How to become a better decision maker

Edward de Bono in his book Teach Yourself to Think says that our traditional way of thinking does not adequately deal with perception – by far the most important part of thinking in everyday affairs. De Bono defines perception as “the way we carve up the world into chunks we can handle.” Since we all have different perceptions of the world, our decision-making process might be confined in the rigidity of our perception “box.” Thus, it is necessary to think and analyze outside the box to make better decisions.

De Bono’s five steps to productive thinking are:

  1. TO: What do I want to do?
  2. LO: What information do I have (and need)?
  3. PO: How do I get there?
  4. SO: Which alternative do I choose?
  5. GO: How do I put this into action?

(The acronyms are explained in my book notes.)


Five Stages of Thinking Canvas

These steps seem simple but following each step like how a computer follows an algorithm proved to be very useful to me. The TO-LO-PO-SO-GO framework turns off auto-pilot thinking and paves the way for better (and more creative) decisions.