brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


pyramid to dna

Edward de Bono


Information is not enough — thinking is needed and Thinking broad and thinking detailed


“Why is ‘thinking’ important? awareness

Because without thinking we can only act in the following ways:

1. Act purely on instinct like insects.

2. Repeat the usual routines.

3. Do what someone else decides and orders.

4. Follow the emotion of the moment.” — Edward de Bono


The manager and the moron … thinking about the truly important things continue

edward de bono

While there are thousands of people writing software for computers, Edward de Bono is the pioneer in writing software for the human brain.

Edward de Bono was born in Malta and after his initial education at St. Edward’s College, Malta, and the Royal University of Malta, where he obtained a degree in medicine, he proceeded as a Rhodes Scholar to Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained an honours degree in psychology and physiology and then a D.Phil. in medicine.

He also holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge.

He has had faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard.

Dr. Edward de Bono is widely regarded as the leading authority in the direct teaching of thinking as a skill.

He originated the concept of lateral thinking (which now has an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary) and developed formal techniques for deliberate creative thinking.

He has written sixty-five books with translations in thirty-seven languages.

He has also made two television series.

Invited to lecture in forty-five countries and to address major international conferences, he was, in 1989, asked to chair a special meeting of Nobel prize laureates.

edward de bono

His instruction in thinking has been sought by many of the leading business corporations in the world such as IBM, NTT (Japan), Du Pont, Prudential, Shell, Eriksson, McKinseys, Ciba-Geigy, Ford and many others.

Dr. de Bono runs the largest curriculum programme for the direct teaching of thinking in schools. This is in use in many countries around the world.

He is the founder of the Cognitive Research Trust (1969) and the International Creative Forum which brings together many of the leading corporations in the world.

He also set up the International Creativity Office in New York to help UN member countries generate fresh ideas.




Dr. de Bono’s work is based on

his understanding of the mind

as a


information system

See I am right - You are wrong
(From this to the new renaissance:
from rock logic to water logic)




Three kinds of intelligence (Niccolò Machiavelli) and people behaviors




“Because we spend a lot of time thinking about things does not by itself improve our thinking skill.

A journalist who types with two fingers will still be typing with two fingers at the age of sixty.

This is not for lack of typing practice.

Practice in two-finger typing will serve only to make that person a better two-finger typist.

Yet a short course in touch typing at a young age would have made that person a much better typist for all his or her life.

It is the same with thinking. Practice is not enough.”


Contents of de Bono’s books — PDF




“Thinking … the most fundamental,
the most important aspect of life,
the basis for everything is totally neglected …

Book store: no thinking category

Universities: no thinking faculty and zero possibility thinking

School: no thinking subject” — Edward de Bono

more below …


Operacy ↑ and here


About thinking and 12 principles

thinking principles

thinking principle

Thinking takes place along a time line
leading toward unimagined futures

General thinking skills ↓ ::: Larger view





Mental patterns: our “guidance” :( system




One can … never be sure what the knowledge worker thinks—and yet thinking is her/his specific work; it is his/her “doing.”Peter Drucker


Executive thinking


Drucker books


A Century of Social Transformation


Knowledge: its economics and productivity


Caution: Innovation requires special effort and the risks associated with the bright idea




The Father of Lateral Thinking, Edward De Bono discusses education, health care, happiness, the Thinking Club and the 6 Thinking Hats (below) used by top western economists, primitive tribesmen and school children alike.

Interviewed by Charlotte Malycon & Dan Day – Thinking Club Sydney Founders & Our Manly Creative Thinking Partners


Interview notes below




Attention Directing — Code 2

Thinking is the most fundamental of all human skills.

The quality of our future will depend directly on the quality of our thinking.

Wisdom → awareness

Is it then not only astonishing but also absurd that thinking is not the core subject in all education and the central subject on any school curriculum?

It is not.

It is not there at all.

There are some schools that teach thinking.

Many of them teach critical thinking, which is excellent but totally inadequate.

Judgement thinking is important but so is design thinking.

We need to create as well as to judge.

David Perkins at Harvard has shown that ninety per cent of errors in thinking are errors of perception.

This has also been my experience over the thirty years in which I have been involved in the teaching of thinking.

Yet over the ages we have put all the emphasis on logic.

If your perception is faulty, then even excellent logic will give you the wrong answer.

Excellent logic will not, itself, provide excellent perception.

If your eyesight is very sharp but you are looking in the wrong direction you will not see what you are looking for.

An explorer is sent to a newly discovered island.

The explorer returns and reports on a smoking volcano and a bird that does not fly.

The backers of the explorer are not satisfied:

‘What else was there?’

‘That is all that caught my attention,’ replies the explorer.

So the explorer is sent back again with some ‘attention-directing’ tools.

The explorer is asked to ‘look north and note what you see’.

Then, ‘look south and note what you see’.

Then look east and west in the same way.

Also make notes on:

flora, fauna, geology, water, etc., etc.

This becomes a sort of checklist.

Writing out what you see
is different from saying it
mentally or verbally. It makes you decide.

Full size

Additionally, what are the implications of what you see?

Maybe this will help you SEE!

Dense reading and Dense listening ::: Thinking broad and Thinking detailed

Druckerisms — attention-directing thought jewels from PFD

Principles for thinking ↓ ::: Larger view





We need ‘attention-directing tools’ for human perception.

“To know something,
to really understand something important,
one must look at it from sixteen different angles.

People are perceptually slow,
and there is no shortcut to understanding;
it takes a great deal of time.” Drucker read more on this

Executive realities

Many years ago I designed a set of such tools.

They are now in use (as the CoRT programme) in thousands of schools around the world.

They are also being taught in business through the DATT programme (operated by APTT).

In the Karee platinum mine in South Africa there used to be 210 fights every month between the seven different tribes working there.

After the basic attention-directing tools were taught (by Susan Mackie and Donalda Dawson) the fights dropped from 210 to just four.

Jennifer O’Sullivan, in Australia, had two job clubs and every one of her unemployed youngsters was deaf.

Teaching these youngsters CoRT thinking gave an employment rate more than double the average for job clubs.

In a pilot project with unemployed youngsters in the UK, the use of these methods by the Hoist Group improved unemployment four- to fivefold.

Attention-directing tools are very powerful.

If you are looking in the right direction you see things.

Once you have seen something you cannot ‘unsee’ it.

Your thinking, choices, decisions are determined by what you have seen.

So code 2 is a very simple set of attention-directing tools.

You can instruct yourself to use a particular tool.

You can ask someone else to use a particular tool.

You can suggest to a group that a particular tool be used.

In a computer you might pull down a menu and then click on an item on that menu.

The thinking tools are items on a ‘thinking menu’.




de Bono snacks and book tables of content:


Far too many people regard thinking as a matter of inborn intelligence—which it is not.

In my researches and experiments I have again and again come across very intelligent people who turned out to be very poor thinkers.

Nor have I found that thinking skill has much to do with education, for some of the best educated people (Ph.D.s, university lecturers and professors, senior business executives, etc.) have also been poor thinkers.

To regard thinking as a skill rather than as a gift is the first step towards doing something to improve that skill. See Practical Thinking


Intelligence ::: Information ::: Thinking

Intelligence is like the horsepower of a car.

Thinking is like the skill with which the car is driven.

Information is like the road map available to the driver.

By themselves, each of these three components intelligence, information, thinking — is not enough, but together they can be used to great effect in the world around us.

Dr. de Bono shows us the importance of combining all three in order to fulfil our potential and develop some truly creative ideas.

Attention (perception)

The PMI ::: Plus, Minus, Interesting — the critical importance of mental scanning

Practical Thinking


The Six Value Medals

Why We Need New Thinking About Thinking

Principles for thinking — Find “Simplicity” on this page

Information and thinking

Intelligence and thinking

Cleverness and thinking

Does thinking need to be difficult?

How to be an intellectual

Reactive and pro-active thinking

Operacy — the thinking that goes into doing

Critical thinking

The adversarial system

Challenge and protest

The need to be right

Analysis and design

Creative thinking

Logic and perception

Emotions, feelings and intuition


Thinking Broad and Thinking Detailed

I Am Right, You Are Wrong

The Mechanism of Mind

Water Logic

Effective thinking course (outline).

Edward de Bono’s Thinking Course (book table of contents)

Effective Thinking Course ↓ ::: Larger view


Dense Reading and Dense Listening

Teach Your Child How to Think

Teach Yourself to Think — also relevant to the thinking that goes into doing …

Six Thinking Hats (simple overview) OR Six Thinking Hats TOC (table of contents with some abbreviated notes)

6 thinking hats

Six Action Shoes (section on operacy)

The Happiness Purpose

H+ (Plus) A New Religion?: How to Live Your Life Positively Through Happiness, Humour, Help, Hope, Health

Handbook For The Positive Revolution

How to Have A Beautiful Mind

How to be More Interesting




Serious Creativity

Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

Creativity Workout: 62 Exercises to Unlock Your Most Creative Ideas

How to Have Creative Ideas: 62 games to develop the mind

Six Frames (For Thinking about Information)


The De Bono Code Book

Wikipedia: Edward de Bono

The Thinker’s Toolkit — 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving

A Whack on the Side of the Head — How You Can Be More Creative


The brain is the thing → Humor, hindsight and insight, creativity and lateral thinking, lateral thinking as process, judgment and provocation, the word "Po", the stepping stone method, the escape method, the random stimulation method, general use of lateral thinking, the logic of lateral thinking … more



Larger view of the PISCO-TEC image above


His books can be found through a Google search, Google Book Search for Edward de Bono or at

Interview notes

Book store: no thinking category

Universities: no thinking faculty

School: no subject thinking

Thinking … the most fundamental, the most important aspect of life, the basis for everything is totally neglected.

It is assumed that we are very good … we know everything … total rubbish

We haven’t done anything about thinking for 2400 years

Thinking: design, creative for value, finding the truth & logic, perceptual

If you have to start with perceptions and assumptions, logic is insufficient

The Intelligence Trap

The willingness to explore the subject

Design is as important as analysis.

Design is putting together what you have to deliver the values you want

Australia: Six Thinking Hats widely used

Venezuela: In every school.

A champion is needed

China: The rest of the world just a tourist area for the Chinese


Chief Idea Officer.

Otherwise nothing happens



Random word easier to use than provocation.

Teaching thinking as a subject increases performance in other areas

Fallacy of the attack and revolution approach

Politics and negative thinking

Happy film institute.

Need dramatic events.

Motivation to think.

Ignorance is bliss. Daisy by the road side.

Countries burdened by history.

Looking backwards

Getting out of cars.

Seats that swivel.


Improving wine glasses.

Emergency room wait times.

New type of doctor

Schools should be teaching “now story” rather than history, thinking and operacy (skills of doing).

Just expensive baby sitting

Kids and computers: You don’t have to think, you only have to search

Exercises in thinking

Do that and do this as well

TLN keywords: tlnkwdebono tlnkwthinking


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself (PDF) is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world continuing to move toward unimagined futures.



What’s the next effective action on the road ahead


It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then working out a plan for coping with what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting pointThe memo THEY don't want you to see



To create a site search, go to Google’s site ↓

Type the following in their search box ↓

your search text



What needs doing?




Copyright 2001 2005 2007 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 © All rights reserved | bobembry | bob embry | “time life navigation” © | “life TIME investment system” © | “career evolution” © | “life design” © | “organization evolution” © | “brainroads toward tomorrows” © | “foundations for future directed decisions” © | #rlaexpdotcom © | rlaexpdotcom © = rla + exp = real life adventures + exploration or explored

#rlaexpdotcom introduction breadcrumb trail …