What exactly is Thinking sideways?

Put simply, it’s an approach designed to open minds and create tangible business value in the real world.

It’s not scribbling on white boards, post-it notes everywhere, blue-sky thinking, thought showers, brainstorming sessions, visits to galleries for inspiration or endless PowerPoint presentations.

It is a practical methodology that’s based on a collection of principles we use to underpin each part of our frameworks. These principles minimise complexity, are easy to grasp and they provide a foundation for effective problem solving, decision-making and for valuable business ideas.

Each framework is created specifically for the area of focus, and the individual organisation’s needs.


Key Takeaways.

  • This form of unconventional thinking is one of the most valuable assets you can have in your business.

  • It is a methodology based on a set of guiding principles, that are then applied to bespoke frameworks depending on the area we are focussing on.

  • Our Discovery Sessions provide the space needed to develop these skills, and find the interesting business ideas.

The business advantages it provides:

  • Problem solving skills.

  • An understanding of an innovation culture.

  • Different points-of-view.

  • Improved decision making.

  • Valuable idea suggestions.

  • Continuous learning.


Think unconventionally

in order to confront

the ordinary.


How it works.

Initial Overview.

This is done on first contact, where we discuss the business and its functions. Often people come to us with a clear area that they want to work on (culture, new product, increase sales, continuous innovation) and this is what use as a starting point. It’s also perfect for those who seek improvement but don’t know where to start. 

But this process has no absolutes, it’s only once we begin the Discovery Sessions that things begin to become clearer, and so unknown issues can also present themselves. Which is a good thing.

Establish an Area of Focus.

These are the spaces that we want to concentrate on, for example we might want to improve a product or service. Rather than setting a goal that limits the final outcome, we identify an area to focus on. This allows us to stay in the general ballpark of what we are aiming for, but allows for possibilities we may not have considered to come to light.

This constraint is important as it helps us to think small, an important approach to getting things done.

Discovery Sessions.

Our Discovery Sessions involve 5/6 people from within the organisation. Each individual is sent some literature to prime them and to explain what they can expect on the day. The core principles of Thinking Sideways are first explained, and we then talk through a series of frameworks that have been designed around the area we want to focus on. 

The objective of these sessions is two-fold, we want everyone to take away the skills need to improve their thinking, but we will also have a collection of observations that we can use to create an insights document. 

Insights Document.

The insights document we will produce is based upon what we learn in the Discovery Sessions, combined with our own observations and research. We will identify the key learnings, and the insights that we have extrapolated in order to identify a route forward.

We offer advice on how to move forward. Most innovation fails at the execution stage, due to a lack of direction. This is a critical juncture if you want to effect change.