Lateral Thinking

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LATERAL THINKING: CREATIVITY STEP BY STEP
Edward De Bono
Harper Collins, 1990

Why the total majority of great things happens in our minds when we are doing something completely different than work? In this book, Dr. De Bono is trying to explore this “heureka paradox” and other still relatively unknown thought processes via his lateral thinking theory.

The LATERAL THINKING was introduced by the author in 1967. It was aimed to destroy the old established ways of thinking and support creativity. De Bono claims that creative thinking is something what can be learnt (or at least improved) by everybody. “Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.” The lateral thinking offers alternatives to conventional cognitive processes. De Bono described the brain as (a) a self-organizing system and (b) a self-maximizing system. a/ Self-Organization The first feature, self-organization, is the pronounced tendency of the brain to make sense out of the data provided to it by the sense organs. The brain seems to store information largely in patterns. Each bit of information entering the brain becomes a part of one or more patterns already stored in the brain. This means that an attempt to think about one isolated idea or image will bring with it a large amount of associated information. The more fully developed a cognitive pattern is, the more it tends to dominate thinking processes. b/ Self-Maximization The second feature of brain functioning, self-maximization, operates to contain certain patterns as information continues to flow into the brain. Once a pattern has developed, it begins to dominate not only the thinking processes, but the perceptual processes as well. The brain begins to select for recognition certain information that is compatible with the established patterns. The effect of these two...
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