Edward de Bono – Lateral Thinking

Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono – Lateral Thinking – Contents

  • Edward de Bono Biography
  • Edward de Bono – Big Idea: Lateral Thinking
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Edward de Bono
  • Career Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono
  • Business Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono
  • Edward de Bono Inspirational Quotes
  • Books by Edward de Bono
  • Questions about Edward de Bono
  • Edward de Bono – Videos

Edward de Bono Biography

Edward de Bono is a psychologist, author, inventor, and consultant. His “Big Idea” was “Lateral Thinking,” which he wrote about in many of his books. He is also a proponent of the teaching of “Thinking” as a subject in schools.

De Bono has written 57 books with translations into 34 languages. He has taught his “Thinking Methods” to government agencies, corporate clients, organizations, and individuals, privately or at conferences.


Edward de Bono – Big Idea: Lateral Thinking

Lateral Thinking is an approach to solving problems using a creative method and indirect reasoning that is not immediately obvious. It involves generating ideas that may not be obvious by using only traditional logic.

Lateral Thinking was promulgated in 1967 by Edward de Bono. Edward de Bono also links lateral thinking with humor, arguing there’s a switch-over from a familiar pattern to a new, unexpected one. It is this moment of surprise, generating laughter and new insights, which facilitates the ability to see different thought patterns, which initially were not obvious.

Edward de Bono defines four types of thinking tools:

  • Idea-Generating Tools: Tools intended to break current thinking patterns.
  • Focus Tools: Tools intended to broaden where to search for new ideas.
  • Harvest Tools: Tools designed to ensure more value is received from idea generating output.
  • Treatment Tools: Tools that promote consideration of real-world constraints, resources, and support.

Interesting Facts and Insights about Edward de Bono

  • Born: Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono was born in 1933, in Malta.
  • Education: Edward de Bono was educated at St. Edward’s College, Malta.
  • Physician: Edward de Bono gained a medical degree from the University of Malta.
  • Rhodes Scholar: Edward de Bono was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained an MA in psychology and physiology.
  • Ph.D.: Edward de Bono gained a Ph.D. degree in medicine from Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • Honorary Degrees: Edward de Bono was awarded an honorary DDes (Doctor of Design) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and an honorary LLD from the University of Dundee.
  • Faculty: De Bono has held faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Harvard.
  • Professor: Edward de Bono was a professor at Malta, Pretoria, Central England, and Dublin City University.
  • Professor of Thinking: De Bono holds the Da Vinci Professor of Thinking chair at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona, US.
  • Ambassador: De Bono was one of the 27 Ambassadors for the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009.
  • Author: De Bono has written 57 books with translations into 34 languages.
  • Lateral Thinking: The term Lateral Thinking was promulgated in 1967 by Edward de Bono.
  • Six Thinking Hats: Six Thinking Hats is a system designed by Edward de Bono as a tool for thinking involving the symbolism of six colored hats, for different styles or types of thinking.
  • Arab–Israeli conflict: De Bono advised that the Arab–Israeli conflict might be due, in part, to low levels of zinc found in people who eat unleavened bread. De Bono argues that low zinc levels lead to heightened aggression.
  • Nobel Nominee: De Bono was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005.
  • Critiques: Some critiques of de Bono’s work emphasize the lack of evidence to support some of his proposals.

“Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”

– Edward de Bono

Career Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono

“If you never change your mind, why have one?”

“The quality of our thinking will determine the quality of our future.”

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.”

“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”

“If you do not design the future, someone or something else will design it for you.”

“To be successful you have to be lucky, or a little mad, or very talented, or find yourself in a rapid growth field.”

“Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.”

“You can analyze the past, but you need to design the future. That is the difference between suffering the future and enjoying it.”

“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learned. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improve teamwork, productivity and, where appropriate, profits.”


Business Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono

“If you wait for opportunities to occur, you will be one of the crowd.”

“No way of doing things is beyond improvement.”

“You can’t dig a different hole by digging the same one deeper.”

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

“The image that concerns most people is the reflection they see in other people’s minds.”

“Design is how you put together what you have to deliver the value that you want”

“Companies that solely focus on competition will ultimately die. Those that focus on value creation will thrive.”

“We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience.”

“A good listener is very nearly as attractive as a good talker. You cannot have a beautiful mind if you do not know how to listen.”

“An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgments simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.”

“The system will always be defended by those countless people who have enough intellect to defend but not quite enough to innovate.”

“Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion, and this can lead to new ideas”


Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Edward de Bono

“Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.”

“Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose.”

“Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.”

“The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.”

“Everyone has the right to doubt everything as often as he pleases and the duty to do it at least once.”

“A discussion should be a genuine attempt to explore a subject rather than a battle between competing egos.”

“It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”

“Opportunity ideas do not lie around waiting to be discovered. Such ideas need to be produced.”

“Asking a question is the simplest way of focusing on thinking…asking the right question may be the most important part of thinking.”

“Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.”

“The notion that information is enough, that more and more information is enough, that you don’t have to think, you just have to get more information – gets very dangerous.”

“Creativity involves provocation, exploration, and risk-taking. Creativity involves “thought experiments.” You cannot tell in advance how the experiment is going to turn out. But you want to be able to carry out the experiment.”


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“The awful thing is that you can never be aware of what you are not aware of.”

– Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono Inspirational Quotes

“Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.”

“The simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.”

“In 80% of Socrates’ dialogues, there was no constructive outcome. He saw his role as simply pointing out what was “wrong.”

“Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

“Language is the biggest barrier to human progress because language is an encyclopedia of ignorance. Old perceptions are frozen into language and force us to look at the world in an old fashioned way.”


Books by Edward de Bono

  • Six Thinking Hats, by Edward de Bono, 1985
  • Lateral thinking: Creativity Step by Step, by Edward de Bono, 1970
  • Teach Yourself to Think, by Edward de Bono, 1995
  • How to Have a Beautiful Mind, by Edward de Bono, 2004
  • Serious Creativity, by Edward de Bono, 1992
  • I Am Right, You Are Wrong, by Edward de Bono, 1990
  • Teach Your Child How To Think, by Edward de Bono, 1992
  • How to Have Creative Ideas, by Edward de Bono, 2007
  • The Use of Lateral Thinking, by Edward de Bono, 1967
  • De Bono’s Thinking Course, by Edward de Bono, 1982
  • The Mechanism of the Mind, by Edward de Bono, 1969
  • The Six Value Medals, by Edward de Bono, 2005
  • Practical thinking, by Edward de Bono, 1971
  • Lateral Thinking: An Introduction, by Edward de Bono, 2014
  • Think!: Before It’s Too Late, by Edward de Bono, 2010
  • Simplicity, by Edward de Bono, 1998
  • Six Frames: For Thinking About Information, by Edward de Bono, 2008
  • The Happiness Purpose, by Edward de Bono, 1977
  • Atlas of Management Thinking, by Edward de Bono, 1981
  • How to be More Interesting: Change how You See Yourself and how the World Sees You, by Edward de Bono, 1997
  • Six Action Shoes, by Edward de Bono, 1991
  • Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve Them, by Edward de Bono, 1985
  • Tactics: The Art and Science of Success, by Edward de Bono, 1984
  • The De Bono Code Book, by Edward de Bono, 2000
  • Lateral Thinking for Management: A Handbook, by Edward de Bono, 1971
  • Bonting: Thinking to Create Value, by Edward de Bono, 2016
  • PO: Beyond Yes & No, by Edward de Bono, 1973
  • Cort Thinking Program, by Edward de Bono, 1987
  • Intelligence Is Not Enough, by Edward de Bono, 2007
  • The Free Mind, by Edward de Bono, 2008

Questions about Edward de Bono


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“A discussion should be a genuine attempt to explore a subject rather than a battle between competing egos.”

– Edward de Bono

Edward de Bono – Videos

Edward de Bono ‘How to have a beautiful mind’ at Mind & Its Potential 2011

Humour is the most significant dimension of the brain – Edward de Bono


“If you wait for opportunities to occur, you will be one of the crowd.”

– Edward de Bono

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