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Lateral Thinking can Address Important Challenges of the Future

by | Apr 22, 2022 | Community




We are facing a time of high uncertainty. Pandemics, wars, automation, inflation, increase unemployment, environmental degradation, emigration, stagnation of population, social inequality, increased poverty, etc… All these are wreaking havoc around the world. Lateral thinking will be required to reverse these pressing challenges in the developed world.

What is lateral thinking?

The term lateral thinking is used to describe a way to solve problems by using creative and indirect reasoning, which opens up a multitude of options. In other words, the challenge technique aims to break free from the convention of thinking. In this process, people attempt to break free from old habits and find better ways of doing things. Similarly, they might try to think of an innovative way to improve a system.

The first step in applying lateral reasoning is to list possibilities that might not be obvious. These possibilities may be unnecessary, wildly fictional or a combination of the two. The point is to bring as many ideas as possible to the table. Once you have your list, begin to brainstorm. If this method is employed correctly, the result could lead to breakthrough innovation.

Importance of lateral thinking

The concept of lateral thinking was coined by Edward de Bono in 1967. According to de Bono, it is the process of changing your reasoning from the typical, logical path to a creative pathway. Creative thinking works by replacing one line of classical problem-solving with another line that is lateral to the original.

It allows your mind to explore alternatives without feeling constrained by the traditional rules of problem-solving. By focusing on lateral reasoning instead of your traditional way of thinking, you’ll be able to generate creative, novel and innovative solutions to problems. The psychologist also describes this unorthodox thinking as an essential skill in solving complex problems.

Experimentation and risk-taking are the mothers of innovation. Random exposure is important in training your brain to think differently and shouldn’t be rationalized. It is a training tool to expand your horizons and increase your potential for alternative solutions. Lateral reasoning combined with a healthy dose of creativity can lead to some very great ideas.

man wearing black leaning on wall while thinking
Photo by Jake Young on Unsplash

It is often not possible to solve a pressing problem by traditional logical reasoning alone. In most cases, the solution lies in something much simpler, such as a creative solution. It requires a different type of insight than traditional solutions. This type of problem-solving can help us come up with a much superior outcome.

Unorthodox thinking is a creative process in which we solve problems in new ways. The basic ingredients of a new idea are already present, but we must look at them in a new way. Often, this means that we have to create new analogies. These creative analogies help us to fully utilize our implicit knowledge.

Often, a good idea will be born from a combination of provocations. A great example of creative reasoning is InnoCentive, a website where organizations can post problems and crowdsource solutions from strangers. Users have solved problems as diverse as NASA’s inability to predict solar particle storms and the Oil Spill Recovery Institute’s struggle to clean up oil from the recovery barges.

As Epstein points out, lateral thinking often comes from outsiders who lack specific expertise and knowledge about a particular situation. This perspective allows people with non-expert backgrounds to come up with creative solutions to problems that may stump the most experienced experts. In other words, they may be looking for the wrong answers while the specialists are searching in the wrong places.

How lateral thinking can solve problems?

Many of us struggle with problems that seem impossible to solve. It’s common to be stuck in a rut, unsure of what the best solution is. Learning how to apply lateral thinking can help you avoid these situations and develop new skills. This reasoning can be used to analyze real-life problems.

While most situations call for a creative approach, most of them require lateral thinking and a different way of looking at things. By thinking outside the box, you can discover new ways of approaching a problem that would otherwise be impossible to solve. This type of reasoning has the potential to transform even the most mundane problems into complex ones.

The concept of challenge implies stepping outside your routine and attempting unconventional solutions. This is derived from the belief that there are always better ways to solve problems. Using unconventional approaches to problem-solving has a huge impact. Many companies fail to use this type of thinking because they are stuck in the same mindset they have been using for years.

Innovators who employ lateral thinking have a unique perspective. These individuals seek new ways of solving problems and are motivated by new ideas. They are less likely to shy away from new ideas because they don’t have the fear of failure. Although not all ideas will be successful, these people tend to approach problems differently.

Creative thinking is the ability to see problems in new ways. Oftentimes the basic ingredients of a new idea already exist. The key is to find the right perspective on the problem. By leveraging this implicit knowledge, lateral thinkers can fully exploit the potential of existing knowledge to create a new idea.

By pushing boundaries and pushing conventions, unorthodox thinkers can see new possibilities that others may not be able to imagine. They have the instinct to seek out new ways to tackle problems. This approach is more effective when it’s paired with an environment that encourages creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

One example is the recent coronavirus pandemic in which people were trapped in lockdown. Small businesses were forced to adapt their methods of operation and innovation to stay agile. In such a situation, lateral thinking is crucial to success. Those who were enabled to adapt had to shut down.

Often, traditional approaches to problem-solving are not sufficient and innovative solutions must be found in new and creative ways. By examining current practices and thinking outside of the box, a person can solve problems that would have been impossible to solve in the past.

man sitting on top of mountain observing the world
Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash

Lateral thinking is also useful in the workplace, where it helps people break away from what’s obvious and find a different direction. By breaking the mold, people can come up with unexpected solutions and make improvements. It can also help companies survive in a competitive environment. It’s not just useful for solving problems but can also improve the products and services offered.

People who use creative reasoning can see the possibilities others fail to see. They have an insatiable curiosity and a desire to create a better future. It motivates them to explore new possibilities and find alternative solutions to old problems. They do not focus on following a set procedure, instead, they focus on adapting to changing circumstances.

The process of lateral reasoning is very useful for solving problems and mysteries. You might even discover new ideas you never thought of before. If you’re able to think lateral-wise, you’ll be able to do something that otherwise would be impossible. This type of reasoning has proven very beneficial for many people. In addition to the potential of being more creative, it also opens up a world of possibilities.

Creative thinking is a vital skill to keep in mind. When used properly, it can help individuals or organizations come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. It can be used in design and invention processes to make products and services better and at the same time improve the world. It can even help in identifying new trends or problems. Further, it can improve the way people communicate, work, think and behave.

If you want to make the world a better place, learn how to use lateral thinking. It is a valuable skill and should be cultivated in everyone. By using the power of lateral reasoning, everyone can contribute transformational value to their environment. It is especially valuable in times of change and crisis. And that’s the ultimate goal of life.