lateral thinking



Idea generation and problem solving technique in which new concepts are created by looking at things in novel ways. Whereas the logical ('vertical') thinking carries a chosen idea forward, the sideways ('lateral') thinking provokes fresh ideas or changes the frame of reference. And, while vertical thinking tries to overcome problems by meeting them head-on, lateral thinking tries to bypass them through a radically different approach. The term was coined by the Maltese-born UK psychologist Dr. Edward de Bono in his 1970 book 'Lateral Thinking.' See also heuristics.

Use lateral thinking in a sentence

  • The lateral thinking exhibited by the new research team showed their creativity, originality, and innovation as they solved the problem.

    2 people found this helpful
  • You need to have people on your team that can do quick lateral thinking if you want to be the first ones to a new product.

    5 people found this helpful
  • I had to break this man of his lateral thinking and give him some new choices to work with because he really wanted to change.

    11 people found this helpful
Show more usage examples...

Related Videos

Have a question about lateral thinking? Ask for help in the
Browse by Letter: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z