Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

Edward de Bono: ‘Lateral Thinking – The Subject Of “Creativity”‘

Friday, 28 October 2011

Creativity is a messy and confusing subject. Much of the difficulty arises directly from the words “creative” and “creativity.”

At the simplest level “creative” means bringing into being something that was not there before. Understanding the need for creativity in business and industry today is the easy part. Everyone is faced with the need to create a new product or service, solve a problem, or have the leading edge over the competitors.

Understanding the process of creativity and how individuals can learn skills to be creative is what causes the confusion.This creation requires a special skill. The Lateral Thinking program teaches individuals creativity and the skill of generating ideas while using their knowledge and experience.

Lateral Thinking™ and Dr. de Bono
Dr. Edward de Bono is regarded by many as the leading world authority in the field of creativity. He is the inventor of the phrase “Lateral Thinking” which is now in the Oxford English Dictionary.

His Lateral Thinking tools are based directly on how the brain functions as a self-organizing information system. He has worked for over thirty years in the field with major corporations all over the world.

Here are some notes from Dr. de Bono on the definition of Lateral Thinking.

There are a number of ways of describing or defining Lateral Thinking.

  1. “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.”
  2. “Lateral Thinking is for changing concepts and perceptions instead of trying harder with the same concepts and perceptions.”
  3. “In self-organizing information systems, asymmetric patterns are formed. Lateral Thinking is a method for cutting across from one pattern to another.”

In my writing and seminars, I use the terms “lateral thinking” and “creative thinking” interchangeably because creative thinking is much more widely known.

I introduced the new term “serious creativity” in my book Serious Creativity (HarperBusiness, New York, 1992) in order to make a distinction between formal creative techniques and just messing around and hoping that an idea will

The word “creative” in the English language has a very broad meaning and includes the bringing into existence of something new. We do not accept creating a mess as being creative because the new thing is supposed to have value. For example, artists are creative because they create new things that have value.Yet many artists are productive stylists who produce within the same perceptions and style of expression.There may be very little of the change in perceptions and concepts that is central to Lateral Thinking.

So one of the reasons for creating and using the term “Lateral Thinking” is to distinguish this kind of artistic creativity from the thinking involved in creating new perceptions and new concepts.

There are, of course, artists who also change concepts and perceptions and who do use Lateral Thinking as such.This seems to particularly apply to musicians in both popular and classical music. There are also playwrights, novelists, architects, and others who have used Lateral Thinking to open up new concepts and perceptions.

Even so, the Lateral Thinking course does not pretend to turn a participant into an artist.

Misconceptions about Creative Thinking
Have you ever heard the following?

“You have to be an artist to be creative.”
“Ideas have always happened.”
“Creativity is a talent that some people have and others do not.”
“Creativity comes from rebels.”
“Being liberated is enough.”
“Tools and techniques are confining.”

Here are some thoughts on these misconceptions.

Read More…

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