Monday, October 30, 2006

Kemin Industries use of Six Thinking Hats

An article appeared in the Sunday paper of the Des Moines Register that discussed Kemin Industries' recent Six Thinking Hats training. Lifetime Master de Bono Trainer, Barbara Stennes, trained over 20 research and development employees at Kemin earlier this year.

Kemin is a global corporation that specializes in human health, food products, and animal and pet food ingredients. Kemin recently used Six Thinking Hats for two major research and development projects: one long-term project that took them in a completely different direction than they had planned, and one that involved a nutritional supplement being marketed in Europe. Six Thinking Hats allowed Kemin to lower production costs on the later project.

To read the full article, visit:

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Edward de Bono to Host Certification on Simplicity

A Certification on Simplicity, Dr. Edward de Bono's newest course, is currently being held in London. The inaugural Certification event was in 2005. For anyone who could not attend, this opportunity offers a second chance to be certified by Dr. de Bono himself. The first two days of the event are open to those who wish to attend the end user course, but do not wish to certify.

Barbara Stennes, Lifetime Certified Master Trainer of the de Bono Thinking Methods, is currently in attendance. She also attended the Simplicity Certification in 2005.

Though it is too late to register for this event, please call us at 800.278.1292 to find out about future Simplicity courses.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Webinar: Imagine What Six Thinking Hats Training Can Do For Your Organization

Today was our second day of hosting a Webinar focused on Six Thinking Hats and how you can bring Six Hats to your organization. We had three speakers on the call: Barbara Stennes, Certified Lifetime Master Trainer of Edward de Bono's Thinking Methods; Amy Hoey, Business Development Manager of de Bono Consulting; and Jim Atkinson, Six Sigma Master Black Belt with Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l, which is a DuPont Company.

  • Origin of Six Thinking Hats
  • Client Applications
  • Jim Atkinson, Pioneer Hi-Bred, International
  • Explanation of the Six Modes of Thinking
  • Demonstration of Parallel Thinking
  • Opportunities for In-depth Learning

15 people attended each Webinar, many of them from Fortune 500 companies. Barbara used the state of US airline travel as an example as she went through a demonstration of of Six Thinking Hats. Her sequence was Blue Hat, Yellow Hat, Black Hat, White Hat, Green Hat, Red Hat, Blue Hat.

Jim Atkinson was asked to speak at this event because he has facilitated many meetings in a wide range of venues using Six Hats. Jim brought a broad background of hands-on experience to our Webinars.

Visit the de Bono Events page on our website to view our upcoming Edward de Bono Training events.

Comments and Questions from participants:

"Focus is positive, it was quick, flowed very well. Even though I never tried this process before.. easy to learn."

"Would you please speak to the application of Six Thinking Hats in leadership development?"

"Thank you for this overview. I look forward to becoming certified. I plan on attending a Six Thinking Hats Certification program in the spring."

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Criticism: The Innovation Killer

From Seth Godin's new book "Small Is The New Big":

"Three curses of criticism that make companies put the brakes on innovation (and worse, put their best employees-the innovators-on the defensive):

  • Successful companies fear external criticism
  • Successful innovators are more subject to harsh criticism
  • Less innovative employees have carte blanche to criticize the innovators unfairly"

With these in mind, how can you help your company be more innovative and overcome the fear of criticism?

1) Teach your employees to be innovative. Give employees a process to better generate new ideas and employees will become less fearful of innovation. Once people understand the process of innovation, and realize with success comes the possibility of failure, the more willing they are to create new ideas and help harness the ideas of others.

2) Create an environment that is accepting of innovation. Help your employees understand they don't need a box of crayons to be creative. Start asking for creative ideas in your business meetings. In the business world, creativity provides a means of solving problems and generating alternatives. With global competition, the Internet, and demand for quick results, today innovation is even more necessary for an organization's survival and prosperity into the future.

Lateral Thinking: Dr. Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking methods provide a deliberate, systematic process resulting in innovative thinking. Lateral Thinking will teach you how to think creatively, turn problems into opportunities, find alternative solutions, & dramatically increase your number of new and practical ideas using unconventional thinking techniques normally untapped by our usual ways of thinking.

Creative thinking is not a talent; it’s a skill that can be learned. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities, which improves creativity and innovation, which leads to increased productivity and profit. Today, better quality and better service are essential, but they are not enough. Creativity and innovation are the only engines that will drive lasting, global success.

Learn how you can bring Lateral Thinking to your organization.

Questions? Call us at 800.278.1292.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

School Bus Test

The following problem solving exercise has been circulating around emails and blogs:

"In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?" The only possible answers are "left" or "right."

Think about it.

Still don't know?

Before I tell you, we can use White Hat to figure out this problem.

What do we know?
We know what a school bus looks like.

What do we need to know?
The direction the bus is traveling

How do we find out what we need to know?
We need to think about the difference in how the bus looks when it is traveling left compared to what it looks like when it is traveling right.

The answer: The bus is traveling left.
Why do you think the bus is traveling in the left direction? Because you can't see the door.

Want to learn more about how you can use Six Thinking Hats for problem solving? Visit our website at: or call us at 800.278.1292.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dr. de Bono to Speak at Scottish Learning Festival

"Guru to Talk at City Festival"

CREATIVE thinking guru Dr Edward de Bono is to be a key speaker at the Scottish Learning Festival this week. The festival is the largest annual gathering of teachers, educational experts, policymakers and businesses supplying products and technology to schools and colleges. Held today and tomorrow at the SECC in Glasgow, it is expected to attract more than 5000 experts. Today, minister for education and young people Peter Peacock was outlining his plans for Scottish education. The event also incorporates more than 100 seminar sessions and a range of spotlight events.
Publication date 20/09/06

From Evening Times:

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Monday, September 18, 2006

de Bono sighting in book: The Ten Faces of Innovation

On page 80 of The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley, Kelley mentions Edward de Bono and lateral thinking while discussing the Fosbury Flop: "creativity guru Edward de Bono called it "Lateral thinking" - looking at an issue from a completely different perspective."

The Fosbury Flop was developed in 1965 by Dick Fosbury, and is the method used today by high-jumpers. The traditional style of high-jumping involved throwing one foot over, followed by leg, thigh, stomach, head and then trailing foot. Fosbury went against traditional thinking and the best advise of his coaches to develop his "flop." Fosbury went on to win an Olympic gold medal with a jump of 7' 4 1/4".

Kelley says "I can't think of a better moral for those interested in innovation. The next time someone tells you no one's done it that way before, or that it sounds like a crazy idea, ask them if they know the story of the Fosbury Flop."

To learn more about Lateral Thinking and to see our list of public Lateral Thinking events, visit our website at: or call us at 800.278.1292.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

"Make Innovation Work in Your Workplace"

The August 2006 issue of T+D contained an article titled "Make Innovation Work in Your Workplace" written by Jeff DeGraffis and Pete Bacevice. The article provides 7 techniques, used by Fortune 500 companies, to teach employees to be innovative.

#1: How you innovate is what you innovate.
Organizations need to understand the creative results they are trying to acheive. From there, determine which method, or combinartion of thinking methods, is suited for your company's needs.

#2: Enlist your "creativizers".
Innovators can include administrative support, line workers, or middle managers. Round up your staff members who already make innovation happen. Convene with them regularly to provide direction on where to apply innovation-focused projects.

#3: See one, do one, teach one.
Keep the innovation process rolling by developing a culture where the people with innovation potential can learn from the more experienced innovators.

#4: Show, don't tell.
Demonstrate your innovation concepts through pictures, videos, and other visuals that will engage the imagination and enable people to see a clear picture of your idea.

#5: Hide innovation inside Trojan horse projects.
Work innovative people and practices into large projects. Since failure is an inevitable outcome, this will give you the room you need to learn from your mistakes.

#6: Use the 20/80 rule and work from the outside-in.
"Launch your more radical innovation projects in the areas of your company that are in a crisis or on a roll."

#7: Leave room for discovery.
Leave room in your organization for the accidental discovery through experiments, diversity, and learning.

Read the complete article ($10 for non-ASTD members) >>>.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Innovation Course: Simplicity

Simplicity is Dr. Edward de Bono's newest course, based on Dr. de Bono's book "Simplicity" (1999).

What is Simplicity?

A system naturally experiences incremental changes over time that increases its complexity. You make the best of a current system by adding components as needed. Eventually, the system will become too complex and will require redesign.

As the rate of change accelerates, systems can become complex very quickly. However, no one group is responsible for reducing complexity, and not much progress is made in achieving simplicity.

Complexity bogs down progress by:

  • Slowing development
  • Wasting resources and dollars on inefficiency
  • Increasing errors
  • Causing chaos and stress
  • Becoming reliant on “experts” to operate unnecessary complex systems
  • Wasting time, talent, and resources

Simplicity Course Description

Simplicity is a powerful training program designed to develop highly skilled Simplicity Teams. Through a combination of fast-paced, highly interactive exercises, your team will learn 10 rules for success in making work simpler, as well as a specific process that leads to simplicity.

Participants will receive immediate feedback and coaching during job-related exercises and will complete assignments in the evening. Various Lateral Thinking techniques are incorporated into the Simplicity workshop to help your team focus on ways to remove, replace, and restructure in order to achieve Simplicity.

Simplicity Course Objectives
  1. Appreciate the value that a focus on simplicity offers to an organization, its employees, vendors, clients, and stakeholders
  2. Gain in-depth knowledge of the simplicity tools
  3. Learn to maximize the power of each tool
  4. Practice applying the Simplicity tools to real issues
  5. Develop plans for creating a formal focus on simplicity in your organization

The Simplicity Team

A Simplicity Team is made up of various individuals within an organization who are formally trained in the Simplicity methods.

The Simplicity Team designates a Simplicity team leader, or organizer, who is responsible for the output of meetings and communicating this output to the people who need it. It is also helpful to have others within your organization trained in the simplicity methods, as they may be nee to work with the Simplicity Team as a subject matter or area expert.

Attend our Simplicity Seminar on September 26-27 in Kansas City, MO. Learn more >>>.

Questions? Call 800.278.1292 or visit

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Edward de Bono to Speak at the Leaders in Dubai Business Forum 2006

Dr. Edward de Bono will speak at the Leaders in Dubai Business Forum on November 28 & 29. He will join General Colin L. Powell (Ret.), Michael Eisner (CEO, Walt Disney Company 1984-2005), Louis V. Gerstner Jr (Chairman, IBM 1993-2002), Her Majesty Queen Noor, CK Prahalad (author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid), and Harry S. Dent Jr (economist and investor forecaster).

Edward de Bono will discuss:
  • Using the power of Lateral Thinking to change perceptions and create new ideas
  • How Thinking and Creativity are skills that can be developed and improved if one knows how
  • The Six Thinking Hats - A powerful method for individual and collaborative thinking
  • Conflicts - A better way to resolve them!
  • Why businesses will only succeed if they can create value for their customers
  • Why "Effectiveness without values is like a tool without a purpose"
  • Why simplicity is becoming a key value as the world around grows even more complex

For more information on the Business Forum 2006, visit

View our de Bono Public Seminars and Certification Events >>>. For more information, please call us at 800.278.1292.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Innovation Blog!

de Bono Consulting is pleased to provide a new blog to open communication regarding Dr. Edward de Bono's Thinking Methods - including Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking, Course in Creativity, Focus on Facilitation, and Simplicity. Our clients and other blog browsers are welcome to post comments or request new discussions.

For more information on de Bono Consulting, please call us at 800.278.1292 or visit our website at