Edward De Bono is by far one of the most prolific thinkers of the 20th century. He has written +46 books and contributed many leading tools for creative and divergent thinking. You may be familiar with the Six Thinking Hats and the term Lateral thinking, which are are some of de Bono's most impactful works.
Fascinated by the brain and how it can be trained to be more creative, de Bono speaks and writes extensively on the misconceptions we have about the human brain. His quotes are often genius in their simplicity, showing his deep understanding of the limitations people place on their innate creativity. Here are some of our favorite quotes from de Bono:
“If you never change your mind, why have one?”
“Design is how you put together what you have to deliver the value that you want”
"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way."
“Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.”
“The system will always be defended by those countless people who have enough intellect to defend but not quite enough to innovate.”
"Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion, and this can lead to new ideas"
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”
“Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.”
"Creative thinking - in terms of idea creativity - is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured."
“Creativity involves provocation, exploration and risk taking. Creativity involves "thought experiments." You cannot tell in advance how the experiment is going to turn out. But you want to be able to carry out the experiment.”
“We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience.”
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”