Techronomicon

Lateral Thinking by Edward De Bono

This week we’re looking at Edward De Bono’s 'Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step By Step' on the recommendation of senior mechanical engineer Jon Carver.

At some point you’re gonna hit that wall: a problem that seems unsolvable, or a solution that’s just too hard or costly to implement. What next? If you’ve read Lateral Thinking, you might have a few more tricks up your sleeve.

“I think it’s meant for anyone who’s interested in developing a more creative method of solving problems. ”

Jon Carver, Senior Mechanical Engineer - Highway1

Carver explains. “Engineers can benefit from it in particular because I think there’s a tendency for engineers to be very analytical in their approach to design, and while I believe in that approach, I also believe the most successful designs involve very elegant and simple solutions. In order to arrive at a point where you’ve achieved performance and industrial design requirements, you really need to think creatively, and cost reduction is a big part of that. High complexity relates well to high cost, and in order to lower complexity, you have to get creative.”

Carver first encountered the book a few years ago after running a search on lateral thinking.

Jon explains: “I was familiar with the notion of lateral thinking and just wanted to learn more about how to use the technique in a very conscious way.

As an engineer, I find it incredibly useful because it helps me think outside the box. One of the fundamental tenets of lateral thinking is to change your frame of reference in order to come up with creative solutions, and I find that’s a really useful tool, often on the topic of mechanism design, for example — it allows me to look at examples of biomechanics in nature and tear a page out of our creator’s engineering notebook in solving problems around mechanisms.”

Our lucky readers don’t even need to run a search: you can find a copy in a variety of formats just by clicking here.

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