Why do you think that lateral thinking is important?

Michael's reply:
The missionaries of the medieval Church spread Greco-Roman Logic around the world (the right/wrong system) which is very good at judgment. Today, we call this “inside-the-square thinking”.
However, in a post-Darwinian, fast-changing and hi-tech environment we may also need “outside-the-square thinking”.
Lateral Thinking is very useful for this kind of disruptive, pattern-breaking, innovation. I have the first PhD in the world in Lateral Thinking, so I am in favour of it!


How do you teach thinking?

Michael's reply:
We aim to teach metacognition, which is “thinking about thinking”. 
We also aim to demonstrate that thinking skill is not a gift but an acquired skill that can be learned and developed through lessons and practice, like volley-ball, guitar, chess or cooking a soufflé. 
The School of Thinking motto is: No-one is ever born a skilled thinker. 
We explain that if the brain is a very powerful necktop computer (which it is) we also need to upgrade our brain software from 2500 year-old Greco-Roman Logic to more recent advances in cognitive science. 
We teach ‘software for the brain’ and ‘brain apps’. 
One of our most powerful brain apps for people in business is: x10 thinking.

About the School of Thinking

At the School of Thinking (SOT) we teach thinking as a skill 100% online. Through extensive R&D, School of Thinking (SOT) has developed an online pedagogy that produces exceptional positive results (return on stimuli). SOT can do this with any random group and at any random time 24/7/365–and even online in that distracting and noisy environment. Our content area is metacognition which is the development of higher order thinking skills. SOT is science-based and membership is not for everyone. It is a curated experience for real thinkers and for those individuals who are interested in becoming highly skilled thinkers. In addition to basic training in thinking skills there is a Certified Instructors, a Masters and a Doctoral program in Lateral Thinking.

– Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson


View Michael Hewitt-Gleeson's profile on LinkedIn


Thought Experiment: What if? … National Service


cvs: In Australia, not only is productivity getting lower, jobs are being lost, the economy is slowing and the work ethic is out of fashion; but also, both child obesity AND the adult mortality rate is up.

bvs: What if national service was introduced into Australia for both men and women?

What if it was not compulsory but opt-in/opt-out? What would be the balance of consequences? What would be the value for Australia? The cost?

It is interesting to do a GBB and explore the possible consequences.

There is convincing evidence that the worker ethic would be revived, thinking and leadership skills would expand along with productivity growth. Also, health would improve and the mortality rate would be lowered.

These findings represent potential benefits that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars and go direct to Australia’s bottom line.

The government has already done the research and is aware of this potential bvs but may simply be too politically timid to do anything about it.

Here’s a Touch of Xmas Virtuosity

To each and every one of our engaging and inspiring SOT thinkers we wish you and yours a very warm and friendly Holiday.

I suppose one day I’ll find and even better version of Sleigh Ride but until then here, once again, is my favourite thundering and virtuoso version of the classic with that one-of-a-kind Mozart of the King of Instruments, the peerless perfectionist, Mr Cameron Carpenter

Just imagine if our schools engaged students with performing skills and virtuosity instead of just cramming their heads with information and knowledge. However, if we want to do that we will need not only teachers who KNOW but also masters who DO!

virtuosity = (knowledge + practise) x10




Thought-leadership and the strategic value of repetition

SOT teaches thinking as a skill. 
We are looking to develop thought-leaders and this requires virtuosity. Virtuosity comes from the learning strategy of practise, repetition and rehearsal (PRR). 
The more repetition the more skill. The more skill the more virtuosity. The more virtuosity the more leadership.
In this short clip from the uncut interviews conducted for the Kubrick Series actor Matthew Modine discusses his experience with the value of repetition.

Who can join the School of Thinking?

School of Thinking is not for everyone. SOT is science-based. It is a curated experience for real thinkers or for those individuals who are interested in becoming highly skilled thinkers, regardless of ability or preference.

Some of the different types of thinkers who are welcome in the School of Thinking are listed to show the plurality of SOT membership:

– The logician

– The analyst

– The information compiler

– The idea generator

– The lateral thinker

– The detective

– The researcher

– The synthesiser

– The evaluator

– The critic

– The describer

– The clarifier

– The explainer

– The communicator

– The sales person

– The diplomat

– The header

– The doer

– The observer

– The problem solver

– The problem finder

– The designer

– The explorer

– The organiser

– The system designer

– The group organiser

There is an obvious difference between the researcher who likes to ferret out information in a defined area and the diplomat who is sensitive to changes in people and situations.

There is an obvious difference between the critic who looks at what is and the lateral thinker who looks at what might be.

There is an obvious difference between the problem solver and the problem finder.

It is not just a matter of being better at one type than another–it is a matter of enjoyment.

Which types of thinking do you enjoy most?


LTTCBThe complete extract above is reprinted from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructor’s Manual (pp 197-198) co-authored by Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson de Saint-Arnaud (Capra/New, Santa Barbara USA, 1982, ISBN 0-88496-199-0).

In 1982, Michael and Edward co-authored this book which became a cover story on all global editions of Readers Digest (at that time, the world’s highest-circulation magazine with 68 million readers) and SOT launched the biggest thought-leadership program in the world for the teaching of teachers-of-thinking.