Title (of the technique): Six thinking hats technique Purpose: The generation of new and innovative ideas is the main aim of using creative techniques. Often people fail to look at a problem from all angles and they may fail to look at the emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoints. The six thinking hats technique is a powerful technique created by Edward de Bono in the early 1980’s to look at decisions from different point of view.
The purpose of applying this technique is that it encourages parallel thinking and helps people move away from their habitual thinking styles and towards a more well-rounded view of a situation. Description: The six thinking hats technique identifies six different modes of thinking that are meant to be directed at parallel to solve a certain problem on hand. Each thinking mode is represented by a different coloured hat and each colour is defined by the role that it plays in the process of problem solving.
The process can be performed individually or within a group environment and once the participants understand the necessary techniques involved they can proceed to address the problems at hand. They will all work together toward the same objective. When used correctly the hats separate ego from performance which allows everyone to work cooperatively toward a desired goal. Equipment needed: There are few things that are required to perform a successful six hats brainstorming session. Firstly the individual or group should have prior knowledge of the skills required.
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A pen, paper and innovative attitude and a simple and easy way of distinguishing people’s different colours at all times as the different coloured hats are metaphorical. Requirement for success . Educated audience (familiar with de Bono’s Technique) . Discipline from each person involved- while using the hat people need to stay in that particular mindset . Time under the hat should generally be short . Use any hat as often as needed . Set out to think in a certain direction . Don’t categorize people in a group beforehand (e. g. he is only a green hat). Everyone can and should use all hats . Be specific about where you want the thinking to go Process: Each hat represents a certain thinking style: White hat - Objective, neutral thinking in terms of facts number and information. With this hat you focus on the data that is available. Red hat- Emotional, with judgments, suspicions and intuitions. With this hat you look at a problem using intuition, gut reaction and emotion. Black hat- Negative sees risks and thinks about possible failure points. This hat looks at all the bad points of the decision to try and see why it might not work.
Yellow hat- Positive, optimistic, clear, effective and constructive. This hat helps you think positively and to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Green hat- Creative, seeks alternative. The green hat is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas. Blue hat (Meta hat) - thinking about thinking, the blue thinkers role is to keep an overview of what thinking is necessary on the subject. Recommended use in innovation:
Many successful people and companies have embraced de Bono’s six thinking hats technique as it allows the necessary skepticism and emotions to be brought into what would have been purely rational decisions. It opens up an opportunity for creativity within decision making. Plans developed using this technique will be much more sound and resilient than would otherwise be the case. Advantages or benefits: . Leads to more creative thinking . Improves communication and decision making . Allows a person to say things without risk . Provides a common language . Diversity of thoughts Saves time . Create, evaluate and implement action plans . Removal of ego (reduces confrontation) . Helps people work against type, preference . Help people use more of their brains . Focus (one thing at a time) Limitations: The technique is not good to solve short term problems as people need to first be introduced to the method and become familiar with it before it can be used. If it is not monitored correctly it can also become time consuming. You can’t get the right answer asking the wrong questions the group needs to be sure that they are focused in the right direction. references
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