Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is the Principal and Co-Founder with Professor Edward de Bono of the School of Thinking. He is also the world’s first Doctor of Lateral Thinking.


Michael Anthony Hewitt-Gleeson de Saint-Arnaud (born Melbourne 1947) is an Australian cognitive scientist and author of the classic best-selling coursebook on neuroplasticity called Software For Your Brain (1989), ISBN 09473511088.

He first published his invention of the universal brain software known as the digital switch cvs2bvs or cvs to bvs in 1984 (NewSell, Boardroom Books, New York, 1984).

cvs2bvs is based on Hewitt’s-Gleeson’s First Law of Thinking which states: the current view of the situation can never be equal to the better view of the situation.

The Think Switch

For eight years (1977 to 1984) Dr Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono collaborated to launch a project to get THINKING taught in schools as a school subject. This was the Learn-To-Think Project and was first published in their textbook Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructors Manual, ISBN 0-88496-199-0 which was co-authored by Hewitt-Gleeson and De Bono in 1982.

Their original textbook on thinking skills was featured as a cover story on all global editions of Readers Digest (article entitled Seven Steps to Better Thinking, April 1983) with a readership of 68 million readers in 70 countries and published in 21 languages. This global publication event was the widest ever distribution of thinking skills and remains so to this day.

To advance this project they created and co-owned several corporate entities: Edward de Bono & Associates Inc, New York (1977), The Cognitive Research and Training (CoRT) Foundation Inc, New York (1983) and The Edward de Bono School of Thinking Inc, New York (1983).

In 1983 they developed The Six Thinking Caps method for teaching thinking skills. In the Preface of a recent edition of Six Thinking Hats Edward de Bono acknowledges that their thinking hats method “may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past 2300 years”.

Today the School of Thinking (SOT) is an independent, pro bono school now based on the internet at www.schoolofthinking.org and operated from Melbourne by Hewitt-Gleeson. In 2009 SOT exported more than one million thinking lessons to members in 45 countries.

The World’s First Doctor of Lateral Thinking

Hewitt-Gleeson is an acknowledged world authority on lateral thinking who has four published titles on Lateral Thinking. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Cognitive Science, International College, Los Angeles (1980). In 1980, Cambridge Professor Edward de Bono was Hewitt-Gleeson’s tutor for the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking in which he proposed The Theory of Newsell. His examiner was the distinguished Professor George Gallup, Founder of the Gallup Poll, Princeton. At that time Professor Gallup wrote, “Newsell may be the first new strategy for selling in 50 years”.

He has been a Council Member of The Leadership and Learning Council at Melbourne Grammar School since 2006. In 2005 he was appointed by Victorian Premier Steve Bracks as an Ambassador for Think Victoria and Club Melbourne. He is the first Visiting Academic Fellow in Innovation Thinking at the Biosciences Research Division of the Department of Primary Industries at La Trobe University (2007).


Hewitt-Gleeson is a third generation Australian returned serviceman following his father and grandfather who both served in the 2nd AIF in World War II.

Based on his military training and service as a Vietnam vet, Dr Hewitt-Gleeson utilised this experience to design a “train-the-trainer” strategy for School of Thinking. He contends that, compared to business training, military science has evolved, over thousands of years, some very robust training strategies because of the pressure of a much stronger bottom line. In the 1980s he was the first to apply these strategies to accelerate the dissemination and teaching of thinking skills in the Learn-To-Think Project in North America. This “train-the-trainer” strategy has now become the biggest and fastest growing model in the world for teaching metacognition. When Edward de Bono first saw it he described Hewitt-Gleeson’s model as “brilliant“.

Hewitt-Gleeson is one of only 1800 Australian national servicemen who shared in the Scheyville experience. He also served in the 1 ATF (1968-1969) during the Vietnam War. His military experience and awards include:

– Corps Medal, The Veterans Corps of Artillery (VCA), State of New York (New York 1990)
– Flying Officer, Royal Australian Air Force, (Melbourne 1969-1974)
– Language Instructor, Vietnamese and Allied Cultural Association (Vung Tau 1968)
– Vietnam Medal (Vung Tau 1968)
Vietnam Campaign Medal (Nui Dat 1969)
Jungle Training Centre, Canungra, Queensland, Australia, Graduate (1968)
Officer Training Unit, Scheyville, NSW Australia (non-graduate 1968)
Australian Active Service Medal (1995)
Australian National Service Medal (2002)

Australian Defence Medal (2007).

Dr Hewitt-Gleeson has been an international consultant on strategy and sought by organizations and corporations from the United Nations, and the White House to IBM, Fujitsu, BMW, Jack Welch of General Electric, AMP, Telstra, Vodaphone, Saatchi & Saatchi, Australian Institute of Sport and St Kilda Football Club. He has lectured widely in many nations including Canada, China, Bermuda, Indonesia, Tahiti, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Netherlands, Mexico, Spain, France, Israel, Japan, Italy, Greece, Malta, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Personal Success (cover story May ’91), Readers Digest, Wall Street Journal, GQ (cover story), The Australian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian, BRW, Financial Review, Australian Anthill and many publications. He has been featured in numerous radio and television programs and internet blogs worldwide.

Hewitt-Gleeson is a best-selling author of books and numerous articles on lateral thinking, selling and leadership. His books are:

– Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructor’s Manual (Co-author Edward de Bono) (1982), ISBN 0884961990
– NewSell (1984), ISBN 0932648568
Software For Your Brain (1989), ISBN 09473511088
– NewSell 2 (1990), ISBN 0947351221
– Software for the Brain 2: Handbook for Lateral Thinkers (1991), ISBN 0947351388
– THINK: An Action Program for Lateral Thinking (1993), ISBN 0947351515
– THINK AGAIN: A Brain Users Guide to Lateral Thinking (1993), ISBN 0947351515
– SELL: the lateral thinkers’ guide to selling and leadership (1993), ISBN 0947351639
– Clever: A Coursebook for Clever Thinking (1993) ISBN 0947351671
– The X10 Memeplex: multiply your business by 10! (2000), ISBN 0724801111
WOMBAT SELLING: how to sell by word of mouth (2006) ISBN 1740664280


— CONTACT: You can email Michael by clicking here …

3 thoughts on “de Bono’s First Thinker

  1. cvs=not having surplus time and energy to complete requirements for doctorate in lateral thinking.
    bvs= other steps in between not learning any of the information and and learning enough to significantly increase enjoying some of the life remaining

  2. how lucky are we to have you assemble all of your knowledge and give it to all of us through the SOT and for free!!! thank you

  3. Hi Michael,
    I remember doing one of your certificate courses for which I never received a certificate. There WAS no examination, and because it was some years ago I can’t remember the details. I would certainly be interested in doing whatever is available. Please enrol me.
    P.S. I was very probably one of your instructors at OTU Scheyville.

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