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Crenguta Leaua

Crenguta Leaua on alternative thinking

My very first day as a young trainee in law started with my mentor, a senior lawyer, asking me whether I still have my law books. Of course, I replied. Good, he said. Now, over the next weeks, the first thing you will do when you get home in the evenings will be to read them all again but this time, only reading the footnotes, nothing from the main body of the text. You became a good student by mastering the body of the text written by your law professors. Now you will only become a good lawyer by mastering the marginal views, those only found in the footnotes of the lawbooks. It is the ability to find the alternative views that will give you the competitive advantage, he said. And he was right.

A couple of years later, my first contact with alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR – arbitration, mediation, etc.) started with a simple question that I addressed to the senior lawyer introducing me to my first arbitration case – alternative to what? To the state courts and their procedure, was the answer. Alternative, how? I continued to ask. Alternative in any way you can imagine. That is the beauty of alternatives – there is always a whole world of them, out there, he said. And he was also right.

This is simply what alternative thinking is about: the mental ability to look at matters from the world of possible perspectives, the courage to look beyond the mainstream viewpoint, and the wisdom to consider this a valuable position.

At the Swiss Institute for Alternative Thinking we developed a method to train the ability of alternative thinking and, moreover, to enable successful individuals to return to alternative thinking, after having had to rely on strikingly different attitudes, such as passion, persistency and determination, as necessary in the path towards achieving their desired goals.

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