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This is the first book ever to be written deliberately for the right side of the reader’s brain. This should become a standard work for anyone concerned with management or decision-making. It fits directly in with de Bono’s approach to thinking: the building up of perceptual maps so that the thinker can find his or he way about effectively. De Bono believes that perception is by far the most important part of thinking. Research has shown that our usual thinking, dominated by language and logic takes place on the left side of the brain. The right side of the brain works in images, whole patterns and undefined feelings – all of which cannot be verbalized. This non-verbal type of thinking often works as what is loosely called ‘intuition’. Verbal descriptions of complex management situations are necessarily lodged in the left side of the brain. In order for us to use the right side of the brain we need a repertoire of non-verbal images. That is precisely what this book is to provide. The images provided by the drawings in this book enrich the perceptual map of the executive. The images allow him or her to add some right-brain thinking to his or her usual left-brain thinking. This makes it easier for the executive to recognize situations in a flash instead of having to build them up piecemeal. The book has been called an Atlas because it is a reference work of visual images. The word ‘atlas’ also explains the second purpose of this book: to provide a swift and powerful communication method for management. Just as a reference to a page and grid number in an ordinary atlas is a convenient method of communication, so one executive can refer to a particular image in this book in order to communicate swiftly and effectively about a situation. In this way feelings and ‘flavours’ do not have to be verbalized. This communication system can have several advantages, one of which is to avoid the lengthy verbiage that can otherwise be necessary to describe a situation De Bono has always been concerned with what he calls ‘operacy’ which is the thinking involved in getting things done – in contrast to descriptive thinking.

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