Lateral Inspiration

Spark fresh new thinking by looking to related organizations and industries for inspiration

Lateral Inspiration is an exercise designed to help teams explore an analogous industry, setting, or experience and use it as inspiration to spark fresh thinking for the problem at-hand. Do this activity together as a team at the beginning stages of generating ideas. This is especially helpful when existing ideas and solutions feel too familiar and need a creative leap.


Identify the problem

Use the Lateral Inspiration Template provided to start by stating the problem or challenge you want to solve together as a team.

Look outside to lateral organizations for inspiration

List out how different related industries or organizations have solved a similar challenge to the one your team is exploring. Discuss and capture those "tactics" in your Lateral Inspiration template.

Bring tactics back to your organization

For each tactic identified, brainstorm and imagine what new ideas would surface if you applied or modified these tactics in your organization. Discuss what we can actually learn from what others did in related organizations. Repeat steps 2-3 for other lateral organizations.

Prioritize the best ideas

Examine each of the ideas - look for seeds of inspiration across them that might actually warrant further exploration. These can be specific facets of an idea, or a combination of several different ideas.


Determine next steps

Assign small teams to flesh out each seed of inspiration into more fully developed concepts. This can involve further brainstorming, so consider utilizing the Storyboarding tool to help facilitate this.

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