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Rethinking Edward de Bono

Bill Jarrard's picture
Rethinking Edward de Bono

A personal reflection on the impact Edward de Bono and his techniques have had, and a special offer from Mindwerx on his books.

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Edward de BonoSince first meeting Edward de Bono in 1985 at the launch of his book Six Thinking Hats, I have viewed him as a distant mentor, and in the years since then I have had the pleasure to work with him on several opportunities. 

Indeed I was for a time the coordinator of the de Bono Trainers Forum at the then de Bono Institute in Melbourne, and on one occasion facilitated a workshop where Dr de Bono was a mere participant.  In short I have been, and remain, both a fan and avid advocate of his contribution to critical thinking, in the form of Deliberate Creative Thinking.

Recently I was scanning my library and our bookstore and noted the many fantastic books Dr de Bono has written.  In doing so I took a few minutes to reflect on the contribution he has made in the area of critical thinking, creative thinking, serious creativity and indeed to the successful education of millions of children and thousands of businesses.  And to me of course.

After that first meeting in 1985 I bought 10 copies of Six Thinking Hats, and gave them to my management team of nine very diverse people.  At that stage I was a Senior Manager in very large IT department (1800 people nationally) of a major international bank.  With almost 200 staff in my team I was responsible for Finance, Human Resources, Bank Computer Security, 8 physical computer sites, and a couple of other specialists. 

While my team worked well together they had very different styles and functions and management meetings often ended up being a round-robin of each department reporting in, with little cross-pollination of ideas or team problem solving.

When I saw how Six Thinking Hats laid thinking out in a parallel way I appreciated almost right away the power it might bring to my team's thinking, hence the purchase of ten books.  I asked everyone to read the book over the weekend (Six Thinking Hats is still Dr de Bono's most easy to read book) and we started using it on Monday morning. 

Over coming weeks we used the Six Thinking Hats almost daily, and within a month my managers were starting to use them in their own areas, and I was pleased to see that in a few months the Six Thinking Hats were being widely used around all my departments.

After that it was an easy step to some of the terrifically useful Lateral Thinking tools Dr de Bono has developed, notably Random Word, Concept Extraction and one of my favourites PO, which allows for the development of very useful outside the box ideas when needed.  Over the next few years I changed roles several times and always introduced Dr de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking to new teams I worked with. 

And since starting my first company in 1991 and then Mindwerx in 1998 I have been educating and training people in these methods.  Indeed since 1997 I have been a Licensed de Bono trainer, and have run workshops and delivered short presentations to thousands of people.

So in rethinking Edward de Bono what I have I come up with?  Well first is his collection of books.  In our eStore we have 8 titles available, chosen because of their diversity.  Some may not be easily available any more, and we have a very few copies of most of them, but currently available we have.

Six Thing Hats (of course) - This will always be a best seller, and remains a guide to one of the most useful critical thinking tools.

Think, Before It's Too Late - This is one of the newest de Bono books and provides a fantastic overview of all Dr de Bono's major tools and is full of examples and case studies.  A must have book for critical and creative thinking.

Edward de Bono's Thinking Course - Lays out some simple but powerful tools with which we can optimise our thinking, decision making and problem solving.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind - Use the power of creative thinking to become more attractive with a makeover for your mind.

The Six Value Medals - The key to making decisions that deliver maximum value, and a great leadership lesson book.

Six Frames for Thinking About Information - Gives a framework approach of how to work on information in a structured way. The framework is set to "directing" our attention in a conscious manner.

How to Have Creative Ideas - 62 Exercises to Develop Your Mind to be more flexible, open and ultimately creative.

H+ (Plus) A New Religion? - How to Live Your Life Positively. A unique de Bono provocation to get the reader thinking.

And the last must have de Bono book on our shelves is actually not by Edward de Bono.  The book is Rethink: The Story of Edward de Bono in Australia in which BRW feature writer Leo D'Angelo Fisher has brilliantly captured the impact Dr de Bono has had on business in Australia.

Here you will find real case studies (including a couple of Mindwerx clients) that show you how Dr de Bono's techniques have been applied.  Not just of interest to Australian business leaders, this book offers lots for anyone looking for application examples or some insights into Dr de Bono himself.

This collection of books offers us a good overview of some of Dr de Bono's many critical thinking methods, and those who already know Dr de Bono's work may be wondering where his books on Lateral Thinking are.  Indeed there are many such books, and I recommend you scan for these. 

For my purposes I haven't found a better book than the now hard to get Serious Creativity, but I believe Think, Before It's Too Late is the best current book for those starting to explore Lateral Thinking.

To celebrate this personal reflection on Edward de Bono (and as a reward to you for reading this far) Mindwerx now has a special on the books listed above.  But note that in some cases we have only got 1 or 2 copies of hard to get books, so sales will be on a first come basis. 

Go to the eStore page featuring books by Edward de Bono to see what is available and if you choose to buy any of these we'll give you 20% Off the list price.  To take advantage of this when you get to the Check-Out stage use Coupon Code DEBONOSPECIAL and 20% will be taken off the price of the books.

Don't delay as some books will sell out.

And if you are interested in attending any training we do run the Official de Bono programs Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking and DATT: The Power of Perception as public workshops and In-HouseSee the Public Programs page on the Mindwerx website.