Build a Creative and Innovative Thinking Organization

Lateral Thinking: The Tool Kit of Patter Breaking Idea Generating Tools

Lateral Thinking - The Power of Provocation, from

If an opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. At DuPont lateral thinking tools led to an employee's suggestion that eliminated nine steps in the Kevlar manufacturing process. The savings--$30.0 million.

"If you haven't heard of Edward de Bono or of Lateral Thinking, perhaps you have been too busy thinking in conventional ways."--Forbes

Lateral Thinking

Solving problems in unconventional ways--a way of thinking which seeks solutions through unorthodox methods that would normally be ignored by logical thinking. de Bono wrote this classic book in the 1970's. de Bono Thinking Systems, Inc. launched the course in 1994. Lynda Curtin was certified by de Bono in 1994 during the launch of this course.

Strengthen your creative and innovative performance by learning specific tools to:

  1. Participate in the best ideation sessions.

  2. Jolt your group out of ho-hum, same old, dead-end thinking.

  3. Recognize, and know how to work with: concepts, specific ideas, beginning ideas, and arising provocations. If you can master this, your groups will love you.

  4. Generate and use concepts as a springboard to more and more ideas.

  5. Develop and use provocations as surprising pathways to useful new ideas.

  6. Develop sharper focus statements to stimulate productive creative effort.

  7. Harvest idea output to glean more value from your ideation work.

  8. Shape ideas to be workable within relevant constraints; ensure they are receivable.

"I have found there are 3 basic pillars supporting creativity and innovation: the Osborn/Parnes problem solving model, and Dr. Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking tool kits. This is where you should start. Lynda Curtin is the right person to do this training."--Roland Boose, Nestle USA Prepared Foods Division

Attend one of our public events: learn more here

Lateral Thinking pre-reading e-book

You can learn this powerful creative thinking process.

Not only people who devise strategy or work in R & D, but anyone who wants a disciplined process for innovation, idea generation, concept development, creative problem solving, or a strategy to challenge the status quo can benefit from learning how to become a Lateral Thinker. If you face fast-changing trends, fierce competition, and the need to work miracles, you need Lateral Thinking.

The tools stand the test of time. de Bono wrote the book in the mid 1970's. It's one thing to read the book--intellectual understanding. It's quite another to be able to do something--skill building. de Bono Thinking Systems expert senior leader, Lynda Curtin, will work with you to help you move from knowing about Lateral Thinking to being able to use the Lateral Thinking creative process and tools exactly when you need to. Lynda was certified by Edward de Bono in 1994. She has lots of client lateral thinking experience and insights to share with you.

"By the end of this year we will have doubled our business since our creative thinking session with you (Lynda), and we are 60% of the way to the goal. It's almost time to raise the bar!- Dan Weare, National Business Manager


Lateral Thinking Workshop Options:

  • Executive Deep Dive into Lateral Thinking. An intense hands-on three-day de Bono Innovation event. We will work on your business challenges. Lynda was certified by Edward de Bono in 1994 in Lateral Thinking. She has lots of relevant experience to share with you.

  • Two-day workshop: application based which will drive the tools covered.


Additional Workshop Option: Focus on Facilitation--How to Lead Productive Thinking Together Meetings to Deliver Remarkable Results

Background: Many people used to attend Lateral Thinking training because they really wanted to learn how to use the tools to facilitate productive ideation meetings. The Lateral Thinking workshop wasn't designed to teach ideation facilitation skills, not to mention, ideation facilitation requires additional thinking tools not included in the Lateral Thinking method.

Clients knew this and kept asking for more in-depth ideation facilitation training using de Bono Thinking Systems methods. So, de Bono Thinking Systems, Inc. retained the services of Lynda Curtin to apply her facilitation expertise along with her expertise in applying de Bono methods--Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking, and CoRT Tools to develop a de Bono facilitation course.

Focus on Facilitation is the result. If your need is to develop powerful ideation facilitation skills--the ability to facilitate the thinking that needs to take place in meetings, in order for groups to arrive at robust solutions, plan to attend Focus on Facilitation training.


Lateral Thinking Tools are Perfect For

  1. Groups in need of fresh new thinking.

  2. Solving problems in ways that don't initially come to mind.

  3. Companies with an “innovation” initiative in need of tools that actually work.

  4. Executives feeling the heat. Same old, same old just isn't working anymore.

  5. Teams frustrated with old predicable ideas that keep surfacing in their creative thinking meetings.

  6. Professionals in the new idea development business — R&D, PD, marketing, advertising.

  7. Scientists and engineers who need systematic tools to break open their thinking.

Check out case studies and articles. Learn more from great companies like ABB, HP, Nestle, and Boeing.  Click to read

The Creative Thinking Process with Lateral Thinking Tools

Focus Tools: Select planning tools to help prepare for creative and innovative thinking sessions.
  Current thinking checklist — screen for areas of opportunity. Constructively challenge the status quo to enable new ideas to surface.
  Creative hit list — work with one to make creativity an everyday activity.
  Multiple focus statements — generate from many different angles to uncover where to focus for ideas.
  Redefine the problem — identify many different problem definitions to help determine where to focus for ideas.
  Design the creative session agenda — select focus statement/s, decide which tools to use, plan for timing.
  Guidelines for a formal creative session.
Idea Generating Tools: A robust variety of idea generating tools from which to choose. 
  Alternatives: Top-of-the-head brain dump. There are always alternatives and we can train ourselves to look for them.
  Concept Triangle/Fan: An inexhaustible idea generation tool. Extract concepts from ideas and use them as springboards to more ideas. This tool alone will greatly improve the idea output of your creative sessions.
  Random Entry: An idea generating tool that jolts you out of ho-hum, same-old, dead-end thinking. Connections start to pop that result in exciting new ideas.
  Provocation--PO: Four different ways to set up provocations in order to move forward to new idea territory. When you're really stuck this is the tool to use.
  Challenge: How to constructively challenge the status quo to uncover practical new ideas. It's a great structured process for thinking outside the box.
Idea Sorting Tool: This tool that enables teams to quickly organize their idea output into a framework for action.
  Harvesting: How to manage your idea output for long term value. Select ideas to build on right away. Identify ideas to work on later. Expand your list of concepts for future consideration. Determine the nature of the ideas generated to help you move towards different kinds of ideas next time — break patterns.
Idea Building Tools: Now it's time to work with one idea at a time. Build on an idea to see if it can be made viable. Very often articulated ideas haven't been explored in any detail and they get killed too early in the process — at the idea-generating step. Tremendous potential is discarded.
  Treatment: Can the idea be made to work within real-life constraints? How can it be strengthened? Can it be tailored to work within resources available? What weaknesses need to be overcome?
  Assessment: Checklists and assessment questions that take into consideration corporate alignment, risk, fit, power, etc.
Implementation and Change Management Tools: Organizations have in place project management and change management methods that work very well. Our process likely overlaps with your internal assessment tools. You will want to incorporate your assessment tools and use your own project management method for implementation.


Four Ways You Can Learn de Bono Thinking Systems Lateral Thinking™ Tools and Creativity Process:

Attend a Lateral Thinking™ Seminar

  1. Book Lynda to lead a customized Lateral Thinking™ de Bono Innovation event for your organization. Call 818-507-6055 for details.

  2. Attend a public workshop. View our current dates, locations and registration details.

Become a Lateral Thinking™ Certified Trainer

  1. Book Lynda to lead a Lateral Thinking™ instructor certification train-the-trainer event at your company. Develop a group of your own expert trainers that will train your internal clients. Call 818-507-6055 to discuss details.

  2. Attend a public Lateral Thinking™ instructor certification training event. View our current dates, locations and registration details.

Lateral Thinking™ Materials: attendees will always receive the official de Bono Thinking Systems, Inc. materials.

Book Lynda Curtin to present or keynote at your conferences, team meetings and executive retreats.

Call 818-507-6055 to discuss the ways we can add value to your events by stimulating the thinking of your groups.

2015 Next Event

Chicago, IL

July 14-16

Save $400

Advanced Creativity: includes Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking Methods!