Creative Thinking and Lateral Thinking
You might have an experience when you’re reading specific pieces of work and automatically think to yourself, “Wow – this is so creative, I would never have thought of an idea like this!”
That used to be the case when we were young and didn’t know much about the surroundings. However, now that we’ve accumulated a more extensive base of information, the creative thinking process is no longer foreign like that anymore. As we grew up, we continuously developed particular thinking methods to analyze and optimize the collected data.
The Creative Thinking Process
There are two terms regarding creativity that we need to look deeper into. Those terms are vertical thinking and lateral thinking.
Vertical thinking is similar to logical thinking. In vertical thinking mode, we carry a chosen idea forward. We come to a solution by deducting logically and rationally. We became analytical, careful, and precise, collecting data of the problem and applying methodologies to find logical solutions.
Meanwhile, lateral thinking triggers fresh ideas by changing the standards of reference continuously. In the lateral mode, we view a specific subject from different perspectives.
A lateral thinker understands vertical thinking but actively chooses to think outside of this restricted thought process. Lateral thinking is an indirect and creative approach to solve problems. We look at the reasoning and ideas that are not immediately obvious and obtainable through traditional step-by-step logic.
How Can We Get Creative With Lateral Thinking:
For creative officers or marketers who work in digital agencies, lateral thinking is a go-to when we want to spice things up in our works, applying a different vibe to our styles. Here are a few tips that you can try out if you’re looking to get on the lateral thinking boat.
1) List The Assumptions
When you encounter a question, problem, or challenge, list down all the possible assumptions. In lateral thinking mode, you don’t abide by any kinds of boundaries in your answers and just come up with as many choices as you can think of.
2) Take A Different Approach
Now think to yourself about a typical way a person would choose to solve this problem. Write down the straightforward solutions. Then ask, “Are there any other possible routes to go?” “What are the methods that people normally wouldn’t choose?”
3) Don’t Bound Yourself With Unchangeable Elements
Rearrange the pieces, like de Bono – author of “Lateral Thinking” suggests, form a new scenario. There is no fixed information that you cannot change with Lateral Thinking. Everything is a possibility. Question yourself with all the pre-assigned pieces and be creative with ways to mix things up.
4) Form A New Perspective
Innovation often happens when outsiders enter the industry or when random elements coincidentally form combinations. In other words, fresh perspectives are somehow invisible to veterans.
To kickstart lateral thinking, you might have to role-play as if you were somebody else trying to solve the puzzle. What kind of awkward, fictional, or even funny solutions would they offer?
Despite the differences, every thinking method enhances how we use our brains in a constant improvement manner. Creative thinking happens when people allow themselves to step outside the standard rules.
While lateral thinking is a creative process, it is not a creative solution since creativity also requires knowledge and experience.
Sometimes, the lateral thinking solutions we came up with might not be executable, but that is not the problem. What is essential is that our creative thinking process is enhanced, our audacity and patience during brainstorming are leveraged.
We all draw, create and invent until we get to secondary school. Then, all too often, someone or something systematically begins to put us into restrainments. That’s when I wonder how the “naturally” creative people managed to escape this loop. Or perhaps, they had a better way to face the challenge?
What do you think – Are there people who are “naturally” more creative than others?