MSS Post Series: Edward deBono

Edward De Bono series 1/6

In my early 20s I read “Lateral Thinking”, the phrase he is mostly renowned for. The mental exercises were good fun, but only now, following the news of his sad passing that I tried to explore his work.


I hope this series will be a stepping stone for others to discover his great work and indisputable legacy.

Edward De Bono series 2/6

‘DATT’: Tools to direct attention. They help thinkers scan problems (or opportunities) in a way that combines exploration with deep thinking, so that marginal ideas are not ignored.

De Bono’s thinking tools make your thinking more deliberate, structured and organised.


It allows you to know what you are looking for whilst engaging in your thinking effort.

Edward De Bono series 3 / 6

Parallel thinking (the ‘Six ’ 🎩) subverts office politics and paves the way for a cognitive revolution in how groups can think, cutting thinking time and multiplying possible solutions.

  • Each hat changes participants’ perspectives, even if briefly, and is guaranteed to create more robust deliverables.

These techniques have been used by schools, corporations and governments worldwide, and allowed Dr De Bono to rub shoulders with the most prominent minds 🧠 of our time.

Edward De Bono series 4 / 6

No child should leave school without being taught the Flowscape or Water Logic 🌊

  • Water will fill a bowl or a lake. It adapts to the terrain or landscape.
  • Logic is only as good as the perception and information on which it is based

Water logic is determined by the conditions and circumstances 🔀 . With the addition of new circumstances and conditions, the problem becomes part of a whole set of new possibilities.


I – I 

D – do 

E – explore 

A – alternatives

Edward De Bono series 5 / 6

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. Logic will never change emotion or perception.

If you win an argument, you remain with one point of view

  • if you lose an argument, you win a new perception 🤙🏼

Alot of thinking is wasted on proving our point to be right. Explore different perceptions before exercising judgment – that is the mark of a great thinker

Edward De Bono series 6/6 - Personal Thoughts 💭

In a recent newspaper opinion piece it was said: “De Bono sought to free us from the tyranny of logic through creative thinking”.

Lateral thinking helps us use absurd ideas as stepping stones to better ones, how we could deliberately make ‘silly mistakes’ and then derive inspiration from them.

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.


Edward De Bono – thank you, you will be remembered 🙏🏽

This series of posts appeared on Malta Startup Space a Facebook group I manage that inspires startup culture in my native country of Malta 🇲🇹


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