3 Highly Effective Tools
useful for problem solving are some of the thinking tools
devised by Edward De Bono, a leading authority on teaching
thinking as a skill.
Just as a carpenter learns how to use specific tools
for certains tasks, attention-directing tools in the field of thinking
and problem solving can be learned and used also.
Using The APC Tool For Problem Solving
APC stands for:
The three words are close in meaning, although one
or more may be more appropriate in a given situation.
Doing an APC means thinking of alternatives, or
different approaches, in solving the problem. Then, with these multiple
choices before us, we can select what seems to be the best solution.
Generating alternatives opens up possibilities.
It requires special mental effort as the human brain naturally looks
for patterns and certainty rather than alternatives.
That is why a thinking tool such as APC forces the
mind into new directions, into actually focusing, concentrating
Here is another problem solving tool...
Using "The Ideal Solution Method"
In this method the alternatives are listed - and
Instead, an 'ideal solution' is fashioned for the
Once that is considered, the list of alternatives
can be consulted again to see which one of them comes nearest to
the 'ideal solution'.
So the alternatives are now considered not on their
own individual merit but according to how close they come to the
Yet another excellent thinking tool from De Bono,
the use of TEC...
The TEC Framework
T stands for Target
E stands for Expand and Explore
C stands for Contract and Conclude
This framework can be put into a time-limited 5-minute
problem solving session.
Spend 1 minute on Target and Task: The target is
the precise focus of the thinking and the task is the thinking task
to be performed.
Spend 2 minutes on Expand and Explore: Open up the
phrase, explore the territory, pull in information and concepts.
Spend 2 minutes on Contract and Conclude: Try to
make sense of what you have, come to a definite conclusion or solution.
By strictly timing ourselves according to this framework
the mind really focuses and produces results!
Problem solving situations become challenging,
fun, and satisfying, as we learn to exercise the mind in new
What is explained above merely scratches the surface
of the excellent thinking courses Edward De Bono has devised over
This information was taken from his book: De
Bono's Thinking Course. The book includes sections on Perception
and Patterns, Lateral Thinking, Information and Thinking, Making
Decisions, Thinking and Doing.
Click on the link below to obtain your personal
De Bono's Thinking Course
Edward De Bono
Solving Information Page - Return to Top