Lateral Thinking One-Day Training Agenda


  • Meet your instructor and fellow participants, share goals for taking the Lateral Thinking course, and lay the groundwork for a lively, interactive day.

Overview Lateral Thinking, Dr. Edward de Bono’s Most Famous Set of Tools

  • Discover the principles and benefits of Lateral Thinking, check out the course agenda, learn more about the creative process, and begin to develop a creative mindset.

Tie the Course to Your Own Organization’s Needs

  • Why is creativity important in your organization? What techniques are you using now?

Get Down to Business with Lateral Thinking Tool No. 1, Alternatives/Concept Extraction

  • Learn the core principle of Lateral Thinking—that there are always alternatives and we can train ourselves to look for them.
  • Find out how to perform Concept Extractions, a fundamental process for developing alternatives.
  • Learn and practice using the powerful Concept Fan, an inexhaustible idea generation tool. Then apply the Concept Extraction techniques to a real issue.


Explore a Familiar Yet Underused Process: Lateral Thinking Tool No. 2, Focus

  • First discover two types of Focus: Purpose Focus and Area Focus. Knowing the difference between these two will elevate you from problem solver to opportunity builder.
  • Then develop a formal Creative Hit List and practice expanding and shrinking the Purpose Focus. Get acquainted with the unique creative potential of the Area Focus and practice using the Focus techniques on a real issue. By the end of this module, you’ll begin to feel like a magician.


Avoid that after-lunch lull—dive into Lateral Thinking Tool No. 3: Challenge

  • Learn why it is so useful to know how to Challenge the things we take for granted—not to criticize what exists but to search for even better ways to do things.
  • A great pattern-breaking tool, Challenge provides a structured process for thinking outside the box. Create a customized Checklist of Current Thinking and use it to methodically generate new possibilities. Then practice the 6 steps of the Challenge Technique on a real issue.


Time for Lateral Thinking Tool No. 4: Random Entry

  • This tool is simple to use once you understand a few guidelines, and the results are often surprising. Random Entry jolts you out of ho-hum, same-old, dead-end thinking and transports you to places you never expected to see. But after you arrive, connections start to pop up that result in exciting new ideas for your focus topic. After getting a feel for Random Entry, you’ll apply the technique to a real issue.

Pull it all together with Lateral Thinking Application Guidelines

  • This module shows you how to choose from and sequence the Lateral Thinking tools for best results. Then you’ll create your own custom sequence to address a real situation.


Design a follow-through plan for Lateral Thinking

  • You’re sure to be excited about using your new skills, but how are you going to avoid being swallowed up in the daily demands of work and forgetting all about Lateral Thinking? Planning strategies to address this could be the most important part of the workshop.
  • Explore ways to become an Innovation Champion within your organization. Size up the Lateral Thinking support materials and consulting services, and then lay out your own next steps for using your new tools back at work. This will help you achieve maximum return on the investment you and your company have made in developing you as a trained expert in innovative thinking.

Lateral Thinking Course Evaluation