Creativity and Lateral Thinking

Creativity

Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.

Lateral Thinking is a set of processes that provides a deliberate, systematic way of thinking creatively that results in innovative thinking in a repeatable manner. While critical thinking is primarily concerned with judging the true value of statements and seeking errors. Lateral thinking is more concerned with the "movement value" of statements and ideas. A person uses lateral thinking to move from one known idea to creating new ideas. I define four main catagories of Lateral thinking tools:

  • Idea-generating tools which break free your current thinking patterns from their usual pathways;

  • Focus tools that open your mind to new possibilities in the search for new ideas;

  • Harvest tools that help maximize value is received from the idea generating output;

  • Treatment tools that ground the creativity process by making the wild ideas and make them fit the real world constraints, resources, and support.

  • Lateral Thinking is the Step by Step approach to Creativity.

    Lateral thinking is the process of using information to bring about creativity and insight restructuring. Lateral thinking can be learned, practiced and used. It is possible to acquire skill in it just as it is possible to acquire skill in mathematics.

    Creativity and Lateral Thinking

    Often when you are problem solving or designing something there may well be an obvious answer. If the matter is important it can be beneficial to a small amount of time to use lateral thinking to discover alternative ways of defining the problem and to start thinking about it in a broader sense. You can train your brain to be more naturally creative and discover better solutions to known problems.

    Lateral thinking may take no more than one or two minutes. You try to see things in a different way. You try to find a new approach or a new concept. And if you do not succeed you just drop it and get on with the usual way of doing things.

    It does not matter how short a time is allocated to lateral thinking. What is important is that some time is allocated. To allocate thirty seconds now and again is of far more use than having a mammoth creative session once a year. Like many things in life, if you want to improve it you need to work on it.

    To understand lateral thinking, it is necessary to compare lateral thinking and critical thinking. Critical thinking is primarily concerned with judging the true value of statements and seeking errors. Lateral thinking is more concerned with the "movement value" of statements and ideas. A person uses lateral thinking to move from one known idea to creating new ideas.

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