So far, we have also used the term “lateral thinker” in describing our work. We refer to the definition of lateral thinking, which is colloquially called “lateral thinking”. A thinking method that can be used in the context of the application of creativity techniques to solve problems or to generate ideas.

The term lateral thinking was introduced in 1967 by Edward de Bono, a British medical doctor, cognitive scientist and writer. Among other things, he coined the metaphor of the “village venus effect” and the creative method of the “thinking hats” (not to be confused with aluminum hats).

The starting point of the method is the assumption that the brain thinks in different ways, which can be consciously controlled and thus used in a discussion at certain times. De Bono assumes that communication difficulties arise if, for example, one person is expressing their feelings about something and then another approaches the problem analytically.

The following hats are defined:

  • The blue hat: stands for an ordering, moderating thinking: overview of the processes (the blue sky)
  • The white hat: symbol of analytical thinking: concentration on facts, requirements and how they can be achieved (the white sheet)
  • The red hat: for emotional thinking, feeling: concentration on feelings and opinions (red means fire and warmth)
  • The black hat black: for critical thinking: risk assessment, communicating problems, skepticism, criticism and fears (illusion)
  • The yellow hat: stands for optimistic thinking: what is the best-case scenario (sunshine)
  • The green hat: creative, associative thinking: new ideas, creativity (growth)

This methodology is based on the parallel thinking developed by de Bono. This means that when working on a task, everyone involved should always wear the same hat color and change hats together, thus thinking in parallel. This avoids conflicts and still takes all positions into account. De Bono himself describes his six thinking hats method as an instrument for improving communication in a group.

We distance ourselves from groups who use the term “lateral thinkers” in relation to Covid19 discussions and who act as opponents e.g. of wearing a mask