“Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change those very pieces.” (Edward de Bono)
…and my 5 years old interpretation of the above is in the picture on the left :-) – as he was not allowed to play with our kitchen robot, he’s made his own with his toys.
Ok, there is plenty of academic’s incredible stuff about the matter. It is a fascinating topic.
It is about the unespected solution that suddendly shapes a new reality. Kids have this gift, then, with time, most of us tend to lose it, embracing the more structured and conventional set of information we are exposed to. Especially at school.
How good it would be to train this incredible brain activity – so strongly linked with creativity, as in this very good article by Shane Snow where you can also find definitions of lateral thinking and examples.
For sure, we cannot just jump to the conclusion that lateral thinking will solve all our problems of our daily life and that if we are still in a struggle it is because we are not “creative” enough to get out of them.
I struggle with time, routine, family, work, lack of work, traffic jams, people, small budgets, hard times (and I am lucky, I know I am).
Complaining. Well, thats an activity that does not help our brain activity at all. If we stop complaining about an adverse fate, then we are making our first step towards the solution.
Silence and objectivity are good allied in this process. Quiet meditation. I believe this can help our brain connections get a bit more flexible and ready for a new reality.
“...one of the reasons innovation often happens when outsiders enter a new industry, or when disparate groups bump into one another, is because fresh perspective are convention-ignorant. To kickstart lateral thinking, you might do well to pretend you were someone else trying to solve the problem.” Shane Snow