Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Six Thinking Hats

Yesterday I grabbed the opportunity of attending a workshop on �eEdward de Bono�fs Six Thinking Hats�f organized by the Learning and Development dept of our company. It was very nice and gave me a dimension to think on �ethinking�f as a more scientific process. Though much is to be explored, I�fve gotta fair deal of understanding on the topic. The instructor was Mr. Ajay, a six thinking hats certified trainer.

Here, Hats determine the structure of the thinking process. In fact, the whole concept is all about structured and parallel thinking. It looks like it has been a proven tool to assist the decision making process during meetings and brainstorming sessions in many organizations.

I�fll stop this bhashan and going straight to the hats.
Essentially Edward De bono has devised this methodology for an organized thinking by putting thoughts under the categories of White, Red, Yellow, Black, Green and blue hats.

Lets assume a discussion of any topic among few members within a time limit. Normally, the discussion would go randomly without any sequence. But under this six thinking hats process, the points or thoughts would have to be structured under the hats. It goes like this...
The blue hat is the moderator and can put(say) any hat for a specified time to the discussion. Each hat has different purpose and these hats can come in any order.
Normally, it is the white hat that comes first in which any piece of information that comes to mind for the topic is told by the participants. Yellow hat prompts for the positive points or constructive thoughts and Black hat invites negative points, risks, cautions etc. Green hat looks for creative opinions and innovative approach to the topic. Red hat asks for intuitions, feelings, emotions for any opinion and the operation here is done deliberately faster than other hats. Blue hat can change any hat in the due course of the discussion.

Confused now, isn�ft it�c.?I�fll go on with an example to avoid all confusions and bring more clarity.

Lets assume the topic is James Bond. The process goes like this

White Hat (Information): basic info is put forth with not staining mind much
1. A spy
2. works for M
3. Pierce brosnan
4. Last movie: Die Another Day

Red Hat (Feelings/Emotions/Likes & dislikes):
opinion poll among the member(s) for liking/disliking James Bond is taken quickly.

Yellow (Positive points):
1. Uses modern gadgets
2. massive fanfare
3. technical brilliance, hi fi

Black (Negatives):
1. No coincidence with reality
2. One man army
3. Bad influence sometimes

Green (creativity):
Like Who could be the next james Bond (Imaginary)?
1. Nicholas cage
2. Abhishek Bachchan
3. Osama (?)
4. Laloo (!)

So, we see that the thinking process goes in a structured way.

Important points to note:
1. The Blue Hat determines the choice of the next hat to be used in the thinking process depending on the situation, time and the momentum of the topic
2. It is not necessary that all the hats are to be used
3. The hats can be used again or repeated or changed when and wherever required
4. The process can be applied to even individual thinking process and can be used effectively to communicate ideas and deliver points!

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