Problem Solving- De Bono's Thinking Course

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If you need to develop skills for problem solving then seriously consider the "Thinking" books from Edward De Bono.

They are an essential part of my personal library. I’;ve been reading them for years and find they really give structure and purpose to my thinking and problem solving skills.

Just as a carpenter learns how to use specific tools for certain tasks, attention-directing tools in the field of thinking and problem solving can be learned and used also.

This book contains some excellent methods for analyzing and coming to conclusions.

For example …

Use The APC Tool For Problem Solving

APC stands for:

  • Alternatives
  • Possibilities
  • Choices

The three words are close in meaning, although one or more may be more appropriate in a given situation.

Problem Solving With APC

Doing an APC means thinking of alternatives, or different approaches, in solving the problem. Then, with these multiple choices before us, we can select what seems to be the best solution.

Generating alternatives opens up possibilities. It requires special mental effort as the human brain naturally looks for patterns and certainty rather than alternatives.

An individual can reason that such a tool is not needed. Perhaps they feel they naturally consider all alternatives, possibilities and choices. This reasoning however is flawed.

Why This Problem Solving Strategy Works

Using an acronym, putting a label on a specific thinking process, and approaching a thinking session imagining you are using this particular tool gives purpose, structure and direction to thinking and problem solving, rather than allowing the mind to wander in the general direction we want .

That is why a thinking tool such as APC forces the mind into new directions, into actually focusing, focusing on alternatives.

What is explained here merely scratches the surface of the excellent thinking strategies contained in this book.

This book includes sections on:

  • Perception and Patterns
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Information and Thinking
  • Making Decisions
  • Thinking and Doing

all of which are important factors when carrying out any problem solving session.