De Bono on ‘cave-man’ thinking

Secret Cave, Hai Long Bay

The first session of the Oxford Conference was a video of De Bono talking about thinking.  He had been scheduled to open the conference, but was too ill to travel. It was still very worthwhile to hear him.  De Bono argued that we are locked into standard responses,standard thinking. This is “cave-man thinking” – responsive. He said we were locked into “Thinking to find the truth”, the thinking that grew out of church beliefs. But what about “thinking to create value”?  That’s been neglected.

He argued for teaching thinking directly, and that improved results in all other subject. And, not thinking in subjects, but the explicit teaching  of thinking frameworks.

He also argued that we should be teaching the “now-story”, how the world works now, as being at least as important as history teaching.

He also talked about the six hats thinking tools he developed, and argued for their continued relevance in moving thinking beyond instinct and emotion.

He also talked about the logical and patterning systems in the brain, and how humour was an example of creativity. Lateral thinking, he said, was formalised, creative thinking (random word technique, provocation technique etc). These can be learned.

Our existing thinking is ebne (excellent, but not good enough).  We’ve been hung up on “truth thinking”.

Above: Secret cave near Hai Long Bay, Vietnam.  Photo: Warrick

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