MANAMA: Lateral thinking inventor Edward de Bono yesterday urged a Gulf audience to challenge dominant ideas, boundaries and polarisation in order to improve themselves and their organisations. Mr De Bono was addressing a sell-out crowd of more than 300 delegates, VIPs and dignitaries from 10 countries during a highly-interactive one-day event in Bahrain, organised by Global Leaders.
"I ask you all to look at everything you do - even if it is satisfactory - and consider the alternatives," he said.
"If something is adequate, it blocks any further thinking on that subject forever.
"We are so used to dealing with problems, we ignore all the areas where we can improve - simply because they aren't causing us problems at the moment. But I want you to challenge it all."
The event at the Diplomat Radissan SAS Hotel, Residence and Spa, was opened by the Minister of the Prime Minister's Court, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.
"I am delighted to be back in a region that constantly breaks through the barriers of what is possible, a region whose leaders - both in government and in business - have facilitated an environment where nothing is impossible," said Mr De Bono.
Mr De Bono's latest project is to launch a Palace of Knowledge and this is something he has been talking about with the Maktoum Institute in Dubai.
"We need clearer thinking and that is not something we can expect from the United Nations because ultimately their people are representatives and not there to break through barriers," he told the GDN.
"Equally we cannot expect this from national governments because they will be seen as promoting their own interests. We need a neutral body and that is what I would like to set up."
"He added that the Islamic world could well be a place for such an institute as the Prophet Mohammed spent a lot more time writing about thinking than any other religious figure in history."
"Globalisation means we have access to better products, wider choice, and faster delivery times," said Global Leaders president Tina Schneidermann.
"But it also means that the very products and services we sell are becoming increasingly homogenised.
"The only way we can stand apart from our competition is the way in which our employees and our organisations thinks."
"Gulf firms have a duty to re-invest in the region, whether through ideas, innovation, or people," said event sponsors Addax bank chief executive officer Yousef Al Essa.
"They should look to add sustainable value to companies and projects."
The full-day conference was the latest in a series of thought leadership events to be held in Bahrain, organised by Global Leaders, following on from Ken Blanchard and Deepak Chopra.
(Gulf Daily News)