Edward de Bono

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More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
Harold J. Smith
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Edward de Bono (born May 19, 1933 in Malta) is a British physician, author, inventor, and consultant. He is best known as the originator of the term lateral thinking (structured creativity) and a leading proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking in schools.


  • Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.
    • Quoted in Observer (London, June 12, 1977)
  • Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.
    • Daily Mail (London, January 29, 1990)
  • I think there is a danger with young people of being dependent in the sense that they don't acquire any identity or self-image of themselves as thinkers. They just go and look it up or they just chat with someone. In other words, relying on something rather than saying: "Okay, I've got the information, how do I create value from it?"
    • When asked "Have we become too reliant on computers?"
    • Mackintosh, Hamish, "Deep thought", The Guardian, 1999-09-23. URL accessed on 2008-10-15.
  • What happened was, 2,400 years ago, the Greek Gang of Three, by whom I mean Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, started to think based on analysis, judgment and knowledge. At the same time, church people, who ran the schools and universities, wanted logic to prove the heretics wrong. As a result, design and perceptual thinking was never developed. People assumed philosophers were doing it and so they blocked anyone else from doing it. But philosophers were not. Philosophers may look out at the world from a stained-glass window, but after a while they stop looking at the world and start looking at the stained glass.
  • Creative thinking - in terms of idea creativity - is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practised and nurtured. You can never tell how a policy has been reached just by looking at the end result. Some people who have achieved a huge amount do not come across as impressive when you speak to them.
  • There isn't just one point; it takes time to learn. You don't have to be intelligent, but I think you have to be open to possibilities and willing to explore. The only stupid people are those who are arrogant and closed off.

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