May 25, 2020

Edward de Bono – The God of Creativity

Edward de Bono is among the greatest in the domain of Creativity as Thomas Edison was to Electrical Inventions. He has popularized role of creativity from Education Systems to the Business Management. His systematic approach has helped demystify ‘creativity’ as a function of thinking, and not handy skills as many use to believe.

Edward de Bono has established that creativity is not an inborn virtue, but it is developed only practice. He leverages his creative techniques from Psychology and Neuroscience, but his techniques are really easy to utilize by anyone at any context.

I first learned about Edward de Bono in my Design School decades ago. His wisdom resonates still today and I discover and learn something new every time I use them or read his books. Some of my fav books include are shown below.

Edward de Bono BooksI will warn my friends — these books are unlike many business books. They need lot of metal processing and practicing. Edward de Bono’s work is also not very graphically appealing. His use to language may also not pass the literary muster. If you can pass those two things, I guarantee you will be mildly entertained and will enjoy some great substance for rest of the life.

And here’s some of his quotes to give you feel for the substance —


Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience.

Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.

Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.

The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.


You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.

Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.

Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.



Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.

If you never change your mind, why have one?

Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.

An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgments simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

Most executives, many scientists, and almost all business school graduates believe that if you analyze data, this will give you new ideas. Unfortunately, this belief is totally wrong. The mind can only see what it is prepared to see.

The notion that information is enough, that you don’t have to think, you just have to get more information ‒ gets very dangerous.


Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.

What the joke displays is a switch in perception. This is important in changing the way we think.

It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humor, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them.