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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.