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on 7 March 2007
At times when management literature abides with dos and donts based on conventional wisdom, here is a powerful defender of the values of unconventional wisdom. Paul Sloane makes a strong case for innovation and lateral thinking in business, where doing new, different things in new, different ways is more important than doing the same things more efficiently. The book is rich with examples from the real world where creative thinking and action have led to astonishing successes (even after numerous failed attempts)and examples where conservatism and conventional thinking have led to obsolescence or catastrophe. The author argues that creative skills can and should be developed at the individual level, the team level and the company level and the book abounds with tips and techniques to help people and organizations expand their potential for innovation. Lateral thinking puzzles placed at the end of each chapter, help reinforce the fact that we all think "in boxes" with assumptions and preconceptions that do not always correspond to reality. An excellent book.
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on 19 February 2007
Very readable, down-to-earth, highly practical and yet also totally inspiring, this book does much more than simply tell you that innovation in business is important - it actually shows you what that means in practice and HOW to make it happen. Through games, exercises, puzzles and challenges, it helps to release your own creative ability and to show in very realistic and achievable ways how you can extend that to your whole team. I am normally sceptical of management books, and find most of them unbearably smug. This one isn't at all: more than anything it feels REAL, and very energising. I never used to think of myself as a particularly creative person, but I have approached my work with a completely different attitude since reading this excellent book, and recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who wants to release extra "buzz" in themselves or their team.
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on 8 January 2009
Very interesting!

This book will give you many neat tricks that you can use to stimulate your creativity. Our minds are essentially associative machines. Hunger might be associated with tea and cookies or a tasty steak. So when you feel hungry you will automatically direct your thinking patterns towards the objective of getting something to eat. By directing your thoughts you greatly increase your chances of finding a solution. By exploiting this associative nature of our minds we can stimulate our creative thinking. I'll give you an example using one of the methods presented in this book. The idea is to connect following six questions to the problem at hand: Why? Who? Where? How? When? What?

Suppose I were to apply this little technique on this very review! Why am I writing this review? Because writing a review helps me to reflect over all the information that I have learned by reading a book and because I know how entertaining it can be for others to read a good review. Who is going to read my review? People buying this book (they would be making a good decision) and people here on facebook. Where can I put this review so that as many people as possible can read it? Facebook, Amazon, my blog, anywhere else? How can I make my review interesting? Maybe by presenting a highly relevant example of how techniques presented in this book can be applied to a real problem. What would be my rating of this book on a scale 1-5? Definitely a 5!
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on 1 August 2003
Paul Sloane’s ‘no nonsense’ approach to change is a breath of fresh air. It’s all too easy to concentrate on keeping a business quietly ticking over when what we really need to be doing is thinking more creatively to keep one step ahead of the competition. Most importantly - we should be inspiring our staff to think more creatively in their everyday work and listening to their experiences and ideas.
This book provides managers with a firm foundation for introducing change into their businesses. I found the real-life examples of companies using innovative thinking very encouraging –it’s incredible how many everyday products were born out of failed projects!
By gradually introducing a culture of change into my company I’m sure it won’t be long until we see some real results. We already use the lateral thinking puzzles in our team-building exercises and invite staff to suggest business improvements that go far beyond changes to the cafeteria menu.
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on 14 January 2011
The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills is an excellent read. Paul Sloane communicates the message that not only is lateral thinking a skill, but also that it is teachable. The book is structured in a way that provides great information, but which also acts as a practical enabler to get people to think differently and even to implement the key principles by conducting their own lateral thinking course. The highlights for me are the real-world examples of how lateral thinking has played a role in some of the most successful innovations of the last century, such as the creation of the modern supermarket.

If you want to solve problems, be creative and come up with genuinely innovative ideas, this is a great starting point. This isn't just a book you need to read; it's a book you need to implement.
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on 1 December 2004
Obviously, innovation, creativity and new ideas are important in business. Author Paul Sloane offers a number of techniques and practices to encourage the generation and development of new ideas. He says little startlingly new, but he offers leaders a handy, practical guide to the well-trodden paths of brainstorming, tolerance of failure and leadership by example. The most enjoyable part of the book is the long list of utterly dunderheaded quotations from experts in various fields declaring that such innovations as submarines, nuclear power, railroads and steamships are impossible. We recommend this book because it will encourage you to question your assumptions and to look for places where conventional wisdom is probably wrong - there's certainly no harm, and a great deal of good, in that.
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on 26 February 2007
This is a delightfully fresh approach to a very well-worn subject: how to enable innovation and creativity in business. Paul Sloane sets out the vital importance of innovation in modern business, using a very wide range of stimulating examples and case studies. He also offers a number of very practical methods businesses can use to encourage and foster a climate of innovation. You won't find all the techniques useful, but there's such a broad spread there's bound to be a few which work for any particular business.

The writing is intelligent but very readable, so it works on two levels: as a light, thought-provoking read and as a practical manual for taking action with a particular business.
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on 30 July 2003
This is a delightfully fresh approach to a very well-worn subject: how to enable innovation and creativity in business. Paul Sloane sets out the vital importance of innovation in modern business, using a very wide range of stimulating examples and case studies. He also offers a number of very practical methods businesses can use to encourage and foster a climate of innovation. You won't find all the techniques useful, but there's such a broad spread there's bound to be a few which work for any particular business.
The writing is intelligent but very readable, so it works on two levels: as a light, thought-provoking read and as a practical manual for taking action with a particular business.
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on 24 October 2004
At times when management literature abides with dos and donts based on conventional wisdom, here is a powerful defender of the values of unconventional wisdom. Paul Sloane makes a strong case for innovation and lateral thinking in business, where doing new, different things in new, different ways is more important than doing the same things more efficiently. The book is rich with examples from the real world where creative thinking and action have led to astonishing successes (even after numerous failed attempts)and examples where conservatism and conventional thinking have led to obsolescence or catastrophe. The author argues that creative skills can and should be developed at the individual level, the team level and the company level and the book abounds with tips and techniques to help people and organizations expand their potential for innovation. Lateral thinking puzzles placed at the end of each chapter, help reinforce the fact that we all think "in boxes" with assumptions and preconceptions that do not always correspond to reality. An excellent book.
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on 10 April 2007
In Chapter 11, Paul Sloane remarks that 'many of the rules that apply in businesses were set in earlier times and have endured by force of habit'. The main objective of the book is to give the reader tools and tips for becoming a lateral leader and empowering colleagues to challenge these rules, often by thinking the apparently unthinkable. This objective is 100% achieved.

Each Chapter ends with a lateral thinking puzzle to illustrate the importance of 'thinking outside the box' when trying to solve a problem creatively, and with a number of Exercises with titles like Brainstorming, Reverse the Problem and What If?

Perhaps the best examples of the personal habits to be overcome in building a lateral thinking team are the tendency to jump to conclusions, impatience to offer solutions, and reluctance to listen properly to other people's ideas.

The author successfuly shows us how to cast aside the blinkers and find the best answers to even the most intractable problems.
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