What is lateral thinking, and why is it important?

We’ve all heard the theory of how some people are left-brained while others are right-brained. Left-brained are thought to be logical and analytical, while right-brainers are supposed to be creative and artistic. Using this theory, one can gauge the professional inclinations of right and left-brainers and how they think. However, who are lateral thinkers? What is their place in the professional world? Moreover, how does hiring a lateral thinker help an organisation?

Lateral thinking is a method of resolving problems using reasoning in a way which is not outright obvious — in other words, out-of-the-box thinking. It uses an approach to a problem that is indirect, innovative and logical.

This skill helps by strengthening one’s creativity and innovation, leading to increased productivity and profit in any given field. In today’s day and age, superior quality and services are vital but not sufficient in supply. Creativity and innovation are the two essential elements that will ensure enduring universal success across professional fields and set one apart from the competition.

A candidate with critical thinking abilities seeks errors and finds a way to fix them. Lateral thinkers solve problems using an indirect and innovative approach reasoning that moves from one known idea to a new idea.

Today, recruiters are looking for candidates who can work independently without being micro-managed. One can only work independently if they possess lateral thinking ability, which helps one view problems from multiple points of view and find an innovative and novel solution.

In a day and age where change is the only constant and industry landscapes are undergoing waves of change, one is continuously faced with challenges that they may not have encountered before. In such a work environment, employees with lateral thinking skills stand out because of their ability to absorb information and apply it to problems at the right time and place, that too in an unorthodox manner.

How to identify lateral thinking skills in a candidate?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a skill that stands out in a candidate’s resume; it’s only after a couple of months of joining, that this skill can be identified in an employee.

RAVEN’S Advanced Progressive Matrices is a highly trustworthy assessment which evaluates a candidate’s cognitive & lateral thinking, the ability to grasp new concepts, solve complex problems and perform tasks without relying on prior knowledge. This untimed assessment is created to distinguish candidates with high intellectual capacity that fall within the top 20% of the population. In comparison with other assessments, RAVEN’S stands out in terms of accurately analysing candidates with cognitive and lateral thinking abilities.

Benefits of RAVEN’s

  • The RAVEN APM-III allows recruiters to administer this test online, enabling any number of candidates to participate from any remote location.
  • The non-verbal aspect of this test disregards the difference in culture, language and background of the candidate. This is especially useful when English comprehension varies in a population.
  • APM is a new-item banked version of the test that comes with instructions and reports in more than 12 languages.
  • The questions from the test are collected from various sources, ensuring that no two tests are the same.
  • The results are provided as a single raw score or in percentile.

About Talent Lens

Supported by 70 years of research, TalentLens’ tests and assessment modules have garnered a high reputation and have been used in recruitment and development projects by more than 100 global companies that include Amazon, Airtel, Accenture, Cognizant, Uber, Deloitte among others.