Lateral Thinking.

Lateral Thinking, created by Edward de Bono, provides a deliberate and systematic process of innovative thinking resulting in the development of unique ideas.

Lateral Thinking training will teach you how to think creatively, turn problems into opportunities, find alternative solutions, and dramatically increase your number of new and practical ideas using unconventional thinking techniques normally untapped by our usual ways of thinking.


- Ivar Giaver, Nobel Prize for Physics, Renssalear Institute
In 1976 the Olympics were held in Montreal and cost so much that the remaining debt was only paid off by 1993. The financial load on the city was enormous. After that, no city or country wanted to host the Olympics. After being held in Russia in 1980, the International Olympic Committee was having trouble finding a city or country willing to host for 1984. When the city of Los Angeles decided they would act as host, stipulation was made that no local funds would be used. Peter Ueberroth, as person in charge of the Los Angeles games, developed a totally new way of thinking about financing the Olympics. For the first time in history, the Olympics made money. Asked how he came up with these new ideas, he attributed the results to Edward de Bono's lateral thinking tools.

Who Needs Lateral Thinking?

Anyone who wants a disciplined process for innovation, idea generation, concept development, creative problem solving, or a strategy to challenge the status quo can benefit from Lateral Thinking. If you face fast-changing trends, fierce competition, and the need to work miracles, you need Lateral Thinking.

Lateral Thinking Techniques

  1. Alternatives / Concept Extraction: Use concepts to breed new ideas
  2. Focus: Sharpen or change your focus to improve your creative efforts
  3. Challenge: Break free from the limits of accepted ways of operating
  4. Random Entry: Use unconnected input to open new lines of thinking
  5. Provocation: Move from a provocative statement to useful ideas
  6. Harvesting: Select the best of early ideas and shape them into useable approaches
  7. Treatment of Ideas: Develop ideas and shape them to fit an organization or situation

- Forbes Magazine
How Might You Use Lateral Thinking?

The Lateral Thinking techniques are useful in a variety of applications.
  • Constructively challenge the status quo to enable new ideas to surface
  • Find and build on the concept behind an idea to create more ideas
  • Solve problems in ways that don’t initially come to mind
  • Use alternatives to liberate and harness the creative energy of the organization
  • Turn problems into opportunities
  • Select the best alternate ideas and implement them 

Lateral Thinking Results

  • Prudential’s Ron Barbaro (former CEO of Prudential-Canada) used their Lateral Thinking training to develop one of the most successful products for the insurance industry, “Living Benefits.”
  • DuPont benchmarked every creativity process on the market for its Creativity Center. Dr. David Tanner, former technical director of DuPont, says that “the de Bono techniques were the most useful” to DuPont. For example, an employee’s $30 million suggestion – the reengineering of a manufacturing process for Kevlar – eliminated nine steps in the manufacturing process as a result of using Lateral Thinking™ techniques.
  • Read more in Innovation: Case by Case by de Bono Consulting CEO and Founder, Barbara Stennes

Lateral Thinking Testimonials

“Great program! Very useful for strategic decisions and daily use. I will apply in sub-team work. Very useful at this specific moment . . .”

“A very useful exercise in providing a framework to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking.”

“Useful tools for the team to use going forward. Therefore, it was very useful for the team to participate together.”

If you are interested in taking a Lateral Thinking seminar from a local certified professional, for yourself or your business, contact Robert Fischer by email.