For me, lateral thinking is:

Solving problems using an indirect and creative approach. Using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that might not be obtainable by using traditional step-by-step logic.


One “simple” approach to “think outside the box” is:

  1. Understanding WHAT you want to achieve.
  2. Understanding WHY you want to achieve it.
  3. Knowing the rules of the game (constraints like environment, budget, physical limitations, etc.)
  4. Reframing WHAT you want in a way that ignores these rules of the game.
  5. Assessing if the solution still aligns with your initial WHY.

Focusing on point 4, Frame the WHAT in a way that ignores the current rules of the game. In order to do this you require lots of reading and imagination. It is also helpful to read about other domains.


Other techniques involve deconstructing the problem into its simplest and most fundamental parts, allowing you to rearrange them differently.

Consider the iPhone or Nintendo Switch. These products did not bring revolutionary inventions but instead deconstructed the concepts of a phone and a gaming console respectively and rearranged them to fit a specific vision.


Adding strict constraints can paradoxically broaden your creative scope by focusing your attention on breaking through these limitations rather than conforming to them.

Think of a Haiku. its beauty and elegance emerge from thriving within its constraints.