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de Bono's Lateral Thinking

Empower your people to challenge current thinking, solve problems and generate new ideas. This business creativity and innovation workshop, based on the work of Dr Edward de Bono, provides the tools and techniques that help you to be confident and effective at generating creative ideas quickly, collectively (if in a group) and on demand.


This is the internationally acclaimed, business creativity and innovation workshop from Dr Edward de Bono. Business creativity and innovtion is a skill that can be learned; resulting in increased productivity, competitive advantage and profit. Creativity is not just about creating something new, it's a very important tool that helps to define and improve processes and products. This workshop provides tools and techniques that ensure you can:

  • Challenge current thinking.
  • Problem solve effectively and efficiently.
  • Generate innovative ideas with a creative thinking toolkit.

Maximise your training budget

Learning Credits, multiple booking, NHS and charity discounts available, find out more...

"Education and Innovation are the currency of the 21st century"  - President Barack Obama - 4th June 2009 - The Cairo address.

Who is it for?

Creativity is something that everyone, no matter what role or level, can be a part of and contribute too. Successful organisations ensure that creative teams are made up of a diverse range of people. This workshop is designed for all executives, managers, professionals and advisors who are concerned with making their organisation more innovative in the face of growing competition, and the emergence of new business models.

Lateral Thinking for individuals – Empowers and maximises your ability to generate ideas and problem solve, invaluable to any organisation. The tools and techniques you’ll develop can be deployed across a wide range of business and personal challenges, so you can make a real difference.

Lateral Thinking for managers - Creativity and problem solving are 21st-century managements skills, so is the ability to support the capability of people through empowerment. We often develop groups of managers from one organisation through our in-house training option. This develops a network that is focused on changing the processes and mindset of the organisation, and the implementation of the techniques when they return to the workplace. Innovation is not necessarily about making new stuff – it’s about innovating to improve processes that already exist.

Lateral Thinking for senior managers and leaders – Creativity is at the top of the leadership agenda, according to a study by IBM. Be seen to take ownership of leading innovation, walking the talk and understanding how your organisation works. Leaders use creativity to intellectually challenge and generate ideas from across the business and multiple disciplines, encouraging and enabling collaboration and a more engaged workforce.

What's it all about?

The challenge - With the ever increasing pressure to provide added value in everything we do, it has become a necessity for managers and staff to be consistently innovative if modern organisations are to survive.

In an increasingly competitive world, traditional methods of problem solving can only take us so far.  We need to go beyond problem-solving to generate new concepts and new ways of doing things.  Indeed, we must learn to do so ‘on-demand', instead of just hoping we will somehow stumble on an innovative idea.

How this workshop will help - Lateral Thinking is a systematic approach to the creative thinking process. Delegates learn to use deliberate techniques to stimulate creativity and, as a result, gain competitive advantage.

What will you get out of it?

Lateral Thinking will equip you with solid, practical methods for challenging current thinking:

  • You’ll find out how to harness your own creativity so that it can work for you, when you need it.
  • You’ll learn to solve problems and generate new ideas to meet the challenges of the modern business environment.
  • You’ll leave with skills that you have practised and can apply immediately on return to your workplace.

What will your organisation get out of it?

Dr de Bono’s Lateral Thinking methods provide a deliberate, systematic process that will result in innovative thinking by anyone who takes the time to learn and practise the skills. You will learn how to:

  • Attack problems with more/better ideas for immediate results.
  • Increase your number of new and practical ideas dramatically.
  • Challenge your organisation’s current thinking (constructively).
  • Find alternative solutions.
  • Turn problems into opportunities.

Every workshop is delivered by a fully accredited trainer, so you are guaranteed maximum return on your training investment.

Typical workshop content

The Need for Creative Thinking

  • The limits of logical thinking.
  • Why creative thinking is a learnable set of skills.

The Lateral Thinking Techniques

  • Alternatives - How to use ‘concepts’ as a breeding ground for new ideas.
  • Focus - The discipline of defining your focus from the outset, and sticking to it. How to generate and use a 'creative hit list'.
  • Challenge - Breaking free from the limits of the accepted ways of operating.
  • Random entry - Using unconnected input to open up new lines of thinking.
  • Provocation and movement - Explore the nature of perception and how it limits our creativity. Provocation techniques are designed to challenge these limitations. Movement is a new mental operation that we can use as an alternative to judgement. It allows us to develop a provocative idea into one that is workable and realistic. 

Implementation of Ideas

  • Harvesting - At the end of a creative thinking session, we normally only take note of the specific ideas that seem practical and have obvious value. We need to make a deliberate harvesting effort to collect ideas and concepts that are less well developed.
  • Treatment of ideas - How to develop ideas and shape them towards their practical application in your business.

Duration and delivery methods available

Indigo is proud to be an official distributor and training partner for Edward de Bono Limited. Lateral Thinking is a practical two-day workshop available as:

Delivery can be split into multiple days/sessions.

Lateral Thinking can also be combined with Six Thinking Hats® to provide a complete business thinking and creativity workshop. Find out more about de Bono's Course in Creativity™ here.

Training for trainers

Accrediting your own trainers is the most cost-effective way to offer Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking within your organisation or to your clients. After attending the workshop as a delegate, you or your in-house trainers will be taught by some of Indigo’s globally recognised Master Trainers, who have been specially authorised to train these programmes to other trainers, to the highest standard. Once successful, you will be authorised to dovetail our award-winning programmes into your organisations training plans, at a fraction of the normal cost.

Indigo Business Services is proud to be a:

UK Distributor for de Bono Thinking Systems

"Delivered exactly as advertised, practical tools, theory, guidance, and ideas on how to use when back at work."

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Lateral Thinking can count towards your CPD recognition with leading professional bodies and trade organisations. You can normally record your attendance in the 'organised learning' or 'self-learning' sections. Please check with your membership organisation for more information.

Additional resources

Public workshops

See all workshop dates

Our most popular workshops are open to all and are ideal for individuals, smaller groups and those reviewing workshops before wider roll out. Delivered to small groups: 

  • Face-to-face in major cities thoughtout the UK - provide the best in-depth and exercise-packed experience. They are delivered between 9am and 5pm. Our venues are all located close to major public transport hubs. Delegates will receive a printed workbook and peripherals. 

    We are determined to work with public workshop venues that provide the safest possible environment – the latest updates to what we are doing in conjunction with our partners can be found at:
  • Online - highly interactive online modular delivery. We deliver using Zoom (free to download and use at and Microsoft Teams. You will require access to a PC/Mac/tablet and internet connection, you will require a webcam, speakers/headphones and to enable your microphone, or you can simply dial in on your phone.

    The format will be similar to face-to-face classroom workshops, we always cover a core programme. It is delivered using interactive group learning sessions, lots of practice, group and individual feedback and 1-2-1 trainer coaching. We combine this with screen and document sharing, polls, interactive whiteboards and breakout rooms. Delegates are given 12 months access to an online workbook that can be used interactively. Printed workbooks are available at additional cost. 

You can reserve a place on this workshop at up to £875pp + VAT.

3-4 July 2024


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10-11 September 2024


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5-6 December 2024


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In-House workshops

Our in-house delivery option gives you the flexibility to train teams, groups and departments. Reducing delegate travel, training cost (significant saving when compared to our open public workshops) and environmental impact - as we train at your choice of location or online, in the UK or internationally. Options for tailoring content are available.

Prices quoted are based on 12 delegates per event, we can accommodate up to 20 delegates for an additional fee:

  • Face-to-face classroom workshops - delegates receive a printed workbook and peripherals.
  • Virtual learning sessions - delivered as highly interactive modular sessions using our Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Webex platforms or your own. Virtual workshops require access to a PC/Mac/tablet and internet connection, a webcam, speakers/headphones and enabled microphone, or attendees can simply dial in on their phone.

    The format will be similar to face-to-face classroom workshops, we always cover a core programme. It is delivered using interactive group learning sessions, lots of practice, group and individual feedback and 1-2-1 trainer coaching. We combine this with screen and document sharing, polls, interactive whiteboards and breakout rooms. Delegates are given 12 months access to an online workbook that can be used interactively. Printed workbooks are available at additional cost. 

Delegate places are available at from £575pp + VAT.

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