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Who is Professor EDWARD DE BONO?

“Unless you want to fall behind, learn how to think and then learn how to learn.” /Edward de Bono/

“The work of de Bono is perhaps the best thing happening nowadays in the world.” /George Gallup, founder of the Gallup Institute/

Edward de Bono, creative thinking expert

Edward de BonoEdward de Bono was born in 1933 in Malta. After graduating at the Medical University of Malta he went to Oxford, where his promising career began after passing his psychology exams with distinction. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Malta and the University of Cambridge. He is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford, London University, the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

He specialises in cognitive processes, parallel and lateral thinking, and the methodology of “sustainable life-long learning”. His works have been translated into 34 languages. He has given lectures on the methods of “Parallel Thinking: The Six Thinking Hats®” in 52 countries. His books on how to develop the technique have been included in the national curricula for primary and secondary schools in numerous countries.

The key to the significance of his work lies in the fact that the results of his research have been successfully applied in a wide range of scientific and economic areas.

He has been awarded a prize in pedagogy for establishing how to teach and develop thinking in practice by The Boston International Conference on the Methodology of Thinking in 1992. He has given lectures and mini-courses on topics that can be well-adapted in business such as learning methods, creativity and a novel approach to decision making based on mutual cooperation (see brief guide to “Parallel Thinking: The Six Thinking Hats” attached). The audiences worldwide include the senior management of companies and organisations like IBM, Du Pont, British Airways, Ericsson, Total, Siemens, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and even the Pentagon.

In his classic work, The Mechanism of the Mind (1969), he reached conclusions, which have been empirically proven by today, ten years earlier than contemporary logicians of the time.

Professor de Bono’s groundbreaking discovery is that the major factors in the decision-making process are affected by emotions, feelings gained via perceptions. Research in the past decades had shown that biochemical substances released by our brain change with the mode of thinking, and produce different manifestations through perceptions. These perceptions are affecting our decision-making processes to a large extent, although what we are striving for consciously is to suppress or block out emotions so that only logic and ration would be the major influencing factor in our decisions.

Unlike arguments, the novel technique facilitates an unbiased, objective evaluation of any topic. The Six Thinking Hats® framework provides a WIN-WIN situation for all the parties involved as the negative attitude fuelling arguments and conflicts is replaced by cooperation, trust, and negotiation based on mutual respect.

It was Dr Edward de Bono who first used the terms “lateral and parallel thinking”, and he was the first to apply techniques based on these processes. He argues that these techniques are more effective in increasing company competitiveness and effectiveness. He also adds that these methodologies are by far more superior and advanced than critical thinking based on confrontation and arguments. In his view, critical thinking and argumentation are both bound to trigger resistance, while parallel thinking favours agreement, to the benefit of all partners involved. According to Dr de Bono, provocation does not induce positive results, as it corners partners. Thus, he laid down the foundations of constructive thinking and has developed methods to apply it in practice. The international success of his techniques stems from the simplicity and playfulness of the methods. In addition, they are easily applicable in real life situations.

Titles available by Edward de Bono

  • Atlas of Management Thinking
  • Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve Them
  • The De Bono Code Book
  • Edward De Bono’s Masterthinker Handbook
  • Edward De Bono’s Textbook of Wisdom
  • The 5-Day Course in Thinking
  • Handbook of the Positive Revolution
  • The Happiness Purpose
  • How to Be More Interesting
  • How to Have a Beautiful Mind
  • I Am Right, You Are Wrong
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Lateral Thinking for Management
  • New Thinking for the New Millennium
  • Opportunities
  • Parallel Thinking
  • Po: Beyond Yes and No
  • Practical Thinking
  • Simplicity
  • Six Thinking Hats
  • Teach Your Child How to Think
  • Teach Yourself to Think
  • Teaching Thinking
  • The Use of Lateral Thinking
  • Water Logic
  • Wordpower

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