Thinking Managers

Edward de Bono of explains why we should watch thinking in action.

Time For Thinking

How much of your time do you spend thinking?

By ‘thinking’ I mean mental activity that results in action, or analysis of a subject, insight or new idea.

The brain makes patterns and uses them. Once it recognises a situation, action follows.

Sometimes we are presented with completely new situations to react to. Then the brain looks for similarities with other situations before action takes place.

In addition to this there is problem-solving, where elements of known situations are applied in new combinations.

Only when faced with the task of innovation do we feel we have to ‘think’ instead of using the routine methods.

Rarely do we give thought to thinking. Like breathing and walking, we expect it to happen naturally.

But watching our thinking in action is incredibly useful. If we observe our thinking we can take note of the usual patterns as well as strengths and weaknesses.

Your thinking skills will not improve if you are only concerned about coping with situations as they arise. Then, the temptation will be to rely on the tried and trusted processes all the time.

So I propose a special forum to develop thinking skills and outline the rules for Thinking Clubs:

  • No more than eight members in a club.
  • Meetings to be held at a fixed time and place.
  • Meetings to be no less than 90 minutes, and no more than two hours unless agreed in advance.
  • Meetings should have set topics to explore means of improvement and ways to solve problems.
  • Members can keep notes or someone should be selected for the task.
  • Club websites can be set up for the purpose of suggesting subjects for upcoming meetings.
  • Clubs should be known as The Edward de Bono Thinking Club. Each club will be given a registration number.
  • A US $50 per annum registration fee will apply, although the fee will be waived for the first year for subscribers to Letter to Thinking Managers.
  • Members of each club are expected to start their own club.
  • Activities, feedback and joint sessions will be arranged in the future and details will appear on
About the author
Edward de Bono is the world's leading authority in the field of creative thinking and the teaching of thinking as a skill.