There are several forms of thinking but grouped into two major classifications namely lateral and vertical thinking (Hernandez & Varkey, 2008). Lateral thinking focusses on the creation and bettering solutions when one is in exposure to adverse conditions outside the comfort zone.

The primary aim of the thinking is to enhance the ability of one making better decisions when faced with adverse situations requiring urgent measures. Lateral thinking follows an illogical thinking approach.

Vertical thinking, on the other hand, focusses on a technique of solving problems by first analyzing the situations (Weick, Sutcliffe & Obstfeld, 2005). The upside of the thinking method is in the resources it saves such as time, energy, and possibly money. Moreover, it ensures results are achieved as expected and is appropriate for those working in tight situations such as budget constraints, time limitations, or energy depletion. Vertical thinking follows a logical thinking approach.

Unlike lateral thinking, vertical thinking does not provide for the time needed to come up with solutions to a problem.

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An example of lateral thinking is when one is facing a situation such as a fire accident in the house. One is forced to think based on the situation on the ground, thinking in a systematic manner in such a manner may result in excess destructions.

Hernandez, J. S., & Varkey, P. (2008). Vertical versus lateral thinking. Physician Executive, 34(3), 26-28.

Maitlis, S. (2005). The social processes of organizational sensemaking. Academy of Management Journal, 48(1), 21-49.

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