An old friend who once saved your life. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about. Knowing that there can only be one passenger in your car, whom would you choose? Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don't know what he looks like but they know his name is John and that he is inside the house. The police bust in on a carpenter, a lorry driver, a mechanic and a fireman all playing poker.
Without hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How do they know they've got their man? A man lives in the penthouse of an apartment building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building.
Upon his return, however, he can only travel halfway up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way - unless it's raining. What is the explanation for this? How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live? Bad Boy Bubby was warned by his mother never to open the cellar door or he would see things that he was not meant to see. One day while his mother was out he did open the cellar door. What did he see?
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A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. Rather than digging a deeper hole in one place we need to move sideways and start excavating somewhere new; in the process we may enable a new insight, a new perspective on the original problem. Lateral thinking tools are systematic aids to moving sideways in our approach to problems. Just like a stepping stone the idea itself may be wobbly and poorly shaped but it helps us get to our goal.
For example in trying to improve the food and service in a company canteen someone might suggest providing fresh foods where possible. One intermediate impossible suggestion might be to bring cows into the workplace — not in itself very practical! But it provides the stepping stone to ideas about how to get fresh milk as opposed to using long-life packages — for example by making arrangements with a local dairy for daily deliveries.
In most problems as they are presented we assume certain concepts and boundaries. Lateral thinking challenges and rearranges these. A good example of a lateral thinking puzzle — and the application of these principles is the following. Through the first exit is a room made from a giant magnifying glass, and the blazing hot sun will fry you to death.
Through the second door is a room with a fire-breathing dragon. Which do you go through? When confronted with a question problem, challenge, etc. In the case of the puzzle above, the list might include the following:. Often the route to solving a problem is revealed when you start with the solution first, and try to work backward. Finally, one of the reasons innovation often happens when outsiders enter a new industry, or when disparate groups bump into one another, is because fresh perspective are convention-ignorant.
To kickstart lateral thinking, you might do well to pretend you were someone else trying to solve the problem. Say, if you were a magician, or a scientist, or a track and field star—how would they escape from the fire room? Or how would the fire-breathing dragon answer this question? Some examples of puzzles which require lateral thinking are given below. Read each question and then write down your first answer:.
Managing innovation Creating value from ideas. Challenge assumptions and be prepared to change perceptions In most problems as they are presented we assume certain concepts and boundaries.
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The answer is to use the first door — simply wait until the sun goes down. Here are five steps to train yourself to think a little more laterally with any challenge: 1 List the assumptions When confronted with a question problem, challenge, etc. In the case of the puzzle above, the list might include the following: You want to get out of the room You have to choose one of the two options You have to do something now Room One will kill you no matter what or so we think! Q: Did any other human or animal cause his death? Q: Was his death violent? Q: Was it a special kind of cord?
A: Yes, and it was broken. Q: Did he arrive and leave by plane? Q: Was it a scheduled flight or a private plane? A: A private plane. Q: Did both trains run on the same single track but in opposite directions? Q: Were they normal, full-sized trains? Q: Did they somehow pass by each other in the tunnel?
But it is possible to copyright specific expressions of these concepts, as in a proprietary dictionary or atlas. How would you know if someone had copied your specific list of words or representation of the world and claimed it to be an original work? How could you prove the person had copied your expression rather than come up with the work independently? Q: Did the kidnapper get the diamond safely out of the park? Q: Was any other person involved? Q: Did the diamond leave the park in some sort of vehicle or through a tunnel? Q: Does either of thenl use electricity?
Challenge Genes - Brain teasers and Lateral thinking puzzles
Q: Are the thousands of moving parts man-made? Q: Are the objects recent inventions? They have both been around in one form or another for centuries. Q: Are they in common use indoors?
A: The one with thousands of parts is commonly found indoors. The other is not in such common use and is found outdoors. Q: Was he buried the day before he died? Q: Does where he died and was buried have anything to do with it? Q: Could this happen in, say, New York or London? Q: Did either of them know the caller? Q: Was she angry because of what her husband said? Q: Did he hold a long conversation with the caller? He answered the phone in the normal way and replaced the receiver when he learned that it was a wrong number.
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Q: Did she have good reason to be upset? Q: If she had not been knitting would she have been an- gry? Q: Was the temperature in the house steady? Q: Was the water very hot? It was steaming. Q: Was the policeman an accomplice? He was a regular policeman.
Q: Did he know the man? A: Certainly not! But he did tell the man not to hold up people again. Q: Did he perform some other tasks? He was just one of the sailors. Q: Was he less expensive to payor keep than the other sailors? Q: Was the ship a real ship at sea?