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The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills

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The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills

Powerful Problem-solving Techniques to Ignite Your Team's Potential

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Try improbable combinations, foster frequent brainstorming, and then take those new ideas, test them and put them to work.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


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 dunderheaded quotations from experts in various fields declaring that such innovations as submarines, nuclear power, railroads and steamships are impossible. getAbstract recommends 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.


Why You Need to Innovate

Creativity and innovation allow you to:

  • Set forth a vision – Inspire and energize your company.
  • Construct a culture – Build it on openness and inquiry.
  • Devolve power – Share authority with every strata of your organization.
  • Establish objectives – Use time frames and metrics to track innovation.
  • Come up with numerous ideas – And encourage brainstorming.
  • Work with the ideas – Mix, match, deconstruct, reconstruct, vet and choose ideas.
  • Check the results – Test the proposals that come from those ideas.
  • Act innovatively – Intelligently appraise the results; implement strong new projects.

Successful competitors do not fear change. Companies such as Intel and Gillette try to be the first to change, and pride themselves on discoveries that render their existing products or services obsolete. Although it is wrong to fear change, it is right to be aware that change and innovation are not synonymous. Innovation creates something fundamentally new.

How to Recognize the Lateral Leader

Lateral thinking is a technique...

About the Author

Paul Sloane is the founder of Destination Innovation. He is the author of 10 books on lateral thinking and problem solving.

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