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Lateral Thinking Examples

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Lateral Thinking Examples

Moderated by srini n
This is project is intended to act as a repository of examples and illustrations of Lateral Thinking.
Please post links, stories and examples of lateral thinking in action here.

To get a background on what is Lateral Thinking read this wiki article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_thinking

To get a flavor of what the guru of Lateral Thinking, Edward de Bono, has to say on the subject please visit
http://www.edwdebono.com/lateral.htm
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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
Tony Trevari, Dec. 13, 2011

Michelin announces winners of its College for Creative Studies design competition:

Michelin and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies revealed the submissions to the 23rd annual CCS Michelin Design Competition, a celebration of student automotive design, crazy transportation ideas, and perhaps the future of urban transportation.

http://rumors.automobilemag.com/michelin-announces-winners-of-its-college-for-creative-studies-design-challenge-92863.html

This year, the challenge pit four teams – each comprised of four students — against each other in a theme called City 2046: Art, Life, and Ingenuity. The project: take a style of city, then create a slate of vehicles that cope with that city’s unique challenges, and design it all for the year 2046… interesting to see students being challenged to think creatively to solve real world problems.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8pZ_exK85V4&feature=related
Tony Trevari
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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
srini n, Dec. 10, 2011

One way to stimulate creativity is humor. Edward de Bono recommends this quite consistently in his works. And when you want to be jerked out of fixed pattern thinking what is better than a RGM - Rube Goldberg Machine?

Rube Goldberg’s legendary capacity to make simple things complex (yes, you read it right!) has captivated me from my first encounter with his works in mid 80s.

Here is a video just one of the umpteen ones on YouTube. Just an appetizer this. Caution: RGM is addictive!

http://youtu.be/6-TG6SNNL6I
srini n
Comments (4)
  • Emily Nelsen Emily Nelsen Dec. 11, 2011
    This is SO much fun! Its so creative. It reminds me of the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the inventor Caractacus Potts played by Dick Van Dyke whose inventions had a similar feel to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D1ZCvmVsFY
  • srini n srini n Dec. 11, 2011
    @Mauro: Yes, there are aplenty on TY. Plus there are so many competitions around RGM. In fact a mini industry has grown around RGM! What I have posted is not after anything special or not even teh best but just one I had stumbled upon last night. I wd encourage the rest members of the project to discover and post their best discovery here ;)
  • srini n srini n Dec. 11, 2011
    @Emily: Thanks for the CCBB vid link. I did not see the movie but I had heard about it. The clip is truly a RGM based on the chain reaction principle which is at the heart of any RGM.
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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
Reese Turlington, Dec. 10, 2011

Discoveries show creativity and diversity of behavior in early humans

http://www.livescience.com/17375-oldest-mattresses-early-humans.html
Reese Turlington
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srini n, Dec. 9, 2011

Fun theory claims that fun can change behavior. And the proof here.

http://www.youtube.com/user/myvolkswagen?feature=mhee#p/c/8/cxCqW1IbBN4
srini n
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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
srini n, Dec. 8, 2011

Poka Yoke or mistake proofing

these examples are really ingenious solutions. Which of them qualify as examples of lateral thinking?

http://www.mistakeproofing.com/example1.html
srini n
Comments (2)
  • Mauro De Giorgi Mauro De Giorgi Dec. 11, 2011
    I think this is one of them: “Many smoke detectors are designed so they cannot be mounted on the wall until a battery is installed.”
  • Mauro De Giorgi Mauro De Giorgi Dec. 11, 2011
    Number 11: “This airport luggage cart has brakes which are applied whenever the yellow handle is not depressed. Carts will not roll unless they are attended. When carts nested, the rear wheels of all but the last cart are wedged off the floor, so the carts can be pushed easily by airport staff retruning them to service areas.”

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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
Jean Richard, Dec. 7, 2011

Inventions that revolutionize the world are, in large part, a product of lateral thinking. Here’s a look at the very first electric light bulbs invented and produced by Thomas Edison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afp8IRUUJUo&feature=related
Jean Richard
Comments (5)
  • Forrest Gardner Forrest Gardner Dec. 8, 2011
    The man that made it signed his name inside the bulb casing! Now that's old school craftsmanship with a healthy dose of taking great pride in what you create & sell.
  • srini n srini n Dec. 8, 2011
    Thanks Henry. The list is awesome!
    Yes it is intriguing how he cd sign his name inside!
    May be someone here can tell us how it was done?
  • Bert Breton Bert Breton Dec. 8, 2011
    That list of patents for filaments is a tremendous amount of output. Edison succeeded in industrializing the process of lateral thinking.
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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
Amanda Sanchez, Dec. 6, 2011

Edward De Bono, the champion of Lateral Thinking, discusses the importance of teaching youngsters the “skill” of thinking. This is a valuable element of academic teaching that is very rarely considered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAE1SVeRoig&feature=related
Amanda Sanchez
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Kevin Chu, Dec. 4, 2011

Often, knowing what “not” to do is half the battle. So, here are “Ten Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking,” followed by a terrific sci-fi example of creative thinking]:

http://www.copyblogger.com/mental-blocks-creative-thinking/

1. Trying to Find the “Right” Answer
2. Logical Thinking
3. Following Rules
4. Being Practical
5. Play is Not Work
6. That’s Not My Job
7. Being a “Serious” Person
8. Avoiding Ambiguity
9. Being Wrong is Bad
10. I’m Not Creative

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXKFTzlBziI
Kevin Chu
Comments (1)
  • srini n srini n Dec. 5, 2011
    tbh, I dont understand this. What is the message?

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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
srini n, Dec. 3, 2011

Discuss: Where is lateral thinking needed more?

Today I was called in to judge a competition where management school students were presenting their new business ideas. I came away with the impression that students have novel ideas for new products or services but are weak in ideas for realizing those products into actual businesses. In a word they are fairly okay with the WHAT but not okay with HOW.

So I am wondering whether we have enough good examples of how lateral thinking helped in putting into the market a new product idea.

srini n
Comments (2)
  • Bedford Wells Bedford Wells Dec. 3, 2011
    The best business idea or business plan is only as good how it is implemented. Even if one knows HOW to implement the plan, the WHEN aspect of the equation is equally important. In other words, the TIMING of when you actually implement various aspect of the plan is critical to success. I've pretty much arrived to the point where I believe the HOW and WHEN aspects of business are much more complex than the idea. It's often due to poor execution that great business plans fail. And only experience can teach you how to avoid this pitfall - something most students don't have.
  • srini n srini n Dec. 3, 2011
    Well said. I guess new ideas get romanticized in management books seminars training sessions and academic portals far more and less attention is paid to the key aspects of execution which includes the processes, methods and resources and when.

    Yesterday a student had come up with one 'new' business idea of delivering at doorstep fresh cut vegetables everymorning but had no clue to the logistics involved in it!

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Discussions Discussion Lateral Thinking Examples
Kendra Adebayo, Dec. 2, 2011

William Kamkwamba, the young man in Malawi who, at age 14, built a windmills to bring electiricity to his village is one of the great lateral thinkers. He built hiw windmills based only on pictures he saw in a book. Everyone in his village mocked his efforts, calling him crazy…until the electricity his windmill produced changed the life of everyone in the village.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=arD374MFk4w#!
Kendra Adebayo
Comments (2)
  • srini n srini n Dec. 2, 2011
    Teah, I had read his story. Great work by a young boy it was. Often severe challenges have been the trigger for lateral thinking to surface. Like Edward de Bono says when conventional linear thinking runs out of ideas, one is left with no patterns to follow and lateral thinking gets a chance to surface.
  • Ricky Burkhardt Ricky Burkhardt Dec. 2, 2011
    Amazing story and amazing person!

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