❖ The mind is a self-organizing information system (the mind does not organize information but provides an environment for incoming information to organize itself into patterns). That is why SOIS are inevitably patterning systems.
❖ Patterning systems are highly effective and they have certain immense advantages. These advantages arise directly from the nature of the system.
❖ But this same nature also gives rise to certain disadvantages or limitations.
❖ It is not possible to alter the system so as to retain the advantages but get rid of the disadvantages, because they are merely different ways of looking at the same process.
❖ Logical or vertical thinking enables us to make use of the mind system, and lateral thinking helps us to minimize the limitations of the system. ❖ The most basic principle of lateral thinking is that any particular way of looking at things is only one from among many other possible ways.
❖ Lateral thinking is concerned with exploring these other ways by restructuring and rearranging the information that is available.
❖ The very word 'lateral' suggests the movement side-ways to generate alternative patterns instead of moving straight ahead with the development of one particular pattern.
❖ Lateral thinking is concerned with the generation of new ideas.
❖ Lateral thinking is also concerned with breaking out of the concept prisons of old ideas. This leads to change in attitude and approach; to looking in a different way at things which have always been looked at in the same way.
❖ Liberation from old ideas and the stimulation of new ones are twin aspects of lateral thinking.
❖ Like logical thinking lateral thinking is a way of using the mind. It is a habit of mind and an attitude of mind. There are specific techniques that can be used just as there are specific techniques in logical thinking.