Usually in consulting, you’ll be advised to suppose creatively to get the perfect options on your purchasers. As well as, purchasers favor bringing in consultants to think about out of the field options they could not have considered themselves. That is the place lateral pondering is available in. Lateral pondering refers back to the capability to think about out of the field concepts that you could be not provide you with by means of linear / logical pondering.
This text will share extra about what lateral pondering is and how one can develop lateral pondering expertise.
What’s Lateral Pondering?
It’s possible you’ll be asking your self “what’s lateral pondering?” Effectively, lateral pondering refers back to the capability to think about artistic options to issues. These options are sometimes not available by means of deductive reasoning or simple logic. Moderately, the options are sometimes out of the field and artistic. Lateral pondering was first outlined by Edward de Bono in 1967 and is synonymous with artistic pondering.
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Advantages of Lateral Pondering
Lateral pondering has a number of advantages, particularly within the company world. Instance advantages of lateral pondering within the company world embody:
- Potential to create new and progressive merchandise that remedy customers’ challenges
- Potential to unravel issues extra successfully
- Potential to find out new and artistic paths of progress for firms; that is notably related for firms that have to pivot from their legacy enterprise fashions
- Potential to think about “simpler mousetraps” for issues
- Potential to enhance your decision-making course of by bringing extra concepts to the desk
Lateral Pondering Examples
There are a number of lateral pondering examples:
Netflix: Pivoting its enterprise mannequin to concentrate on web subscriptions versus video leases; Netflix is now one of many quickest rising firms, attracting prime world expertise, whereas Blockbuster is defunct
Human sources: Figuring out the way to react and retain prime expertise; as an alternative of simply specializing in perks like free meals and ping pong tables at work, HR departments concentrate on a wide range of methods to interact their staff. For instance, HR departments can look to ship best-in-class advantages, allow staff to volunteer for his or her favourite causes, and present staff the upward mobility of their jobs.
Linear vs. Lateral Pondering
Linear and lateral pondering differ fairly considerably. Linear pondering focuses on logical and deductive reasoning the place you go from one step to the opposite. Alternatively, lateral pondering focuses on discovering extra artistic, “out of the field” options to issues. For example, let’s say you’re employed in human sources and wish to enhance the retention of your workforce.
In case you are utilizing linear pondering, it’s possible you’ll method this drawback as follows:
Beforehand, we had finest at school retention. Nonetheless, the retention charges have dropped to be under common. After we had increased retention charges, we supplied plenty of worker perks like free lunches and ping pong tables at work. We must always add these perks again in, and we’ll get to our goal retention numbers
Alternatively, if you’re utilizing lateral pondering, it’s possible you’ll method this drawback as follows:
Our worker retention numbers are down. We used to have sturdy worker retention however even when giving perks, we noticed early indicators of staff leaving. We have to essentially change how we take into consideration worker retention by understanding what’s most essential to our staff and what motivates them to work. For instance, our staff are very mission-oriented and, as such, we must always re-emphasize our firm’s mission and supply staff with extra volunteer hours.
Growing Lateral Pondering
It’s possible you’ll be pondering, how can I develop lateral pondering expertise? Effectively, there are a number of methods to enhance your expertise:
- Concentrate on the biases in the direction of utilizing linear pondering and when your concepts / options are extra linear
- Take into consideration different options and determine how too tackle conditions from one other angle
- Ask questions
- Apply, observe, and observe some extra
Lateral Pondering Expertise
There are a number of expertise you possibly can develop to enhance your lateral pondering expertise. Expertise you possibly can develop embody:
- Flexibility, e.g., take into consideration how one can alter the answer set to see in the event you can provide you with different concepts
- Function taking part in, e.g., take into consideration how a job mannequin would deal with the state of affairs, e.g., how would Steve Jobs take into consideration this
- Creativity, e.g., how would the issue set change if I removed a selected constraint
Lateral Pondering Questions
There are a number of questions you possibly can ask to enhance your lateral pondering expertise. Lateral pondering questions embody:
- What if …?
- Why can’t this resolution work?
- What if I didn’t have to fret about this particular constraint?
Lateral pondering refers back to the capability to think about artistic concepts to issues. These options are sometimes out of the field and aren’t available by means of linear pondering (e.g., shifting from level A to level B to level C). Lateral pondering is crucial when you’ll want to rework your small business mannequin. To develop lateral pondering expertise, it is very important proceed to push your self to think about different options to issues. Generally, it’s useful to place your self into totally different entrepreneur’s sneakers and suppose how they’d have solved the issue. It’s also crucial to proceed to ask your self questions like what if we solved the answer this fashion. Subsequently, lateral pondering is a key talent to develop to reach consulting.