Edward de Bono is one of the great ‘thinkers’ of our time. (This term often amuses me – what exactly does a thinker do? Can I be one?) This review cannot speak for all who go by the title of thinker, but Edward de Bono is considered to be one of the leading authorities on thinking systems. In other words, through his work and publications, he has helped countless people in business, education and other fields throughout the world develop their thinking skills, harnessing the power of both the logical and creative mind to develop the cause (whatever your cause may be).
In Six Thinking Hats, he introduced a method for organising thought about a particular topic – a decision to be made, an idea, business/product development, etc, etc – by means of an analogy. Each of the six hats has a different colour that represents a perspective, and in a group environment, each member (metaphorically) dons the same hat at the same time to consider one perspective at a time. The benefit? Doing away with confusion, muddled thinking and some of the pointless, time-consuming discussions and arguments that happen when people come at things from different points of view. The hats encourage everyone to consider the same point of view at the same time, which will be more productive and enable the group to reach a decision or make progress more quickly.
Does it work for lone operators and investors? I don’t see why not. If nothing else, it provides a structure to organise your thoughts, and is also a prompt to consider aspects that you do not normally consider – for example if you tend to be over-optimistic/pessimistic, then you will get an opportunity to look at it from the more pessimistic/optimistic perspective. If you are prone to oscillating between “on the one hand, on the other hand …” modes of thinking, then this method will offer you a way of working through the facts, pros, cons, emotions and more. Having a pen and paper to hand to jot down your thoughts under each hat will help though, otherwise – if you are working alone – it is easy to fall back into undisciplined thinking patterns.
Worth a read for investors? Probably, yes. And if you have a business in or outside of property, then definitely, yes.
Jonathan Clarke’s #3 book in the Property Tribes Essential Property Book List: “This book explains how different people think. How our brains work differently at different times – it gets rid of the ego in discussions which often gets in the way of business and friendships.”