Book Review: Six Frames for Thinking About Information


Georges Lteif

Georges Lteif

Software Engineer

Last Updated on December 30, 2021.
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5 min read


Who Should Read This Book

If you are in the team-building business and you are looking for a topic for your next workshop, this might be the book for you.


Synopsis

Eduard de Bono is perhaps most famously known for his ideas on Lateral Thinking and the decision-making framework better known as The Six Thinking Hats.

He has published many original ideas in short, concise books such as this one, where he proposes a set of methods, or frameworks, for dealing with certain problems, problems that are common in business management.

In this particular book, he tries to equip the reader with six frames of mind that would allow us, human beings, to better process information in a day and age where information is abundant but our limited capacity for processing them has not changed.

As with every one of his works, his main aim tends to be geared to providing the reader with very practical ideas that are easy to assimilate.

This is where, in my opinion, the usefulness of his books comes to light.

These works are designed to help you solve a specific problem, more like a crash-course or quick guide rather than a thorough and complete description of the topic.

The book discusses Six Frames for Thinking About Information:

  1. The Triangle Frame: Purpose
  2. The Circle Frame: Accuracy
  3. The Square Frame: Point of View
  4. The Diamond Frame: Value
  5. The Heart Frame: Interest
  6. The Slab Frame: Outcome

You can fall in love with the author’s methods for problem resolution when you look at how such a complex topic like optimizing our information processing capabilities can be broken down into smaller manageable pieces with measurable outcomes.

In my opinion, this is one of the deepest insights that I gleaned from this book: the fact that no matter how complex a problem can be, you can always engineer a framework that can deal with it.


Key Metrics

Original Content
95%
Practical Usage
95%
Depth
25%
Authority
95%
Writing Style
60%
Accessibility
95%

Quick Review

Highly Recommended

Format

The book is nicely broken down into an introduction and 6 chapters; one chapter per frame. The book is quite short. In fact, it can be completed in a few hours which makes it ideal when preparing for workshops.

Style

Eduard de Bono’s style is simple, concise, and targeted to the layman. There is no complex terminology, and prior knowledge of the subject is not required for understanding the concepts.

Content

The content is highly original and thoroughly enjoyable. There is one comment however on the depth and rigor that requires elucidation.
The book is very short and therefore does not go into the full details of every concept.


Format

Edition Details

PAPERBACK

ISBN-10: 0091924197
ISBN-13: 9780091924195
22 x 13.5 x 0.7 cm
127 pages


Themes


Content

Structure

The book conveniently starts with a small introduction as to why the Six Frames are needed as a way of thinking about information. It then moves on to describe each of the six frames in its own chapter. These are very small ones that tend to focus on a few important thoughts while providing an abundance of examples to illustrate the point.

Original Content

Eduard de Bono is very well-known for his novel solutions to old problems. His ideas have received harsh critique from the community at some point, mainly for the lack of evidence to support his arguments, his ideas nevertheless remain attractive mainly for their simplicity, ingenuity, and practicality. Viewed from this angle, his content is quite original. It would make a great topic for discussions on business management.

General Tone

The book is an easy read. The clear structure and assertive style of the author coupled with simple thoughts and plenty of examples read more like a live talk rather than a lecture.

Practical Usage

The practical aspect is, in my opinion, the book’s greatest asset. The ideas are quite straightforward, which makes them readily useable as the foundation of a two-hour workshop. The framework that the author proposes is very simple to apply which makes it easy to experiment with and apply if found to be useful. It does not require a paradigm shift, for example, just a bit of discipline and dedication. It resonates with the concept of small incremental changes when looking for continuous improvements in your business processes.

Depth

There is not much theory in the book, which is alright if you want to quickly prepare a team-building workshop. If, however, you are looking for depth and rigor, you will be disappointed. You will only be able to appreciate the depth and ingenuity of the ideas proposed if you already have some background on the subject, otherwise, you might have to do some extra research on the side. Eduard de Bono has received some criticism over his material, especially that most of his publications have a similar layout: basic ideas with plenty of examples but very little sources, research data, or evidence to support his propositions.

Authority

Eduard de Bono is very well-known for his novel ideas and propositions, of which there are quite a few. His authority on the subject is well established. Despite the fact that his publication generally lacks the rigor that might be expected when dealing with such complex topics, you can easily see the value of these propositions from their simplicity and ingenuity. If the evidence is not in his books, you can easily try out his methods and make your own conclusions as to their validity.


Style

Genre

The book can be classified under general interest/business management.

Writing Style

The author’s writing style is clear and concise. There wasn’t much effort made to spin these ideas into a captivating story though. The content looks more like sparse thoughts that are ready to go on a deck of slides rather than a book. The author typically states his idea, followed by an abundance of examples, and perhaps a conclusion.

Accessibility

This book is meant for everyone. No prior technical knowledge is required to understand any of the ideas in the book. The book is also free of technical jargon, difficult acronyms, or convoluted arguments.


Author

Bio

From Wikipedia:

Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono (19 May 1933 – 9 June 2021) was a Maltese physician, psychologist, author, inventor, philosopher, and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats, and was a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.

Publications

Some of his publications:

  • The Use of Lateral Thinking (1967) ISBN 0-14-013788-2, introduced the term “lateral thinking
  • The Five-Day Course in Thinking (1968), introduced the L game
  • Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step, (1970), Harper & Row 1973 paperback: ISBN 0-06-090325-2
  • Lateral Thinking for Management (1971)
  • Po: A Device for Successful Thinking (1972), ISBN 0-671-21338-5, introduced the term Po
  • The Greatest Thinkers: The Thirty Minds That Shaped Our Civilization (1976), ISBN 0-399-11762-8
  • Atlas of Management Thinking (1981)
  • Tactics: The Art and Science of Success (1985)
  • Conflicts: A Better Way to Resolve them (1985)
  • Six Thinking Hats (1985) ISBN 0-316-17831-4
  • I Am Right, You Are Wrong: From This to the New Renaissance: From Rock Logic to Water Logic (1968) ISBN 0-670-84231-1
  • Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas (1992) ISBN 0-00-255143-8 – a summation of many of De Bono’s ideas on creativity
  • Water Logic: The Alternative to I am right You are Wrong (1993) ISBN 978-1563120374
  • Parallel thinking: from Socratic thinking to de Bono thinking (1994) ISBN 0-670-85126-4
  • How to Be More Interesting (1998)
  • Simplicity (1999)
  • New Thinking for the New Millennium (1999)
  • The De Bono Code Book (2000) ISBN 0-140-28777-9
  • How to Have A Beautiful Mind (2004)
  • Six Value Medals (2005)
  • H+ (Plus): A New Religion (2006)
  • How to Have Creative Ideas (2007)
  • Free or Unfree? : Are Americans Really Free? (2007) ISBN 1-59777-544-4
  • Six Frames For Thinking About Information (2008)
  • The Love of Two Cockroaches (2009) ISBN 978-9993261599
  • Think! Before It’s Too Late (2009) ISBN 978-0-09-192409-6
  • Lateral Thinking – An Introduction (2014) ISBN 978-0091955021
  • Bonting – Thinking to Create Value (2016) ISBN 978-9995750190
  • Intelligence, Information, Thinking