In 1986 I was in my first senior management role. Alan had promoted me to manage Admin for the bank’s data processing which as usual I wasn’t qualified to do. This included Finance, HR, 8 Computer Facilities and Computer Security - 9 managers and 200 staff.
When Alan asked me to take the role I told him I knew nothing about Finance and hated HR, but he simply said “It’s easy, just remember debits equal credits and make HR work or shut it down.” That was Alan.
Several months into the role things were starting to work well, but I had a team of very different people so I was looking at ways to help us work together better. About then I attended an Edward de Bono seminar.
Edward is creator of Lateral Thinking and a leader in creative thinking as a skill. At the seminar he introduced Six Thinking Hats for the first time and I was fascinated by its simplicity. So I bought 10 copies of his book, took them back to my team, and on Monday we started using them.
In almost no time we found how valuable they were and started using more de Bono methods in coming months. Since then I’ve been a de Bono fan and in 20 years I’ve trained thousands in his methods and used them in countless facilitations.
I’ve even used his methods in a workshop where Edward was a mere participant, and that was fun! Edward taught me and the world that creative thinking is a skill anyone can learn and improve, and it’s been my mission to spread his concepts via Mindwerx which I started in 1998.