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Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas Paperback – May 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harperbusiness (May 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887306357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887306358
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

De Bono's term "lateral thinking" (the title of a previous book) refers to problem-solving by apparently illogical methods. In a fertile user's manual to the mind, de Bono, a prolific author and business consultant, tackles creative thought as a skill that can be taught, a systematic process of breaking free of old concepts and finding alternatives. In an informal, discursive style, he presents an arsenal of techniques for cultivating ideas and harvesting the usable onesto avoid mixed metaphor; also, harvest is late stage of agricultural process, so should come after 'nurture' or 'cultivation' . Rooted in his theory that creativity flows out of the way human perception works as a self-organizing information system, these techniques include random word generation, multiple focuses, "provocations" that provide a novel framework through which to look at things, and the "six hats method" encouraging cooperative exploration instead of adversarial thinking. His insights seem broadly applicable to business, education, law and other fields.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dr. Edward de Bono is regarded as the leading international authority in the field of conceptual thinking and also the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He originated the concept of "lateral thinking," which is now officially recognized in the Oxford English Dictionary-and which contributed to the success of the 1984 Olympic Games. He was a Rhodes Scholar at oxford and has held faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Harvard.

He has written twenty-seven books, which have been translated into twenty languages. These include: Opportunities; Lateral Thinking for Management; Future Positive; Atlas of Management Thinking; Wordpower; Children Solve Problems; Tactics: The Art and Science of Success; Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve Them. He has also made a ten-part BBC series called "De Bono's Thinking Course" and two other television series.

Dr. de Bono's instruction in thinking has been sought by many of the largest corporations in USA, Canada, Europe, and the rest of the world. These include: IM, Exxon, Shell, BP, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Prudential, General Foods, Bell Telephone, Northern Telecom, Monsanto, DuPont, and ICI. He has given seminars all over the world, from Helsinki to Buenos Aires, from Toronto to Tokyo.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
By now I think I have read about fifteen of De Bono's books and this is certainly the best. Many of the others seem to be mostly regurgitations of the the same old stuff. Does he get paid by the word? He claims to have written about 25 books, but I think he has to a great extent written one book over and over again. And he seems so pompous and arrogant. How can someone with such arrogance be creative? He never quotes others (perhaps to him there are no others) or cites other works on creativity, even in cases where his ideas were clearly not first his. This is an excellent book, but by an ego-centric author and that unfortunately colors all his writing.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read the review written by someone from New York. I was surprised that he or she had the same feelings about the book as I had. This is a shocking book. On the one hand, it is excellent and teaches people a lot about how to think about a problem. On the other hand, the author is so self-conceited that sometimes I asked myself: if he is so creative, why didn't he invent ANYTHING apart from his own way of making money?
The funny thing is, that I still recommend this book!
Peter Fabri, Budapest, Hungary
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James Finemon on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I recently attended an Optimal Thinking for Leaders seminar by Dr. Rosalene Glickman who referred to Dr. De Bono as the world authority on creativity. She recommended to the audience of 500 to read this book and especially to take note of the "Small Map" and the "Big Map". Well, I have to say De Bono is a brilliant author, and I finally understand what creativity means and how to apply it most effectively during conflicts and other situations. I highly recommend this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on March 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
To my mind, Edward de Bono is one of the grand masters of creative thinking. In this book, he covers the how and why of creative thinking through the framework of lateral thinking, which is his major contribution to this field. De Bono explains why the brain is not geared to be creative; rather it is geared to be conservative, as it is a pattern-seeking machine whose main objective is the survival of the person within whom this brain resides. Patterns help us learn quickly and adapt; they keep us from having to learn the same thing repeatedly; they help us identify danger. But patterns also become ruts and as a result we end up doing the same thing over and over, or building from the same base. To be creative you need to break from those patterns, and the best way to do that is through lateral thinking. Analysis, de Bono claims, will not help us create because analysis simply looks at what is, not what could be. The mind needs to be jarred, in some sense, out of the old patterns to see things anew. De Bono offers his lateral thinking techniques for this: provocations, concepts fans, and escapes are some of the main techniques de Bono teaches. For example, provocations may be created via the use of a random word, which then generates associations that may result in useful ideas, or a provocation may be created by reversing a relationship.

The other major message which de Bono delivers is that creativity is not just for the gifted, but for anyone who is willing to apply the structured techniques he teaches; thus, creativity is a skill like any other skill. Also, de Bono stresses that being creative is not just a matter of loosening inhibitions and getting wild and crazy, which is what some creativity gurus encourage via brainstorming. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn the skills of creative thinking.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
In my estimation, Edward de Bono is the world authority on creativity. I have read most of his books, and seen him speak at the International Conferences on Thinking. This book will not disappoint you. I was especialy impressed with his explanations of the creative pause, focus, and how to come up with alternatives. His sensitizing techniques are unique and a must read for anyone who wants to optimize their creativity.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven G. Trutanich on May 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
De Bono is new to my list of reading but already high on it. He makes clear what normally would be abstract, and paints a nice picture while doing it. very metaphorical and perfect in that way. I didn't notice the arrogance others did. great book
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Redundant, boring, and about as unimaginative as you can get. I liked the idea of learning how to develop lateral thinking, but half-way through the book I no longer cared. Serious appears to contradict the premise of creativity.
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By Glenroy Phillip on May 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i think DE Bono got it right, this book seriously challenges you to think, not just outside of the box, but to think that there is no box. there is nothing to limit your thinking or to think critically. a must read at all levels.
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