Lateral Thinking - the Channel of Enterprise 's Rapid Innovation

Wang Qiong: De Bono China's chief lecturer

Lateral thinking (LateralThinking, also translated as "horizontal thinking"), Edward de Bono (Edwardde Bono), Dr. in 1967, in psychology, physiology and philosophy, based on the development of a set of thinking tools system. "Horizontal Thinking" methods and concepts have been applied by the organizers of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and have made the first profitable Olympic Games, and have been widely used in enterprises around the world.

Dr. Edward de Bono divides the way of thinking into two types: one is "vertical thinking", the traditional thinking mode represented by logic and mathematics; the other is "level thinking".


The level of thinking to break our conventional thinking habits, it is not too much to consider the certainty of things, but to consider the possibility of a variety of options; concern is not to improve the old point of view, but how to put forward new ideas; not blindly pursue correctness, But the pursuit of richness. 

Therefore, the use of horizontal thinking approach to the proposed solutions are often inventive - focus on value re-engineering, model innovation, breakthrough ideas, re-positioning and so on. Therefore, the level of thinking is a "non-traditional way, or concerned about the neglect of logical thinking factors, so as to seek solutions to difficult problems." This is a requirement for the brain to have a more powerful thinking muscles, not the occasional head of the brain to take a sharp turn or Pianmen.


Breakthrough ideas are not necessarily just because of luck or chance. Innovation is not always a gift, but a learning skill. For example, the level of thinking to provide a set of conscious, systematic and innovative way of thinking. It gives people creativity and innovation, while helping to improve productivity and effectiveness.


The four - step thinking process of horizontal thinking
Horizontal thinking is a process of thinking, asking us to think in accordance with the steps to focus in a certain direction, focus and serious to create. The steps include the following four steps.



Step 1: Select and define the focus of the problem
If the wrong direction, and then work is futile. Therefore, to solve the problem of the beginning, is to identify the location and direction of thinking. Horizontal thinking of the "focus" is to let us first identify the crucial point of the problem.
In a manufacturing enterprise, executives are concerned about the "casting scrap rate." At the beginning, we put "how to reduce casting reject rate?" As the focus. By redefining the problem, thinking about reducing cast reject rates is "why?" By thinking, executives think the goal is to reduce costs, in order to improve production efficiency. The two main points raised are: how to reduce costs? How to improve production efficiency?

Further thinking, "What is the obstacle?" We think: poor quality of raw materials, process level, lack of equipment performance. And then put forward two other focus: "How to ensure the quality of raw materials?", "How to improve the technological level?" And "How to improve equipment performance?
Finally, we feel that "how to improve the performance of equipment" is the most accurate focus. And then determine the new focus. Through the "re-define the focus of the problem" to find hidden in the waste rate after the problem to be solved "to enhance equipment performance."
 
In the daily solution to the problem, we used the intuitive definition of the problem, and in the latter part of the thinking process is very easy to go the wrong direction. Horizontal thinking requires us to define the problem at the outset to identify the problem, and then further thinking.
The second step: the use of horizontal thinking to come up with a variety of ideas
Our minds are not lack of ideas, but often can not do without empirical mode constraints. Application of creative thinking tools to help us jump out of the original framework.
There are four creative thinking tools in horizontal thinking, and one or two tools can be selected as needed to help us generate as many ideas as possible about the focus. At this stage, the main task is to think out different solutions, not in a hurry to find the best way.
These four creative thinking tools are "concept extraction", "challenge", "random input", "excitation and movement".


Often, we experience the external environment of debate and conflict to change old ideas and generate new ideas. But this method does not enable us to fundamentally change. Horizontal thinking method allows us to gain insight and reorganization of the information obtained in a controlled manner in a controlled manner under the new ideas to change their old ideas, the original perception and way of doing things. From its own internal change, in order to achieve the true sense of the "change from the inside out."



Horizontal thinking is a set of creativity training tools that enable us to learn creative processes and methods for problem solving and problem solving, generate new values, and enhance the competitiveness of individuals and teams. For enterprises, the specific value of the performance in: to improve the organizational and individual innovation ability; to identify the problem, the definition of innovation and need to work direction; application of normative tools for creative thinking; harvest thinking results, in-depth development; for innovation To provide a platform and micro-culture; break through the routine, to change the habit of dealing with the original problem.
Innovation is no longer an old-fashioned brainstorm, nor is it an artist-inspired dash, but a new value that can be gained through systematic thinking and steps in horizontal thinking. "Horizontal thinking" allows us to jump out of the "thinking of the box" so that we think more colorful, more quality, so that "mind sailing!