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Why lateral thinking beats best practices

Why lateral thinking beats best practices

Tuesday May 18, 2021,

4 min Read

What is lateral thinking?

A good idea starts by understanding problems from a unique perspective — not just looking at what other people have done before but asking how those same issues could be approached differently or even solved without resorting to old methods again.

There are no limits to creativity and ideas when your mindset is open and free. I’ve often felt less interested in following the best practices for success; instead, I’m always willing to take risks that lead me down to new paths with unexpected outcomes.

The best way to learn something is by doing it. And when you’re trying new ideas, be sure to always have an open mind and don’t give up easily. If one idea doesn’t work out the first time around, keep going until you find a solution that works for both your business needs as well as personal desires.

Learn over time.

Lateral thinking is something you can learn over time. It’s about being more observant and seeing what opportunities are available in other domains — you won’t see them if you don’t look for them! Kids often think laterally with ease because they haven’t been conditioned to set their biases aside yet, but it ties back into empathy which we all possess at some level.

To be a more effective leader, give up best practices and embrace lateral thinking. The trouble with following the same set of “best” practices is that it often leads to stagnation, which might feel comfortable but will never actually produce anything new or groundbreaking, because you’re just doing what’s been done before over and over again while expecting different results.

Lateral thinking

Imagine a world where people are always thinking of creative solutions to problems. A world filled with clever inventions, one-of-a kind innovations and new discoveries that will change the way we live our lives for generations to come. And it’s something you can start doing today. The next time your creativity needs an extra boost, put yourself in unfamiliar territory, so you’re forced out to find fresh ideas.

Experimenting constantly

One way you can experiment constantly without investing too much time and effort before seeing if it works, is by doing frequent small changes on a smaller scale so that when there’s an opportunity for success, you’ll know what needs changing right away.

Successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are great at questioning systems or ways of doing things — they view best practices as disposable in order to avoid complacency.

These types of thinkers can teach us how they think by adopting an attitude that is accepting of flexibility; question everything, observe what’s happening, bit by bit so that growth follows both personally and professionally.

Some proven methods that you can try

Mind Mapping

Mind maps are a fantastic way to solve complicated problems. Because of the visual nature, they can help our brains think more creatively and in new ways instead of relying on traditional logic that usually doesn’t work well enough. The process also helps us get all thoughts down, then step back for a second from it to let your mind rest before coming up with an answer you might not have otherwise thought about.

Using our five senses

We all have five senses — sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. But did you know that we don’t use them to solve problems as often?

Our five senses can help us solve problems that we typically only think about with one sense alone such as sight or hearing. When facing a difficult question try speaking aloud and record what you’re saying on your mobile phone. You’ll be surprised at how much more information you’ve gathered through this simple change in technique.

Reverse thinking

Reverse thinking is a great way to get unstuck in the face of an obstacle. It involves looking at what people normally do and then doing it’s opposite, such as working backwards from your solution instead of forwards from when you got stuck. This could be done for instance by imagining that whatever problem you’re faced with has already been solved or just starting where things went wrong without worrying about how they got there.

The world is changing, and we need to change as well. Leaders should be able to think outside the box in order for them to continue being leaders.

Artwork Couresy : Freepik