How many people would be able to invent the wheel had not been invented?

The tale of the two little stones

Many years ago, in a small village, a farmer had the bad luck of owing a great sum of money to a merchant from the region. The merchant, already being old and rude, thought the farmer’s daughter beautiful and decided to propose to the farmer that he would forgive the debt if he gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage. When given this proposition, the farmer and his daughter were horrified and refused.

So merchant gave them this challenge: He would take two stones from the ground, one black and one white, and would put them inside a bag. Then the farmer’s daughter would have to put her hand inside the bag and take one of the stones. If she took the white one, she wouldn’t have to marry him and her father’s debt would be forgiven. However, if she took the black one from the bag, her father’s debt would be forgiven still, but she would have to marry him. If she refused to take a stone the merchant would send her father to prison due to the fact of him not being able to pay his debt.

Without better options, the girl accepted. As they were in a road full of stones, the merchant went down and quickly snatched two stone and put them in a bag. However, the girl being very cautious, realized that the merchant put two black stones in the bag instead of a white and a black one. Then on the merchant asked the girl to put her hand inside the bag and take a stone.

A cautious analyses would three possibilities:

1. The girl refuses, and her father is arrested.

2. The girl shows there were two black stones inside the bag, exposing the lack of honesty of the merchant.

3. The girl choses a black stone, sacrificing herself to save her father from debt and of prison.

Stop for a moment and think, what would you do?

In the girls case, she put her hand in the bag and took a stone. But, without even looking at the stone, she dropped it, where it got lost among the other stones on the floor.

Excusing herself for being so clumsy, the girl says:” That’s okay, if you look inside the bag you’ll see the remaining stone and that way we can know what was the stone I picked!” “

The times change and with them new challenges arrive.

Since forever, the importance of community spirit has been present, because the real alchemy happens in the relationships, not in isolation. Investing eight hours of our day in a company goes well beyond work.

To promote the balance in the professional life and the personal of the team, translates in a life with more meaning and satisfaction.

The better spent minute is the one I invest in people.”

Through our practice of the image of the week the opportunity of doing a training session in the lateral studio with Luís Lagos, appeared. Know that this training session would not be a typical training session, for it is a studio that promotes an atypical style of training. The normal in a gym is to have focus on the physical preparation, in lateral the purpose is different. The name Lateral, inspired in the Lateral thinking of Edward de Bono, Luís Lagos and his team promote a training that goes beyond the physical aspect, I would even say that it starts with the intellect. As soon as I became aware of the challenges I faced in each training session, I proposed doing it as a team.

In an era that we’ve been educated/formatted to a vertical management, nowadays this type of management doesn’t work for its purpose. We live in times that we fall easily in a hamster wheel-worthy automatism, in an era where the essence and creativity make us singular. The automatism destroys the creativity, disconnects us.

Through the vision of a lateral management, it made me aware that the awakening of this creativity would be more beneficial if it were done together, as a team, in order to strengthen synergies between us.

Once acquired, the essence of knowledge consists of being able to put it into practice”

We did our first training session, and it was incredible how it expanded our vision about the team and made us conscious of the aspects to work on for the common good. To understand that each of us has their own skill, their own way of communicating, their own strategy and their own “weak point”. Gaining awareness of all these factors made us make them an added value in order to reach the common goal in the best way possible.

Do you usually have a fixed way of thinking or do you promote the interest and the opportunity to develop it?

Only some people have the natural faculty for the lateral thinking, but everyone can develop this ability if they start to practice it.

The lateral thinking isn’t a magic formula that can be learned immediately. It’s an attitude and a mental habit. Practising lateral thinking in a gym? Develop a strategy and creativity through sports? Yes! That’s what we found in this team activity, that easily went from being a casual activity to a monthly one.

The difference between lateral thinking and the vertical thinking is that in vertical thinking the logic is in the control of the mind, while with the lateral thinking the logic it’s at the service of the mind.

How many people have a unique idea that is truly new in the course of their lives?

New ideas are not a synonym of who spends a lot of time searching and developing them.

Charles Darwin spent more than twenty years working in his theory of evolution, then one day he was invited to read an article by a young biologist named Alfred Russel Wallace. Ironically, the article had a clear exposition of the theory of evolution for the survival of the most capable.”

The essential difference is that with lateral thinking all the process is controlled. If we choose chaos in our lateral thinking, it will be for direction and not because of the lack of it. This knowledge made us more aware of the practised dynamic in order to recognize disruptive patterns and easily align for the common good. Gaining individual responsibility for the collective good.

We’re not just our behaviour, We’re the person that manages our behaviour.”

We would like to thank you Luís and the entire team from Lateral for giving us the blows that lead us to exhaustion. Just kidding, we wanted to say transformation.

Fátima Gonçalves