Creative Thinking Tools - The Six Thinking Hats
This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.
Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a system fostering collaboration, increased productivity, creativity and innovation. As a creative thinking tool, this structured approach may be useful to a group of stakeholders with divergent perspectives.
Using the Six Thinking Hats tool teaches groups to separate thinking into six distinct modes. Each mode is identified with its own "hat." By wearing and switching "hats," group members change their mode of thinking.
In most organizations, discussions about ideas, projects or new directions usually involve argumentative exchanges, with nothing productive happening. The Six Hats approach enables a group to move toward constructive dialog as everyone wears the same color hat at the same time and assumes the role associated with each color hat. The result is many perspectives are reviewed and a productive conclusion reached.
In the following graphic, the description of each hat is derived from Edward de Bono's Serious Creativity - Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas.
The Six Hats
|The white hat represents for information that is known or needed.|
|The yellow hat represents values and benefits and why something may work.|
|The black hat represents judgment — the "devil's advocate" or why something may not work.|
|The red hat represents feelings, hunches and intuition.|
|The green hat represents creativity — possibilities, alternatives and new ideas.|
The blue hat represents management of the thinking process, usually employed by the chairperson of the meeting.
Additional Resources About the Six Thinking Hats
Serious Creativity - Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas, Edward de Bono, Harper Business, 1992 pp 77- 85.
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