Lateral Thinking Lateral thinking is a term coined by Edward de Bono, a Maltese psychologist, physician, and writer deBono defines Lateral Thinking as methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception.
Lateral Thinking ExampleIt took two hours for two men to dig a hole five feet deep. How deep would it have been if ten men had dug the hole for two hours?The answer appears to be 25 feet deep
But did you consider…?A hole may need to be of a certain size or shape so digging might stop early at a required depth. The deeper a hole is, the more effort is required to dig it, since waste soil needs to be lifted higher to the ground level. There is a limit to how deep a hole can be dug by manpower without use of ladders or hoists for soil removal, and 25 feet is beyond this limit.
But did you consider…? Deeper soil layers may be harder to dig out, or we may hit bedrock or the water table. Arewe digging in soil? Clay? Sand? Each presents its own special considerations. Diggingin a forest becomes much easier once we have cut through the first several feet of roots. Each man digging needs space to use a
But did you consider…? Itis possible that with more people working on a project, each person may become less efficient due to increased opportunity for distraction, the assumption he can slack off, more people to talk to, etc. More men could work in shifts to dig faster for longer. There are more men but are there more shovels?
But did you consider…? The two hours dug by ten men may be under different weather conditions than the two hours dug by two men. Raincould flood the hole to prevent digging. Temperature conditions may freeze the men before they finish. Would we rather have 5 holes each 5 feet deep?
But did you consider…? Thetwo men may be an engineering crew with digging machinery. What if one man in each group is a manager who will not actually dig? The extra eight men might not be strong enough to dig, or much stronger than the first two.
What is Lateral Thinking? Lateralthinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious Ideas may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. Techniques that apply lateral thinking to problems are characterized by the shifting of thinking patterns away from entrenched or predictable thinking to new or unexpected ideas.
What is Lateral Thinking?A new idea that is the result of lateral thinking is not always a helpful one When a good idea is discovered in this way it is usually obvious in hindsight
The Six Thinking Hats A Lateral Thinking Strategy by Edward De Bono
The Six Thinking Hats SixThinking Hats is an important and powerful technique. Itis used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives.
The Six Thinking Hats This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style, and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation. Ithas the benefit of blocking the confrontations that happen when people with different thinking styles discuss the same problem. Each Thinking Hat is a different style of thinking.
The Six Thinking Hats Many successful people think from a very rational, positive viewpoint. This is part of the reason that they are successful. Often,though, they may fail to look at a problem from an emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoint. Thiscan mean that they underestimate resistance to plans, fail to make creative leaps and do not make essential contingency plans.
The Six Thinking Hats Similarly, pessimists may be excessively defensive, and more emotional people may fail to look at decisions calmly and rationally. If you look at a problem with the Six Thinking Hats technique, then you will solve it using all approaches. Your decisions and plans will mix ambition, skill in execution, public sensitivity, creativity and good contingency planning.
The Six Thinking HatsWhite Hat With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them. This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.
The Six Thinking HatsRed Hat Wearing the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.
The Six Thinking HatsBlack Hat Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.
The Six Thinking HatsBlack Hat Black Hat thinking helps to make your plans tougher and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique.
The Six Thinking HatsBlack Hat Many successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance. This leaves them under-prepared for difficulties.
The Six Thinking HatsYellow Hat The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.
The Six Thinking HatsGreen Hat The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas.
The Six Thinking HatsBlue Hat The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, etc.