling author of Software For Your Brain and co-founder with Edward de Bono of the School of Thinking in New York in 1979.
If you can complete these ten lessons, and the ten questions, you’ll qualify and attain your personalised Lateral Thinking Certificate-Advanced (LTC-A) from School of Thinking (SOT). However, in a recent class of 29 businesspeople only 5 finished to receive their certificates and so to add their qualification to Linked-In. This elite result is quite usual for real lateral thinking skills. About 1 in 5 get through to the end of the ten lessons.
OK. Having plainly laid out the challenges it’s also true to say that lateral thinking is creative, liberating, rewarding and a lot of fun to do! I very much look forward to working with you if you decide to opt-in.
Very best wishes,
If you’d like to be considered for ‘mentoring at home’ you can now apply to School of Thinking (SOT) for special advanced training in lateral thinking aka x10 thinking. Please fill in the enrollment box below.
• FEES: It’s not for everyone but everyone is invited. There are no fees. All school fees are paid by AVR.
• CERTIFICATE: For those who qualify there is a personalised certificate suitable for your Linked-In education profile.
• APPLICATION: To apply register your name and email address on this page below. You will receive immediate Confirmation from SOT (please check your inboxes).
• TESTIMONIALS: For your due diligence, here’s feedback from others:
• HISTORY: ‘The Clever Country’
NOTE: As a preview, and to get an idea of what x10 Thinking is all about, you can read this new fastbook, The Fourth Brain. It’s a fast read on the brain and your own PFC potential (about 10 mins) …