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Edward DeBono
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Edward DeBono

Edward DeBono (b. 1933) is a prolific writer and trainer on the subject of thinking. He is perhaps most famous for having coined the term lateral thinking.

His claims to have pioneered a new approach to thinking, or even a new field of study, are accepted by many, and he has many followers and imitators.

Born in Malta, he was educated at St Edward's College, Malta, 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 is married with two sons.

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

He has written "62 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 is working to create SITO - 'Supranational Independent Thinking Organisation' based in Malta, which he describes as a "kind of intellectual Red Cross".

He has detailed a range of 'deliberate thinking methods' - applications emphasizing thinking as a deliberate act, not a reactive one. Edward DeBono's writing style is clear and practical. Avoiding academic terminology, he has advanced applied psychology by making theories about creativity and perception into usable tools. He does not reference others Theory of mind preferring instead to build upon his own (the main tenets in The Mechanism of the Mind underpin all subsequent work). This self referential style has helped define the literary genre of Popular psychology.

DeBono's work has been particularly popular in the world of business, because his methods promise bottled creativity for overly bureaucratic organisations. Many the world's top 100 companies have used many of the methods explained by DeBono, and will either have been played out during sessions designed to explore or simply think before action. DeBono's methods have been particularly useful in the fields of advertising and product creation in corporate organisations, and so a number of products and services in your home and life have been affected at one stage by actual deliberate deployment of DeBono methods.

DeBono has a network of trainers who administer officially trained DeBono thinking methods, but many other trainers will use them or parts of them even when not specifically trained.

One criticism of DeBono's work is that he has often only formalised, named and popularised techniques that are already in use. This would not be an issue, except for the fact his literature, for instance, talks of him 'creating' lateral thinking, when of course it is a natural form of creativity that he described and suggested formal approaches to make it happen on cue. DeBono creates the applications, not the method.

Published works

Books by DeBono include:

He is also the author of numerous articles in refereed and other journals, including The Lancet and Clinical Science.

External links

An adequate biography is at http://www.edwdebono.com/debono/biograph.htm