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Edward de Bono (born May 19 1933) is a psychologist and physician. De Bono writes prolifically on subjects of lateral thinking, a concept he is believed to have pioneered. De Bono is also a consultant who has worked with companies such as Coca-cola and Ericsson. In 1979 he co-founded the School of Thinking with Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.


Born in Malta, Edward de Bono studied at St Edward's College and subsequently gained a medical degree from the Royal University of Malta. Studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, he gained an honours degree in psychology and physiology and a D.Phil in medicine. He went on to complete a PhD at Cambridge, and to faculty appointments at Oxford, London, Cambridge and Harvard. He was married to Josephine (divorced 2005), has two sons, and has resided on the Channel Islands for over a decade. He has other properties including one in Malta and a flat in London.

In 1969 De Bono founded the Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) which continues to produce and promote material based on his ideas.

He has written "65 books with translations into 37 languages". He has spent the last 30 years teaching thinking, including working with governments, corporations, organisations and individuals, speaking publicly or privately on many matters. He has started to set up SITO - the 'Supranational Independent Thinking Organisation' based in Malta, which he describes as a "kind of intellectual Red Cross".

De Bono has detailed a range of 'deliberate thinking methods' - applications emphasizing thinking as a deliberate act rather than a reactive one. His writing style is simple and clear, though often criticised for being dry and repetitive. Avoiding academic terminology, he has advanced applied psychology by making theories about creativity and perception into usable tools.

De Bono's work has become particularly popular in the sphere of business - perhaps because of the perceived need to restructure corporations, to allow more flexible working practices and to innovate in products and services. The methods have migrated into corporate training courses designed to help employees and executives 'think out of the box'/' think outside the box'.


De Bono invented the L Game, a simple board game that requires strategy to win.

He has also suggested an alternative to the penalty shootout when a soccer match ends in a draw. If the number of times each goalkeeper touches the ball is recorded throughout the game the results can be compared in the event of a draw. The team whose goalkeeper has touched the ball more often is the loser. The winner will then be the team that has had more attempts at scoring goals and is more aggressive (and therefore exciting) in their style of play. This mechanism would avoid the tension of the penalty shoot out. [citation needed]

Published works[]

Books by de Bono include:

  • The Use of Lateral Thinking (1967) ISBN 0-14-013788-2, introduced the term "lateral thinking"
  • The Five-Day Course in Thinking (1968), introduced the L game
  • The Mechanism of the Mind (1969), Intl Center for Creative Thinking 1992 reprint: ISBN 0-14-013787-4, suggests that the mind is a pattern matching machine
  • Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step, (1970), Harper & Row 1973 paperback: ISBN 0-06-090325-2
  • The Dog-Exercising Machine (1970)
  • Technology Today (1971)
  • Practical Thinking (1971)
  • Lateral Thinking for Management (1971)
  • Po: A Device for Successful Thinking (1972), ISBN 0-671-21338-5, introduced the term Po
  • Children Solving Problems (1972)
  • Po: Beyond Yes and No (1973), ISBN 0-14-021715-0
  • Eureka!: An Illustrated History of Inventions from the Wheel to the Computer (1974)
  • Teaching Thinking (1976)
  • The Greatest Thinkers: The Thirty Minds That Shaped Our Civilization (1976), ISBN 0-399-11762-8
  • Wordpower (1977)
  • The Happiness Purpose (1977)
  • Opportunities : A handbook for business opportunity search (1978)
  • Future Positive (1979)
  • Atlas of Management Thinking (1981)
  • De Bono's Course in Thinking (1982)
  • Learn-To-Think (1982), ISBN 0-88496-199-0 co-authored with Michael Hewitt-Gleeson
  • Tactics: The Art and Science of Success (1985)
  • Conflicts (1985)
  • Masterthinker's Handbook (1985)
  • Six Thinking Hats (1985) ISBN 0-316-17831-4
  • I Am Right, You Are Wrong: From This to the New Renaissance: From Rock Logic to Water Logic (1990) ISBN 0-14-012678-3
  • Six Action Shoes (1991)
  • Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas (1992) ISBN 0-00-255143-8 – a summation of many of De Bono's ideas on creativity
  • Teach Yourself How to Think (1995)
  • How to Be More Interesting (1998)
  • Simplicity (1999)
  • Thinking in the New Millennium (1999)
  • Why I Want To Be King of Australia (1999)
  • How to Have A Beautiful Mind (2004)
  • Six Value Medals (2005)

De Bono has also written numerous articles published in refereed and other journals, including The Lancet and Clinical Science.

External links[]

  • (English)
Official site 1
  • (English)
Official site 2
  • (German)
Erster Denkclub nach de Bono in Deutschland
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

af:Edward De Bono de:Edward de Bono es:Edward De Bono eo:Edward de Bono fr:Edward de Bono nl:Edward de Bono ru:Боно, Эдвард де sr:Едвард де Боно sv:Edward de Bono zh:愛德華·波諾

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