"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Surprising, there isn't a single review of this wonderful book, not even on website, except for my review.

I would seriously consider this book to be among the best in the genre.

Unfortunately, within this genre, there are only a handful of well written books on deliberate opportunity search, which would include Michel Robert's 'Innovation Formula'.

Most of de bono's many other books touch on the betterment of human thinking. This is one of the few odd ones that he had penned, which focuses on deliberate opportunity search.

(There is, in fact, another one of his, which focuses only on the exploration of success principles. It's entitled 'Tactics'.)

There are four principal parts in this book:

- Introduction;

- People, Attitudes & Opportunities;

- The Opportunity Audit;

- Thinking for Opportunities;

Each part is packed with workable ideas & valuable insights.

Unlike most business books, the Introduction of this book is more than an introduction. On its own, it's a real gem as it gives a detailed preamble of the varied concepts of opportunity search, opportunity space, opportunity audit, opportunity team, idea sensitive areas, opportunity map, making distinctions & generation of ideas.

The remaining three principal areas are goldmines of strategies & tools to assist a deliberate opportunity search.

The Opportunity Audit is the best I have read so far.

The If-Box Map is a quick & powerful tool to apply, in spite of its simplicity.

de Bono defines an opportunity as “a course of action that is possible & obviously worth exploring”.

He makes some very illuminating observations in this book:

"The reasons that many opportunities pass us by is a perceptual one - we do not recognise an opportunity for what it is. An opportunity exists only when we see it."

"Everyone is surrounded by opportunities. But they only exist once they have been seen. And they will only be seen if they are looked for."

That's why I have always maintained that perceptual sensitivity to the world at large is a very important skill for all of us in today's rapidly-changing, technology-savvy world.

Additionally & very interestingly, he offers possible reasons why we often missed our opportunities:

- We simply cannot see the opportunity;

- We can see the opportunity, but cannot see any possible way of evaluating it;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but cannot see how it can be achieved;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity & even how to achieve it, but nevertheless it is not for us;

- We can see the opportunity, but can also see huge problems with people, resources & money;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but we have better use of our resources & efforts;

- We can see that it is a worthwhile opportunity, but in our opinion the risks are too great/rewards too small;

In spite of the transpiration of time - the maestro wrote it in the mid-eighties - this book is definitely - & undoubtedly - still worth pursuing.

Instead of waiting for opportunities to knock on your door, I strongly suggest readers to go out there & search deliberately for opportunities, with the aid of this book!

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