Attention is a key part of thinking clearly and productively, and yet we pay very little attention to attention itself. If you see someone lying injured in the middle of the road, for example, your attention would go to that person but, if a bright pink dog wandered past at the same time, your attention would automatically stray to the dog. That is precisely the weakness of attention – it is pulled to the unusual. How much attention do we pay to the usual?
So, what can we do about it? Instead of waiting for attention to be pulled towards something unusual, we can set out frameworks for ‘directing’ our attention in a conscious manner. Just as we can decide to look north, west or even south-east, so we can set up a framework for directing our attention, and that’s where Edward de Bono’s ‘six frames’ come in. Each frame is a direction or method in/with which to look, based on a different shape – triangle, circle, heart, square, diamond, slab.
Today we are literally surrounded by information and it has never been so easy to obtain. Yet, information itself is not enough; it’s how we look at it that really counts. Using the ‘six frames’ technique is the key to extracting real value from the masses of facts and figures out there and, like all de Bono’s techniques, it is simple, effective and will utterly change the way you interpret information.