Monday, December 27, 2010

Innovation: Tubeless Toilet Paper from Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark estimates that the 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced each year in the U.S. generate 160 million pounds of trash. According to a recent USA Today article, the company will launch tube-free Scott toilet paper. This innovation removes an unnecessary element of their product to help the environment and reduce material costs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Companies can't predict the future, but they can build organizations that will survive and flourish under just about any possible future." - Lowell Bryan

Lowell Bryan is an author and director at McKinsey & Company

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween 2010: Top Costumes, History, Myths, More

Did you know . . . There are some 36 million potential trick-or-treaters (children aged 5-13) in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

National Geographic News presents the facts on the history of Halloween, highlights this year's most popular costumes for adults and kids, and features fun stats on record-breaking pumpkins.
Click to get the white hat info you need to amaze your friends at this year's Halloween party!

Share your creative costume ideas by clicking the comments link below.

Edward de Bono's Idea to Replace Parking Meters

Edward de Bono argues that if you want to shorten the time people park in one spot you should simply legislate to require them to keep their car headlights on whenever they’re parked. No need for meters, easy to police, and you’re guaranteed they will keep their stay nice and short!

Contribute your thoughts about this idea by clicking the Comments link below.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Need For Innovation Skill Development

Once a month MSEL (Master of Science in Executive Leadership) at the University of San Diego provides a forum to the community featuring exceptional guest speakers presenting information on a variety of relevant and stimulating topics. Barbara Stennes, de Bono Consulting's CEO, has more than 15 years of experience working with teams motivated to increase results through innovation. Barbara will present "The Need For Innovation Skill Development" at MSEL's event on November 9.

Barbara will provide tips on how to identify barriers to innovation and provide an interactive overview on thinking skills such as: Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking, Power of Perception, and more.

MSEL PRESENTS Barbara Stennes:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 8:00 am –9:00 am
Check‐in and breakfast begin at 7:15 am
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hall Room 102

Event Details: The Need For Innovation Skill Development
Register Online by Friday, Nov 5: Register Online

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

de Bono Global: South Africa Events

Edward de Bono & Barbara Stennesde Bono Consulting CEO and President, Barbara Stennes, will meet with Edward de Bono at the Annual International de Bono Thinking Systems Distributor meeting, October 11-13 in Cape Town.

Dr. de Bono will also be speaking at the Progress Conference in Cape Town on October 14. The Progress Conference will feature ways to leverage the minds of your employees, colleagues, and customers to facilitate PROGRESS.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Innovation Week: Get Certified in Lateral Thinking & Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono Trainer Innovation WeekWe've received a lot of requests recently from trainers who'd like to certify in more than one of the de Bono Thinking Systems without having to travel to multiple certification events. To meet this need, we've put together an intensive week-long event, November 1-5, which will provide the learning and credentials required to train your employees in our 2 most popular programs, Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats.

This new certification event combines core content from de Bono tools, methods, and frameworks to foster a comprehensive understanding of how the thinking systems work together and separately.

Click to learn how you can certify in Lateral Thinking & Six Thinking Hats November 1-5 in Des Moines, or call 866.621.3366 for more information.

Bonus: Attendees will also learn the Focus on Facilitation tools at no additional charge!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Case Study: Emerson Scroll Compressors LLC Plant Gets Measurable Results

The Challenge: Growth Creates Communications Roadblocks

The Solution: Teach and Apply de Bono Communication and Problem-Solving Skills to Rekindle Honest Interaction Between Managers and Employees

The Results: Emerson Scroll Compressors generated ideas that were good for the environment & their bottom-line within the first year:
- Reduced scrap by 20%, resulting in an annual savings of $48,000
- Saved the plant $130,000 in utility costs in one year

Total Savings: Read the new de Bono case study . . .
Plant Managers Use Innovative Communication Tools to Tap Strengths of Straight-Shooting Workforce

Monday, August 23, 2010

de Bono Events: September Virtual Training Series

Our September training calendar is packed with great opportunities for you to learn Edward de Bono's Thinking Systems - without having to leave your desk.

Simply spend 2 hours with us one day a week, for three consecutive weeks.

Visit the links below or call Natalie Jenkins at 866.621.3366 to learn how these powerful thinking systems can help drive business strategies and innovation at your organization.

Six Value Medals: September 1, 8, 15
Learn 6 tools for values-based decision making that will help you scan for values, prioritize, and ensure that top values are addressed every step of the way. The perfect tool for choosing which creative ideas will deliver the desired value.

Six Thinking Hats: September 7, 14, 21
Six Thinking Hats is a thinking management tool that opens the door to innovative thinking, thorough decisions, easier problem resolution, improved communication, and more efficient and productive meetings. Learn specific techniques that will keep your meetings focused, efficient, productive, and results-oriented.

Power of Perception: September 15, 22, 29
10 thinking tools will help you become a strong and confident decision maker. Learn to accurately weigh risks against rewards, and uncover hidden opportunities.

View all de Bono training events

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Defining Learning Transfer

In their recent newsletter, Fort Hill Company defined Learning Transfer as the "process of putting learning to work in a way that improves performance . . . it takes place over time, involves multiple steps, and is influenced by a number of factors; it is not a 'one and done' event."

Read the complete article.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New de Bono Case Study: Plant Managers Use Innovative Communication Tools to Tap Strengths of Straight-Shooting Workforce

Using the de Bono thinking tools leveled the playing field between supervisors, engineers, and frontline workers at the Emerson Scroll Compressors LLC plant in Ava, Missouri.

Communication improved and positive energy began to flow. The de Bono thinking systems are now used for idea generation whenever they encounter something they don’t know how to deal with. The tools are embedded in various lean manufacturing processes such as Six Sigma and Total Preventive Maintenance.

The Six Thinking Hats methodology is used routinely in performance reviews of hourly workers and in so many other applications that it's difficult to track all of the results that can be attributed to the use of this practical and innovative problem-solving system.

Read the complete de Bono Case Study.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Creativity Crisis

The need for proven creativity tools and techniques is greater than ever . . .For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. Read the Newsweek article that discusses what went wrong and how we can fix it.

Read The Creativity Crisis

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thinking as One Key to Organization Health - An Interview with de Bono Master Trainer, Lynda Curtin

Recently de Bono Consulting, interviewed Lynda Curtin, one of only 37 de Bono Master Trainers worldwide and the product development manager on the highly acclaimed Focus on Facilitation workshop, regarding her upcoming involvement with the Health Work & Wellness Conference, Thinking Organization’s Succeed!

The Health Work & Wellness Conference was established in 1997 to bring together a community of like-minded individuals interested in creating positive, healthy change in their organizations.

Lynda, your keynote “Power-Up Your Organization’s Thinking” is opening the Health Work & Wellness Conference September 30th in Vancouver, Canada. One does not normally make the connection between Thinking and Health Work & Wellness, what can you tell us about the connection?

I was thrilled when Deb Connors, President of Health Work & Wellness contacted me to discuss keynoting this conference. She set the theme of the conference to be "Thinking Organizations SUCCEED!" As de Bono practitioners this is our main focus--equipping people to become excellent lifelong thinkers. Organizations are made of people. People think. What could be more rewarding than to work with a group of people emphasizing thinking quality as a working concept for organizational health?

I see that you are also conducting a breakout session titled “Strengthen Your Innovation Instinct with Six Thinking Hats®” on October 1st. Why do you feel it is important to learn new tools that promote effective thinking skill development like the Six Thinking Hats for organizational health?

Healthy organizations depend upon the ability of their employees to be effective thinkers. This means employees are able to think broadly, clearly, thoroughly, creatively, and critically about any challenge they are faced with. It means employees are able to suspend their biases and explore each challenge with an open-mind before deciding on a solution or course of action. It means they are not locked into one way of doing things. It means they are willing to listen to and include the thinking of others not just their own thinking.

de Bono's Six Thinking Hats is one thinking tool that encourages effective thinking. It's been around for 25 years. I suppose this classifies it as a new tool in the area of leadership and management development. As time moves forward we learn what we didn't know and this often leads to the development of new tools and the improvement of old tools. If we aren't learning new tools how do we expect to continue to be successful and satisfied?

What do you say to people that say they already know how to think?

It's interesting--no one has ever confessed that to me. But, if they did, I would likely ask them: "How do you know?" "Where did you learn to think?" "What thinking tools do you use?"

Two of your de Bono colleagues are presenting case studies at the conference. Michael Campbell is presenting Optimal Decision Making With Six Value Medals and Stuart Morgan Symmetrical Thinking: Achieving Innovative Collaboration Through Maps, Models and Stories. What do you find most exciting about these particular case studies?

I am particularly excited about Michael Campbell's case study application of the Six Value Medals tool. Searching for value is a huge challenge in most organizations today--and finding new value that no one else is leveraging is one of the key factors in the search for value--competitive edge. Everyone is asking, "What's the value?" It's such a big question and it's vague. It can be difficult to answer. de Bono's value screen with the Six Value Medals tool is enormously helpful in directing thinking attention to help find value from a variety of angles.

Stuart Morgan is doing great work in industrial design. I am very interested to learn more about how he has integrated Focus on Facilitation and Six Thinking Hats into his overall process. I think this is one of the strengths of de Bono Thinking System tools. They easily compliment and strengthen current processes and approaches. His team won an innovation 2009 award which I am sure was very satisfying for them.

Lynda, you have been involved in teaching and applying thinking skills to business since 1992, which makes you a real pioneer in the innovation skills arena. What are the biggest changes you have seen over the years regarding innovation in business, and where do you see it heading in the future?

When I started out in 1992 businesses, for the most part, weren't focusing on creativity and innovation as a key driver of business success. There was a huge emphasis on Quality. Well, as de Bono practitioners we knew that Quality was impossible without creativity and innovation. Most businesses have now caught up with this thinking. There is a tremendous focus on innovation today for a wide variety of reasons. The challenge in many companies continues to be the "how." How do we become more innovative? The intention is there. The tools are lacking. So, this is a big change. de Bono Thinking Systems methods certainly help move innovation along.

In the future I think we will see a shift to Robust Thinking which encompasses all aspects of thinking, not just critical and creative thinking. Deb Connors has recognized the need to explore, learn about, and discuss this shift with her conference focus on organization health requiring effective thinkers--Thinking Organizations SUCCEED!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Teaching People How to Think

Watch the interview on WHO-TV 13 News tonight at 10 where I discuss how Edward de Bono's proven tools help teach people how to think. Click to view a short video teaser.

Barbara Stennes

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Innovative Facilitation Tools Help Advance Strategic Community Initiatives for Long-term Economic Impact

Edward de Bono: Edward de Bono Six Thinking HatsWe're excited to announce our new Six Thinking Hats Case Study that demonstrates the power of Edward de Bono's proven innovative facilitation tools . . .

In 2006, Mary Bula was hired to serve as the sole director for the Growth Partnership division of the Erie (Pennsylvania) Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP). With no additional staff to turn to, Mary knew that success would depend on effectively engaging and leading volunteers from the private sector. She also knew that it was imperative to form strong collaborations with elected officials from various government bodies in order to best address regional challenges and capitalize on opportunities . . .

In evaluating how she could best lead the Growth Partnership, Mary identified one skill area that would be critical to success: expert group facilitation. She was aware that people from the private sector think very differently from those working within government agencies, a fact that can cause difficulties, misunderstandings, and delays. But she had faith that these differences could be tapped to strengthen a coalition, rather than hampering its efforts.

Click to read the complete Edward de Bono case study to learn how just four days of intensive training in de Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Focus on Facilitation techniques led to amazing results for ERCGP.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Edward de Bono is currently in Australia, where he's a keynote speaker at the Happiness & Its Causes conference. In an interview published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr. de Bono discusses his views on happiness, the old saying that "ignorance is bliss," and why humans should purr like cats.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Interview to Air Next Week on WHO-TV 13 News!

Yesterday I was interviewed for a story that will air next week on WHO-TV 13 News. The following is from Dave Price's May 4 Blog Post:

"I don't want to give away all of my story for next Monday night at 10. But today's interview was fascinating. I haven't been this intrigued by an interview for a while . . .Today, I talked with a CEO of a metro company that teaches people how to think. Yeah, I know, some people may think this is a bunch of bull puckey. But they get governments, non-profits, businesses, chambers of commerce, etc. to get together and re-invent the way they think their approach to problem-solving. Our conversation was tremendously interesting. My only complaint is that she had so much good stuff, it will never all fit into our story! But that's a good problem to have. Actually, it's a great problem to have."

More details to come!

Barbara Stennes

Friday, April 30, 2010

Edward de Bono's weekly message: Complacency

We are very concerned with 'problem solving.' Major foundations such as the Bill Gates foundation or Warren Buffet pour money into such areas as HIV. All this is very worthy. But it neglects the point that the major problem is our complacency with matters which do not seem problems at all. These are matters which could be greatly improved by more direct attention. Two obvious examples are education and thinking. Both are centuries out of date. We are so satisfied and complacent that we never make multi-million dollar efforts to change things for the better. Teaching thinking as a separate subject in school raised performance in every subject by between thirty and one hundred percent.

Edward de Bono
25th April 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BCG 2010 Innovation Survey

The Boston Consulting Group just released their annual innovation rankings. Before we get to the winners, it's worth highlighting some of their findings.

Very encouragingly for those of us in the innovation industry, they write, "Our survey revealed that, after a moderate retrenchment in 2009, companies have recommitteed to pursuing innovation in 2010. They have pushed it back to the top of their priority lists and plan to boost their innovation spending - despite the stagnant economy."

BCG also finds a small shift towards innovation in developing countries, particularly China, India, and Brazil. These countries are starting to embrace innovation as a means of moving up the value chain and fostering economic growth.

And who were BCG's winners this year? Their list of most innovative companies contains a few perennial contenders but also at least one newcomer:
  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. IBM
  5. Toyota
  6. Amazon
  7. LG
  8. BYD
  9. General Electric
  10. Sony

Monday, April 26, 2010

Edward de Bono's weekly message: Language and Usage

Language and usage may be to blame. We have come to believe that design is mainly a matter of aesthetics - of making something look beautiful. But a medical treatment, a car park, an evening meal, a political campaign can all benefit from a design effort. Like creativity, design is a skill that can be taught and learned. It can be practised at school. Many years ago, I used to run a design exercise in an education magazine. The results were snown in two books, "Children Solve Problems" and "The Dog Exercising Machine."

Edward de Bono
15 April 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Innovation in Cardboard

Who would have guessed that the cardboard box might be ripe for innovation? Standard shipping boxes are rectangular, which creates a lot of wasted space when you're packaging an unusual-shaped object. The Universal Packaging System lets you fold a cardboard box into precisely the right shape, eliminating this waste. It's a terrific idea.

Moreover, there's a broader lesson to be drawn here: innovation can flourish anywhere. Cardboard is staid. It's boring. It predates the Industrial Revolution. Cardboard is arguably the least sexy product on the planet.

You might expect that over the last 200 years, we would have perfected the cardboard box. After all, if there were any improvements left to be made in cardboard box technology, somebody would have discovered them long ago, right?

Wrong. The Universal Packaging System is a great reminder that ideas frequently coast along unchallenged, simply because people assume there's no better way to do it. But turning a critical eye towards even the most mundane object can yield surprising rewards.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Edward de Bono Presenting at Happiness Conference

With the help of the world's top psychologists, scientists, philosophers, and thinkers, the Happiness & Its Causes Conference explains practical strategies to enhance the happiness of yourself and others.

Over 50 speakers including creativity expert, Edward de Bono, will discuss the latest, ground-breaking research into happiness and present practical wisdom, real-life inspiration, and personal stories.

Learn more about the May 5-6 Happiness & Its Causes Conference in Sydney.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Edward de Bono in Australia

The Australian has just published an excellent feature about Dr. de Bono, which covers his upbringing, his life, his work, and his aspirations. Highly recommended.

In related news, Dr. de Bono will deliver a keynote address at next month's Happiness & Its Causes conference in Sydney.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Edward de Bono's weekly message: Design Thinking

So we developed a culture of education which was intended to 'find the truth.' This is excellent. But 'thinking to create value' is equally important - but totally neglected. It is neglected from kindergarten level up to and including universities. It is only if you are going to be an archtect or graphic designer that you pay any attention to design.

Edward de Bono
2 April 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

What collaborative systems or software are you using within your project teams?

Values-Based Decision Making Results

A new case study surveys the experiences documented by GMAC employees who use Edward de Bono's Six Value Medals as a framework for values-based decision making.

Check out the case study and join the conversation:
How does your company assess values when making decisions?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Edward de Bono's Power of Perception Virtual Training Starts April 13

Edward de Bono's Power of Perception Will Teach You To:

• Look beyond the boundaries of self-limiting perspectives to uncover hidden opportunities
• Quickly and accurately weigh risks against rewards, helping you become a strong and confident decision maker
• Assess all angles before making a decision and use "what if" thinking to avoid costly mistakes

Our new virtual format allows you to learn the Power of Perception tools over the course of three days without the need to travel. Each training module is two hours, making it easy to fit into your workday.

The last day to register for the April 13-15 Power of Perception Workshop is Wednesday, April 7.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Minister of Thinking

During Edward de Bono's recent trip to India, he spoke with LiveMint about the ongoing use of the Six Hats and the need for governments worldwide to create a "minister of thinking" position. The full interview is available here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Starbucks Sponsors Betacup Contest to Redesign Coffee Cup

As Fast Company reported online last Tuesday, 58 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away unrecycled, every year.

Starbucks would like to serve all of its coffee in re-useable or recyclable cups by 2015, so they're sponsoring a Betacup contest, which kicks off April 1.

They'll award $10,000 to the winner and $10,000 will be split among the next best five. Now is the time to use your lateral thinking skills!

Read more about the contest, view the Betacup video, and submit your idea between April 1 and June 15 to help reduce landfill waste.