brainroads-toward-tomorrows mental patterns


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de Bono’s Thinking Course

By Edward de Bono (includes links to many of his other books)

Thinking course

Amazon link: De Bono's Thinking Course (Revised Edition)


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




You probably believe your thinking is pretty good—most people do. Or, you may believe that nothing can be done about your thinking. Or, you may believe that trying to improve your thinking skill would be complicated and boring.

Improving your thinking skill is actually much, much simpler than most people believe. That is what this book is about.

Too often we confuse "wisdom" and "cleverness." We concentrate on cleverness and neglect wisdom because we believe that you have to be ancient in order to be wise. Cleverness has to do with solving complex puzzles and technical matters. Wisdom is what we need to think about the ordinary matters of everyday life—from the smallest decisions to the very largest.

Wisdom is like a wide-angle camera lens. Cleverness is like a sharp-focus lens that sees detail but cannot take in the whole picture.

Thinking is the ultimate human resource. The quality of our future will depend entirely on the quality of our thinking. This applies on a personal level, a community level and on the world level.

On the whole our thinking is rather poor, short-sighted and egocentric. We have come to believe that judgment and argument are sufficient. In a rapidly changing world we are finding that our thinking is inadequate to meet the demands put upon it.


Effective Thinking Course ↓ ::: Larger view



  • Note on Author
    • The leading authority in the world on the direct teaching of thinking as a skill
    • “Thinking about thinking”
    • Lessons widely used in
    • Background
    • Invented lateral thinking
  • Author’s note
    • Most people think their thinking is pretty good
    • Improving thinking skill
    • Wisdom vs. cleverness
    • Thinking is the ultimate human resource
    • Summary
  • Thinking as a skill
    • Intelligence and genes
    • Intelligence and education
    • The intelligence trap
    • Practice
    • Education
    • Critical thinking
    • Perception
    • The tool method
  • The PMI
    • Scan
    • Interesting
    • Use of the PMI
    • Two steps
    • Practice
  • Alternatives
    • About alternatives
    • The APC
    • Situations in which we may want to “do an APC”
    • Practicality
    • Alternatives and creativity
    • Exercises for APC
  • Perception and patterns
    • Perception
    • Crossing the road
    • Pattern making
    • How patterns are formed
    • The use of patterns
    • Exercise
  • Lateral thinking
    • Progress
    • Pattern changing
    • Humor
    • Hindsight and insight
    • Creativity and lateral thinking
    • Lateral thinking as process
    • Judgement and provocation
    • The word “ po
    • The steppingstone method
    • The escape method
    • The random stimulation method
    • General use of lateral thinking
    • The logic of lateral thinking
  • Information and thinking
    • Operacy
    • Experience scan
    • CAF
    • C & S
    • Dense reading and dense lighting
    • Logic
    • Getting more information
    • Questions
    • Experiments
    • Selecting information
    • FI-FO
    • Two uses
  • Other people
    • Most thinking has to do with other people
    • The problem of the clash system
    • Exlectics
    • EBS (Examine Both Sides)
    • ADI (Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance)
    • Logic-bubbles
    • OPV
    • Constructive Design
    • Negotiation
    • Communication
  • Emotions and values
    • Gut feeling and thinking
    • Emotions at three points
    • Changing feelings
    • Values
    • HV and LV
    • Value-laden words
    • Awareness
  • Making decisions
    • Decision preframe
    • Generation of alternatives
    • Values and priorities
    • Decision methods
    • Decision postframe
    • Emphasis on fit
    • The future
  • Thinking and doing
    • Operacy
    • Three ways of doing things
    • Setting objectives
    • AGO
    • Targets
    • Strategy and tactics
    • Course of action
    • If-box method
    • Planning
    • The terrain
    • People
    • Risks
    • Constraints
    • Resources
    • Future
    • Business and daily life
  • Deliberate thinking
    • What can one do about developing thinking as a usable skill?
    • Self-image
    • Time discipline (two to four minutes for thinking about an item)
    • Harvesting
    • Thinking about thinking
    • Thinking structures
    • Deliberate practice of thinking
    • Thinking clubs
    • General thinking skills
    • Formal and informal
  • Summary
    • Matters of understanding, appreciation, putting things in perspective, undoing misconceptions and attempting to trigger insights into thinking
    • Creation of new words
    • Descriptive phrases
    • Specific tools
    • Practice
  • Reference

See booktitle at for reviews and comments


“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



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