Who is Dr. Edward de Bono?

Dr. Edward de Bono is regarded by many as the leading international authority on the direct teaching on creative thinking and thinking as a skill. He has 25 years’ experience in this field and has worked in 45 different countries. 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. He obtained a PhD in both Psychology and Philosophy, as well as a D.Phil. in medicine. He has had faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard.

He is the originator of the concept “lateral thinking™” which now has an official place in the English language, with an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary and an attribution to him. He also developed formal techniques for deliberate creative thinking.

The essence of Dr. de Bono’s work, has been to produce thinking techniques that are simple, practical, usable and powerful, for example the very powerful Six Thinking Hats® method, which is now being widely used by major corporations, because of its simplicity and its power to change thinking behaviour.

The need to change thinking behaviour

Our ordinary thinking has not changed for centuries. Traditional thinking is based on critical thinking and arguments. This is not only limiting, but also dangerous, because it does not make use of all intelligence. Traditional thinking allows the ego to wreck objectivity. Adversarial thinking does not allow us to explore new directions; instead, it strives to gratify the ego.

The concept known as “Six Thinking Hats®” is designed to escape from critical thinking behaviour and it is used to facilitate a more constructive way of thinking. There are six imaginary hats, each colour representing a particular mode of thinking. The six hats helps one to consider all aspects of a situation and it offers a way to escape from being ‘trapped’ into only considering one side of an issue. When used together with a group, the six hats is a very powerful tool that encourages ‘parallel’ thinking as opposed to the traditional argumentative or adversarial thinking.


The Six Thinking Hats® is a powerful tool that changes the way people think. It allows a person to consider a situation from various angles and to discipline your own mind when having to make a decision or solve a problem. When thinking is based only on emotion and past experience, it is difficult for a person to make constructive decisions and consider various options. This tool makes full use of intelligence available and facilitates a disciplined way of thinking.

Programme overview

The nature of thinking

  • Typical problems we experience in group discussions and meetings.
  • Different thinking modes.
  • Learn how to structure and discipline own thinking and that of others.
  • The Six Thinking Hats® as an alternative thinking method.
  • How this is relevant to the business environment.
  • Practical examples and application.
  • Different uses of the Six Thinking Hats®.
  • Integration

Lateral thinking – Programme overview

  • The different types of creativity.
  • ‘Serious Creativity’.
  • What the difference is between creativity and innovation.
  • The logical necessity for creative thinking in the business environment today.
  • Creativity and how the brain handles information.
  • How to focus creative thinking – identify needs and opportunities for creative thinking .
  • Generate as many alternatives as possible.
  • Conceptual thinking .
  • Challenge the status quo and how to find better ways of doing things.
  • Generate ideas that are different than the usual.
  • What to do with output.
  • How to assess ideas – close the loop between six hats and lateral thinking™ tools.
  • How to apply it in a practical situation.
  • Next steps

Benefits of attending

Attendees will be introduced to a way of thinking that will:

  • Foster collaborative thinking and interaction.
  • Reduce the adversarial approach in meetings.
  • Make deliberate time and space for creativity.
  • Make meetings more effective through structure and proper planning.
  • Improve the quality of decisions.
  • Focus creative thinking.
  • Learn tools for creativity.
  • Approach creativity as a skill that can be developed and practiced.
  • Learn them to think ‘out of the box’.
  • Show them how to treat and work with ideas.
  • Help them to put a plan together to implement ideas.

Practical/Strategic workshop facilitation

  • Meet with management prior to the workshop to determine outcomes.
  • Using a systematic thought process to guide a group through the process of identifying problem areas, generating ideas, assessing ideas and compiling action plans in order to move toward making complex decisions.
  • Thinking is visually displayed and can be monitored throughout the process.
  • A full report of the thinking process is delivered.

Organizational climate study/Implementation of a customized survey

The purpose of an organizational climate study is to determine what employees’ attitudes are with regards to the business, leadership, work environment, internal processes and other focus areas surrounding the organization.

The Process

  • Determine business aspects that need to be assessed.
  • Design preliminary document, submit and customize until final approval.
  • Administration
  • Implementation/completion of survey by identified participants.
  • Collection and capturing of data.
  • Interpretation, report generation.
  • Feedback
  • Highlights, consulting and decisions with regards to next steps.

Examples of business aspects that can be surveyed

  • Black Economic Empowerment
  • Employment Equity
  • Access and availability of resources
  • Leadership
  • Internal business processes
  • Business ethic
  • Communication
  • Vision of the company
  • Performance management system
  • Training and development
  • Work environment
  • Customer focus
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Sales orientation
  • Internal relations
  • Teamwork
  • Cultural diversity
  • Coaching of staff
  • Financial management
  • Creativity and innovation

Return on investment

  • Employees are awarded an opportunity to voice their perceptions with regards to specific business matters.
  • Questions are phrased as such to test the validity of a perception in more than one way.
  • Employees report to feel important and that their opinion counts.
  • Management gets insight into the general “climate” of the organization and this enables them to know what they are doing right and on what they need to focus more.
  • Survey results enable management to do more specific strategic planning with regards to change management and employees feel as though they were playing an active part in the process.
  • Customization allows for a flexible approach and makes the survey relevant.
  • Results are reported for long-term reference.
  • Results are interpreted and this allows for future thinking.
  • People are trained in the process of surveying a company.
  • Quality work and dedicated providers work on the project.

Performance Management

  • Define Performance Management
  • Identify the reasons for managing performance
  • Know what excellent organizations do

Work with and understand performance management systems

  • What are the Performance Management Pillars
  • Process killers

Implement performance planning

  • Performance planning and the job description
  • Setting up performance standards using job descriptions
  • Performance measurement principles

Be able to conduct a performance review

  • Preparation and planning
  • Structuring the discussion
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Using documentation
  • Critical skills required
  • Basic human errors

Time Management

  • Basic principles of time management
  • Managing work activities
  • Managing your thinking
  • Managing relationships
  • Managing your work environment
  • Managing communications

Powerful presentation/Facilitation skills

  • What presentation is, key qualities, behaviours and skills.
  • Use of presentation material, e.g. OHP, whiteboards; etc.
  • How to structure presentations.
  • How to utilize the environment to maximize attention and participation.
  • Catering for different audiences through understanding listening styles, managing low reactors and setting and reading group norms.
  • Handling/fielding questions and objections.
  • Non-verbal communication. The use of your voice and silence.
  • The role of a presenter.
  • Setting and influencing expectations.
  • Group dynamics – reading and influencing.
  • Getting buy-in and acceptance.
  • Making presentations dynamic and interesting.
  • Preparing for the presentation.
  • Concluding and “wrapping up”.
  • Facilitator qualities, behaviours and skills.
  • The role of a facilitator and a presenter and the integration of these varying roles and the balance.
  • Setting, reading, and influencing group norms, expectations, and dynamics.
  • Key facilitation skills that enhance learning and participation such as empathy, objectivity, silence, listening, activity and using the environment.
  • Remaining assertive within the framework of facilitation.
  • Preparing for facilitation; (mind-mapping).
  • How to maximize attention and idea generation during a session.
  • Dealing with questions and objections.
  • The use of training aids (flipchart, etc.).
  • Catering for different learning and listening styles.
  • Debriefing and using activities meaningfully.
  • Concluding and “wrapping up”.

Problem solving and decision making

  • Creative thinking patterns
  • Systemic thinking and problem analysis
  • Decision making concepts [model]
  • Problem analysis techniques
  • Scenario planning and consideration
  • Solution generation
  • Risk and opportunity factor consideration

Customer focus

  • To develop staff’s understanding of the critical service skills specific to the company culture, professional service behaviours and what it means going the extra mile.
  • Their image as a service provider, the message they’re sending via their voice, image, communication styles and basic client interaction.
  • Experiencing the service as a client – ‘putting the shoe on the other foot’.
  • Service paradigms held by the industry and our own comfort zones, routines and habits preventing change and from moving forward.
  • Service recovery through thinking outside the normal parameters and giving ‘right brain’ service.
  • Identifying service pitfalls and setting service standards.
  • Power phrasing and positive wording, jargon in service, questioning skills, listening skills, effective use of voice and verbal and non-verbal communication.

Sales training – assess the need and deliver a programme in accordance to the need.