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Edward de Bono

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Edward de Bono (born May 19, 1933, in Malta) is a Maltese physician, author, inventor, and consultant. He is best known as the originator of the term lateral thinking and a proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking as a subject in schools. Edward de Bono studied at St Edward's College in Malta and gained a medical degree from the University of Malta. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford where he gained an M.A. degree in psychology and physiology. He also has a Ph.D. degree and a D.Phil. degree in Medicine from Cambridge University, a D.Des. degree (Doctor of Design) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and an LL.D. degree from the University of Dundee. He holds professorships at the Universities of Malta, Pretoria, Dublin City University, and the University of Central England. The New University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix AZ appointed Dr. de Bono Da Vinci Professor of Thinking in May 2005. He is among one of 27 European Union ambassadors for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. website He was formerly married, has two sons and resides on the Channel Islands. In 1969 de Bono founded the Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) which continues to produce and promote material based on his ideas. He has written 82 books with translations into 41 languages. He has spent the last 30 years teaching thinking, including working with governments, corporations, organisations and individuals, speaking publicly or privately on many matters. He has started to set up the World Center for New Thinking, based in Malta, which he describes as a "kind of intellectual Red Cross". In 1995, he created the futuristic documentary film, 2040: Possibilities by Edward de Bono, a lecture designed to prepare an audience of viewers released from a cryogenic freeze for contemporary (2040) society. De Bono has detailed a range of 'deliberate thinking methods' - applications emphasizing thinking as a deliberate act rather than a reactive one. His writing style has been lauded for being simple and practical. Avoiding academic terminology, he has advanced applied psychology by making theories about creativity and perception into usable tools. De Bono's work has become particularly popular in the sphere of business - perhaps because of the perceived need to restructure corporations, to allow more flexible working practices and to innovate in products and services. The methods have migrated into corporate training courses designed to help employees and executives think outside the box.

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Direct Teaching of Thinking

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De Bono argues that most of the problems in thinking are at the perceptual level - that is, that many more mistakes are made by people jumping to the wrong conclusion than by behaving irrationally once all the relevant facts are known. To address this problem, he created attention directing tools under the name of CoRT, later as DATT and also included as Code 2 in the de Bono Code. As the name suggests, the tools operate by directing peoples' attention to different aspects of the situation for a couple of minutes. For example, an OPV (Other Peoples' View) prompts the thinker to list the people (or types of people) who would be affected by a proposed idea. The thinker is then required to imagine what effects that idea would have on each of these different people. While this may sound like an exercise in altruism, it need not be. Say you've got a selfish desire (eg. you're a kid wanting ice cream), then doing an OPV will help you anticipate and plan for other peoples' responses (eg. "Mummy, me and Jimmy were thinking that cleaning our rooms to your complete satisfaction might earn us both an ice cream. But we would have to eat these ice-creams immediately to avoid spoiling our dinner."). Schools from over twenty countries have included de Bono's thinking tools into their curriculum

Ideas
In 2000, de Bono advised a U.K Foreign Office committee that the Arab-Israeli conflict might be due, in part, to low levels of zinc found in people who eat unleavened bread, a known side-effect of which is aggression. He suggested shipping out jars of Marmite to compensate. He has suggested an alternative to the penalty shootout when a soccer match ends in a draw. If the number of times each goalkeeper touches the ball is recorded throughout the game the results can be compared in the event of a draw. The team whose goalkeeper has touched the ball more often is the loser. The winner will then be the team that has had more attempts at scoring goals and is more aggressive (and therefore exciting) in their style of play. This mechanism would avoid the tension of the penalty shoot out. However, some people argue that this method of deciding a drawn match completely ignores the goalkeeper's skill which can win a game for a team. If the game goes to a penalty shootout, even though one team may have completely dominated the other, the goalkeeper has kept the scores level. Furthermore the goalkeeper can make highly skilled saves in a penalty shootout and defeat the better team. In 2007, his Septoe idea was given life through a new website. Septoes allow people to distill their wisdom into phrases of exactly seven words. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_de_Bono

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Edward de Bono is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He is equally renowned for his development of the Six Thinking Hats® technique and the Direct Attention Thinking Tools™ (D.A.T.T.™) framework. Edward de Bono is the originator of the concept - and formal tools - of Lateral Thinking, which is now a part of language enjoying an entry in the Oxford Dictionary. Dr. de Bono was born in Malta. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, holds an M.A. in psychology and physiology from Oxford, a D. Phil in Medicine, a Ph.D. from Cambridge, a D. Des (Doctor of Design) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; an LL.D. from Dundee. He holds professorships at the Universities of Malta, Pretoria, Dublin City University, and the University of Central England. The New Univeristy of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, Arizona appointed Dr. de Bono Da Vinci Professor of Thinking in May 2005. His techniques and work focus on improving the elements that constitute a perception and the formal design and application of the frameworks required towards innovative and creative action. One may easily say that all the recent (past thirty years) focus on thinking, on creativity, on innovation, on frameworks beyond 'x-storming' etc has taken its lead from Edward de Bono's work. Whereas Rene Descartes propounded Bono proposes 'ago ergo erigo' (I (talk) and think: Action, together with constructively advance towards results "cogito ergo sum' (I think therefore I am), Edward de act therefore I construct/ act). It is not enough to sit, an intentional design of the thought process, is required to and change.

He has written 70 book with translations into 40 languages and has been invited to lecture in 58 countries. His methods are now mandatory on the school curriculum in many countries and widely used in others. These countries include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Argentina, U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, The Baltic States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, India, China, U.S.A., Russia. It is compulsory in all schools in Venezuela. In Malta there is a model show-case for the de Bono Thinking Tools within the national Education Department. The appeal of Dr. de Bono's work is its simplicity and practicality. It can be used by four year olds and by senior executives; by Down Syndrome youngsters and Nobel Laureates. His instruction in thinking has been sought by many organisations: Boeing, BT (UK), Nokia (Finland), Mondadori (Italy), Sanofi (France), Rolex (Switzerland), Total (France), Siemens (Germany), 3M (Germany), Ericsson (Sweden), NTT (Japan), GM, Kraft (Switzerland), Nestle (Switzerland), Bouygues Construction (France), Bosch (Germany), Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young and many others. Dr. de Bono acts as advisor to various Governments, cities, regional Governments and global organisations dealing on a macro level with diverse topics including economy, unemployment, social policy, recidivism, pensions, health care, finance, transportation, education, conflict resolution, judicial processes, foresight scenario design etc.

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Dr. de Bono was the Chairman of the Council of Young Enterprise Europe which had a membership of 1,500,000 youngsters across Europe, Israel and Russia who set up mini-businesses whilst at school.

Dr. de Bono established the World Centre for New Thinking which acts as a platform and channel to make visible New Thinking from any source. Democracies and representative organisations, due to their nature, cannot put forward new ideas. By definition "new ideas" are not representative of existing thinking. They are therefore high risk. Such organisations may be perfectly capable of having new ideas but cannot risk putting them forward. The specific function of the World Centre is to focus directly on new ideas and new possibilities: "hypothesis development." http://www.edwarddebono.com/about.htm

Six thinking hats

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Six Thinking Hats
Looking at a Decision from All Points of View

"Six Thinking Hats" is a powerful technique that helps you look at important decisions from a number of different perspectives. It helps you make better decisions by pushing you to move outside your habitual ways of thinking. As such, it helps you understand the full complexity of a decision, and spot issues and opportunities which you might otherwise not notice. Many successful people think from a very rational, positive viewpoint, and this is part of the reason that they are successful. Often, though, they may fail to look at problems from emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoints. This can mean that they underestimate resistance to change, don't make creative leaps, and fail to make essential contingency plans. Similarly, pessimists may be excessively defensive, and people used to a very logical approach to problem solving may fail to engage their creativity or listen to their intuition. If you look at a problem using the Six Thinking Hats technique, then you'll use all of these approaches to develop your best solution. Your decisions and plans will mix ambition, skill in execution, sensitivity, creativity and good contingency planning. This tool was created by Edward de Bono in his book "6 Thinking Hats".

How to Use the Tool:
To use Six Thinking Hats to improve the quality of your decision-making, look at the decision "wearing" each of the thinking hats in turn. Each "Thinking Hat" is a different style of thinking. These are explained below:

White Hat: With this thinking hat, you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them. This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.

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Red Hat: Wearing the red hat, you look at the decision using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally, and try to understand the intuitive responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.
Black Hat: When using black hat thinking, look at things pessimistically, cautiously and defensively. Try to see why ideas and approaches might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan or course of action. It allows you to eliminate them, alter your approach, or prepare contingency plans to counter problems that arise.

Black Hat thinking helps to make your plans tougher and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique, as many successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance, leaving them under-prepared for difficulties.

Yellow Hat: The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it, and spot the opportunities that arise from it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

Green Hat: The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas. A whole range of creativity tools can help you here.
Blue Hat: The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, and so on.

You can use Six Thinking Hats in meetings or on your own. In meetings it has the benefit of defusing the disagreements that can happen when people with different thinking styles discuss the same problem. A similar approach is to look at problems from the point of view of different professionals (e.g. doctors, architects, sales directors) or different customers.

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Example:
The directors of a property company are looking at whether they should construct a new office building. The economy is doing well, and the amount of vacant office space is reducing sharply. As part of their decision they decide to use the 6 Thinking Hats technique during a planning meeting. Looking at the problem with the White Hat, they analyze the data they have. They examine the trend in vacant office space, which shows a sharp reduction. They anticipate that by the time the office block would be completed, that there will be a severe shortage of office space. Current government projections show steady economic growth for at least the construction period. With Red Hat thinking, some of the directors think the proposed building looks quite ugly. While it would be highly cost-effective, they worry that people would not like to work in it. When they think with the Black Hat, they worry that government projections may be wrong. The economy may be about to enter a 'cyclical downturn', in which case the office building may be empty for a long time. If the building is not attractive, then companies will choose to work in another betterlooking building at the same rent. With the Yellow Hat, however, if the economy holds up and their projections are correct, the company stands to make a great deal of money. If they are lucky, maybe they could sell the building before the next downturn, or rent to tenants on long-term leases that will last through any recession. With Green Hat thinking they consider whether they should change the design to make the building more pleasant. Perhaps they could build prestige offices that people would want to rent in any economic climate. Alternatively, maybe they should invest the money in the short term to buy up property at a low cost when a recession comes. The Blue Hat has been used by the meeting's Chair to move between the different thinking styles. He or she may have needed to keep other members of the team from switching styles, or from criticizing other peoples' points.

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Book by Edward de Bono http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSjZOjNIJg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkgVzMu_W44~ http://www.edwarddebonofoundation.com

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http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm

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