Creative Problem Solving with Six Thinking Hats How to use Edward deBono’s parallel thinking in problem solvingGary DichtenbergCyberSkills, Inc.
Goals of this program Define parallel thinking Identify each of the six hats Learn how to ask a good question Apply six hats method to problem solving Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
What is parallel thinking? At any momenteveryone is looking in the same direction. Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
So the six hats are…? Six colors of hats for six types of thinking • Each hat identifies a type of thinking • Hats are directions of thinking Hats help a group use parallel thinking • You can “put on” and “take off” a hat Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Uses for Six Hats Problem solving Strategic planning Running meetings Much more Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Six colors… White: neutral, objective Red: emotional, angry Black: serious, somber Yellow: sunny, positive Green: growth, fertility Blue: cool, sky above Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
…and six hats White: objective facts & figures Red: emotions & feelings Black: cautious & careful Yellow: hope, positive & speculative Green: creativity, ideas & lateral thinking Blue: control & organization of thinking Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
General hat issues Direction, not description • Set out to think in a certain direction • “Let’s have some black hat thinking…” Not categories of people • Not: “He’s a black hat thinker.” • Everyone can and should use all the hats A constructive form of showing off • Show off by being a better thinker • Not destructive right vs. wrong argument Use in whole or in part Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Benefits of Six Thinking Hats Provides a common language Experience & intelligence of each person (Diversity of thought) Use more of our brains Helps people work against type, preference Removal of ego (reduce confrontation) Save time Focus (one thing at a time) Create, evaluate & implement action plans Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Using the hats Use any hat, as often as needed Sequence can be preset or evolving Not necessary to use every hat Time under each hat: generally, short Requires discipline from each person • While using it, stay in the idiom Adds an element of play, play along Can be used by individuals and groups Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
The blue hat Thinking about thinking Instructions for thinking The organization of thinking Control of the other hats Discipline and focus Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
The blue hat role Control of thinking & the process Begin & end session with blue hat Facilitator, session leader’s role Choreography • open, sequence, close • Focus: what should we be thinking about • Asking the right questions • Defining & clarifying the problem • Setting the thinking tasks Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Open with the blue hat… Why we are here what we are thinking about definition of the situation or problem alternative definitions what we want to achieve where we want to end up the background to the thinking a plan for the sequence of hats Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
…and close with the blue hat What we have achieved Outcome Conclusion Design Solution Next steps Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
White Hat Thinking Neutral, objective information Facts & figures Questions: what do we know, what don’t we know, what do we need to know Excludes opinions, hunches, judgements Removes feelings & impressions Two tiers of facts • Believed Facts • Checked Facts Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Red Hat Thinking Emotions & feelings Hunches, intuitions, impressions Doesn’t have to be logical or consistent No justifications, reasons or basis All decisions are emotional in the end Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Yellow Hat Thinking Positive & speculative Positive thinking, optimism, opportunity Benefits Best-case scenarios Exploration Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Green Hat Thinking New ideas, concepts, perceptions Deliberate creation of new ideas Alternatives and more alternatives New approaches to problems Creative & lateral thinking Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Black Hat Thinking Cautious and careful Logical negative – why it won’t work Critical judgement, pessimistic view Separates logical negative from emotional Focus on errors, evidence, conclusions Logical & truthful, but not necessarily fair Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Six hats summaryBlue: control & organization of thinkingWhite: objective facts & figuresRed: emotions & feelingsYellow: hope, positive & speculativeGreen: creativity, ideas & lateral thinkingBlack: cautious & careful Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Asking the right question We can’t get the right answer if we ask the wrong question Crucial blue hat skill One technique: five whys Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Creative Problem SolvingPaul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
“Traditional” CPS Mess-finding Data-finding Problem-finding Idea-finding Solution-finding Acceptance-finding Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Common idea-finding methods Brainstorming Mind Maps Free association Freewriting Incubation Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Six hats & problem solving A more deliberate process than CPS Like CPS, uses creativity (green hat) Unlike CPS, provides a mechanism for evaluating ideas & making decisions Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Hypothetical problem solving program using the hats - 1 Blue hat • Organize the process Red hat • Emotional issues & feelings White hat • What do we know, need to know Yellow hat • Proposals & suggestions; what ifs, why nots Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Hypothetical problem solving program using the hats - 2 Blue hat • Focus on the areas that need new ideas Green hat • Generate new ideas & concepts Blue hat • Organize ideas & process for evaluation White, yellow & green hats • Constructive thinking Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Hypothetical problem solving program using the hats - 3 Yellow hat • Positive assessment of viable alternatives Black hat • Screening for impossible, unusable • Challenge the alternatives Yellow & green hats • Overcome objections, correct faults, remove weaknesses, solve problems Black hat • Further scrutiny; point out risks, dangers Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Hypothetical problem solving program using the hats - 4 Blue hat • Overview of achievements so far • Organize choice of route Red hat • Express feelings about the choices Yellow & black hats • Looking for the best alternative Blue hat • Strategy for implementation Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.
Want to learn more? Workshops by Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc. • 336.774.1411 • www.cyberskills.com or www.omniskills.com • email@example.com Lateral Thinking, deBono’s Thinking Course, and other books by Edward deBono Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.