Lateral thinking is the deliberate search for alternatives above, around and beyond the obvious, straightforward and logical ones.
Oxford English Dictionary:
la’ter al think’ing, a way of thinking which seeks the solution to intractable problems through unorthodox methods, or elements which would normally be ignored by logical thinking. Dr Edward de Bono divides thinking into two methods. One he terms ‘vertical thinking’ – that is, using the processes of logic, the historic and traditional method. The other type he calls ‘lateral thinking’ which involves disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle. Lateral thinking leads to those simple ideas that are obvious only after they have been thought of.
To find out more about Lateral Thinking, we recommend the following references:
- Edward de Bono – Lateral Thinking & Parallel Thinking TM
- Lateral Thinking : Creativity Step by Step by Edward de Bono