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on March 27, 2000
As a tenured law-professor in a school dedicated to teaching lawyers to solve problems creatively, I consider de Bono's book the most startlingly original and comprehensive book I've encountered on the subject. Moreover, it convincingly reveals how unaware teachers, academics, journalists, politicians, and other professionals are of the mental shackles we wear as our legacy from the Western Tradition of "thinking." For the price, it's just-under-200 pages can't be beat!
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on May 6, 2003
REVIEW: I received a copy of this book by accident. I decided to read it anyway since I am a "thinking" personality type and the book looked easy to read. I was expecting the book to read like a hyped-up mass market self help book. I was pleasantly surprised. I found the book very practical, easy to read, and genuine. I picked up a good deal of useful information and helpful methods. These include understanding (within the brain) what makes things seem funny to step-by-step thinking procedures.
De bono writes very simply and even when he explains theoretical concepts the explanations are not technical. There is some tendency by the author to regularly cite his many other books and to use his own made up words and acronyms. I found the citations to the other works authentic and not overt plugs. Similarly the use of coined terms and acronyms seemed very practical and not driven by ego as I've noticed with many authors.
STRENGTHS: Very practical methods and ideas to improve thinking, easy to read, short chapters. Optional practice activities and not too technical or academic.
WEAKNESSES: Some might not like the regular use of coined terms and acronyms. Only cites his own books. Some things explained too briefly.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: Anyone interested in improving their thinking.
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on April 26, 1997
If there was ever a book that changed my life, this is it. This book is a synopsis of many of de Bono's other books. It is written simply and filled with bits of humour. It's a quick read, and the ideas and tools he introduces are meant to focus your thinking skills and change your perspective on how thinking is done. Please get this book and read it with an open mind. You will like it
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on January 5, 1998
The Thinking Course by Edward DeBono is a terrific work for anyone who strives for creativity, innovation, or new ideas. Not only does he help one grasp how we think, he provides specific ways to think differently and bring structure to the process of thinking. This book is a hidden treasure that I will recommend to many of my professional colleagues and friends.
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on August 14, 2003
This book was a quick read and totally worth the time. De Bono explains many methods to help you keep an open mind about many common situations. He explains that the mind wants certainty in order to take action, but that sometimes to get this certainty, the mind will use a familiar pattern of thinking that may not necessarily apply to the situation under consideration, while ignoring many possibilities. The more our minds use the same patterns, the easier it is to use the same pattern even if the situation doesn't call for it. For example, say you commonly jump on the defensive in personal situations and believe people do things without considering you. You may ignore possible alternatives in many personal situations and use the same destructive pattern to interpret many of your personal encounters. In one section of the book, De Bono compares these patterns of thinking to pouring hot ink on a bowl of jello. The ink will make an indention. Then if you pour the ink and melted jello out, the indention remains. And the next time you pour hot ink into the same jello, the ink will deepen the same indention in the jello. In the same way, the more our minds use certain patterns to interpret the world, the easier it becomes to use the same patterns time and time again. This book teaches you to recognize your familiar patterns of thinking and move beyond them if necessary. A really interesting read. De Bono does not attack Western thought. On the other hand, he simply objectively describes some of the history behind it and the fact that it was necessary and most practical at one time. In the end of the book, he gives a layout for setting up a "thinking club" which if set up would probably resemble Benjamin Franklin's "Junto." Excellent read!
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on March 9, 2008
Edward de Bono, the foremost teacher of thinking, has put all the pieces together in this sequel to many of his other books on the subject of thinking. His main point here is that although thinking is man's greatest survival tool and his greatest asset, we tend to take it for granted and invest little time or effort in improving our minds, or our ability to think.

Here he explains that intelligent people are often haphazard and sloppy thinkers: That is, that they are not necessarily or inherently good thinkers; and that conversely, poor thinkers, and even unintelligent people can improve their thinking to a surprising degree. Intelligence, according to the author, is the skill with which one's thinking is conducted.

As always, de Bono brings his own arsenal of examples and diagrams to drive his many points home. Unlike his five-day course in thinking, which deals with "thinking in practice," this book delves into the more abstract and into the philosophy of good thinking habits, and how to achieve them. It is the perfect follow-up to the author's Five-day Course in Thinking.

Five Stars
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on August 1, 2001
DeBono counters the misconceptions that creativity and thinking are innate, by providing tools and exercises for thinking. These tools encourage deliberate thinking, and a self-image of "I am a thinker". The techniques provide mechanisms for focusing, looking at alternatives, and deliberate thinking. deBono introduces his term "lateral thinking" and "po" for emphasizing pattern changing and provocation. deBono does not take himself to ponderously, and often sees humor as tool of escaping set patterns (and I was surprised by his "Nor can God have a sense of humor since there can be no surprise .."). In the area of decision science, there are more techniques available (e.g., risk avoidance, regret avoidance, Bayesian). I also am sure some of his more recent books (this one written in 1982) offer additional tools, but this book provides a good foundation.
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on June 13, 2006
My Profile: 40+ yo, sales engineer.

I write this review after lending book to a good friend. he was unsatisfied because it did not provide a theoretical frame or basis from where to construct a logical thesis. This is precisely what the book tries to avoid, a dogmatic approach to thinking... and perhaps my friend's reaction shows the difference between pragamatic philosophy and those based on "first principles"..

Chapter 4- Perception & Schemes (this refers to the spanish edition 1987 Plaza & Janez) alone is worth the price of the book and is a a principle worth hanging on a frame right in front of your desk, the problems you face in the world are mainly perception problems... and the complexities inherent in it...

This is a book to challange your "default" or habitual mode of your problem solving.. simple but not simplistic.. its the use of the tool what matter.. because it can lead you to a newer perception.
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on November 15, 2004
If you can read this book through, the one thing that may really stick in your mind should be the large number of acronyms brought forth by the author:-

PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting)
APC (Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices)
CAF (consider all factors)
C&S (Consequence & Sequel)
EBS (examine both sides)
ADI (Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance)
OPV (Other People's Views)

etc etc, all skills supposed to enhance readers' ability to think, to jump out of perceptions and patterns of thinking that the author regards as the biggest block against our creativity. Ironically, the author had reserved only 18 pages for his renowned "Laternal Thinking", that he had gone thru related methods of "Stepping Stone" (treat an idea of its movement value instead of just its judgement value), "Escape" (think of alternatives for things we take for granted) and "Random stimulation" (open ourselves to influence other than those we directly look for).

What had been written so far might seem rather a collection of jargons than an organised passage with clear objectives. However, I assure you that you will get the same bad feeling from reading the book. Perhaps the author had published so many books that it became too hard for him to write a new one with original, flesh, and practical examples and ideas at all. In that case you really want to read something from de Bono, the "Six Thinking Hats" is a much better choice.
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on March 8, 1998
DeBono's genius sometimes gets in his own way, but his work is probably the finest in this area. This specific book is powerful in that can actually help you think with more clarity and orginality. Mr. DeBono is the real deal and this book is worth every penny.
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