Opinion: From our Readers - Lateral thinking is key to compelling ideas

The summary of the creative session for the Mental Health Foundation ('The theory of creativity', 10 September) was interesting, if only because it provided reassurance that lateral thinking - approaching the challenge from an unexpected and alternative position - is one of the most reliable ways of producing compelling ideas.

However, its success may be due in part to the time of deployment - late in the session when most participants had already exhausted the obvious and not-so-obvious ideas.

Once you have come up with the mundane, the mediocre and ideas based on prior knowledge and experience, you need to think creatively to come up with something new.

This is where lateral thinking is most powerful, forcing connections between things that do not seem to be connected to produce inspiring ideas.

Had this been the first technique deployed, I doubt it would have been such a success - which is why you need to spend as much time planning an ideas storm as you do participating in it.

Charlie Coney, creative director, GolinHarris

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