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4.2 out of 5 stars
Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2007
I first read this book twenty years ago. The book is not easy to read cover to cover, as has been mentioned by another reviewer, but it is worth working through it. The text often smacks of the evangelical preacher, as do many modern management texts, but the techniques do work. You don't have to buy into the pop psychology, just treat the techniques as tools. The techniques are covered quite briefly, and to make them work in practise takes some effort. This is not going to turn you into a creative genius overnight.

For example De Bono covers brainstorming in some detail, but in my experience in a design consultancy the real secret to successful brainstorming is in the selection of the brainstorm team. No advice on this delicate subject is present in the edition that I read (1969). I found that a sense of humour was essential in all brainstorm team members, as a good sense of the absurd and a willingness to appear a complete as can spark off really good ideas in others.

All in all this *is* a little gem. As far as I can tell all of his subsequent books simply expand and develop the ideas contained in this book. The most useful aspect is in being able to recognise the state of mind where ideas just pop into your head, and in being able to put yourself in a state where this will happen. Some techniques will work for you, some will not. Personally I now use other methods than those listed in the book, but I may not have developed my own way of working without reading this book first.
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103 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 1999
Written in a very formal style and aimed at the teacher of lateral thinking rather than the student. I pushed ahead with it despite my misgivings in the hope that I could distill the essential techniques and practices from the teaching-aid text- Unfortunately the turgid style overwhelmed my interest and I gave up reading the book two-thirds in, not through lack of interest but because reading it was becoming hard work. In it's defence the introduction to the book advises the reader not to attempt a cover-to-cover read, rather to dip into it as required but I wanted to gain a rapid instruction in the subject in order to put the techniques into practice. I believe that I was able to fulfil some of my goals but the whole experience was unsatisfactory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 September 2012
I bought this book after reading a review in '50 psychology classics' by Tom Butler-Bowden.
Lateral Thinking is not an easy read, and not what I was really expecting. I guess I was expecting something written more in a popular science vain, but you have to remember that this was originally published in 1970.
It reminds me more than anything of a school text book. The ideas are presented in a rather dry and pragmatic approach. Each method has examples for students to try and even teaching notes and exercise preparation.
To get the most out of the book you have to actually sit with a pen and paper and do the exercises. It is not something that can be easily done on your phone or laptop because much of the text refers to geometric shapes.
I did try some of the exercises with my seven year old boy, which was useful to both of us I think. I would like to return to the text and develop some more exercises that we can do together, although I recognise that a certain amount of preparation would be required. I can see how this would be an excellent text for teachers, it's a little harder to squeeze out the value when you are reading this on the move.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is the first De Bono book I read, I have used many of the examples contained in the book to change Management thinking. These Ideas coupled with systems thinking and lean make a powerful combination for kicking old mindsets into touch.

It contains excellent games to demonstrate how our thinking locks us into old solutions. I found the book facinating and still use much of the material in my management education classes today. I recommend reading most of his work. It will always make you think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I read this book in the early nighties and could not get over the way a simple process can bring about a thousand ideas. By combined Lateral thinking with the Six Thinking Hats it created a very powerful framework which I used to create many training workshops and write books on the subject of change. My latest book with Edward de Bono's foreword Change Directions: Perceive It - Believe It - Achieve It is just one of the idea generated from this type of thinking. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how the mind can create alternatives by design.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2012
Do no try to 'read' this book it might not work. I found that by breaking it down and taking on a chapter at a time I could really concentrate and take it in. The following few days would then be spent using/trying techniques as laid out. It worked for me. Some regard this book as geared more towards teaching, but I found it very useful and am using it daily now especially at work with my team.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
I bought this book because I have always been impressed by the author's lateral thinking in how to quickly arrive at the number of games that have to be played to produce a winner in a tennis tournament. I expected to read more examples, but so far, I haven't found this one or any others. Perhaps I haven't got deeply enough into the book yat, but it can be hard going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2012
Get this book and always refer back to it. Students buy it.
Parents buy it. Everyone, this book should be made compulsory teaching
to our children from the moment they enter school. If you want to think
for yourself take time to chew the knowledge within these pages.
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on 4 September 2014
This is another great book by De Bono. This book will make you think. It will turn on your ability to construct new ideas and teach you new pathways to solving problems of any nature. It gets more complex as the book progresses which is why i recommend you take your time with it and read and absorb each chapter at a time as and when you feel comfortable. This is not a "read it as quickly as you can" type book. The content is designed to rearrange your thinking processes and I think it does an excellent job of achieving that. I would highly recommend this old time classic. Just remember to be patient with it and let the new concepts sink in over time. A Great book which I highly recommend.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2002
Important work demonstrating the limits of logic and showing readers how to move in new, more
creative directions reason alone cannot reach. More than thinking outside the box, lateral thinking let's us escape the box and leave it behind. You should also consider reading the newer Why Didn't I Think of That? - Think the Unthinkable and Achieve Creative Greatness.
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