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Brainstorming ideas with 6 hats - the perfect way to run any meeting


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How to run a brainstorming session with different thinking styles and then turn that into a road map to achieve your vision.

Published in: Business

Brainstorming ideas with 6 hats - the perfect way to run any meeting

  1. 1. How to Use Six Thinking Hats for Group Brainstorming
  2. 2. Different Patterns of Thinking Intuitive Negative Objective Creative Process Positive
  3. 3. Neutral/ Detached/ Independent. What are the facts? What does the data say? Objective. Negative judgement. Critical analysis. What’s not working? What is wrong? Emotional. How do you actually feel? What is your first gut reaction Positive judgement. Hope. Optimism. What is working? What do we like/ want to keep? Creativity. Provocation. Investigation. Lots and lots of ideas, anything goes, quantity not quality. Thinking about thinking. Process control. Agenda setting, next steps, summarising, facilitating, time keeping. All are valid styles of thinking. Interestingly some people seem to have a natural preference for particular hats. Ever met a black hat person? In brainstorming discussions the whole group adopt one hat at the same time and capture their discussion on that hat.
  4. 4. Hat Sequence Helps keep the discussion focussed and the timing tight. You can run any meeting like this. Nominate one person as facilitator to be blue hat all the time to keep time and record the discussion 3 MIN 5 MIN 30 SEC Per Person 5 MIN 3 MIN 5 MIN 3 MIN Every Discussion Starts and Ends with a Blue Hat. Usually Agenda/ Process at start and next steps/ actions items at end. May also have a blue hat midway to check discussion is on track.
  5. 5. Example Sequences Solving Problems Blue: Agree Problem, White: what are the facts? Green what ideas do we have? Red: how do we feel about those? Yellow: what works? Black: What doesn’t work? Green: What ideas do we now have? Blue: Next steps Performance Review Blue: Explain why are we talking? Red: How are you feeling? White: Facts, data, behaviours. Yellow: What ‘s working, what are you doing well. Black: What’s not working. Green: What ideas will help you do even better? Red: how are you feeling now? Blue: Next steps, actions, next review date. Strategy ReviewBlue: Agenda. Yellow: what is working, the positives. Black: what is not working, the negatives; White: what data do we have and what does it tell us. Blue: Summary. Green: ideas for how to now move forward. Blue: Decisions and action planning.
  6. 6. Hat Sequence For Brainstorming: 30 Sec per Person 30 Sec per Person 3 MIN 5 MIN 5 MIN 5 MIN 10 MIN 3 MIN What do we most need to focus on? What are we solving for? Agree the problem statement or opportunity. How do we each feel about this at the moment? What is the first gut reaction to our situation? What do we agree are all the facts? What data do we have? What information is available? What information do we need? What is positive about the situation today? What is working? Looking forward what can we be optimistic about? What is negative about the situation today? What is not working? Looking forward what are we pessimistic about? Let’s get creative. How many ideas can we generate about solutions? Any thing goes. Lets get down as many ideas as possible. How do we each now feel about all this – be honest? What gut reactions do we now have about our situation? What do we need to do now? What are our next steps? How should we move forward? What do we need to first? What help do we need?
  7. 7. Now the 6 hats has clarified the present state, what is the desired state? • Agree and state your overall outcomes in positive terms • Break the outcome down into all the major components, ensure each element is expressed in positive terms. • Use the road map template on the following page to work back from the outcome – flip charts on the wall for each element work well and post-it notes for all the detailed elements.
  8. 8. Identify all the things that will have to be in place prior to achieving your outcome. These are all the “pre-conditions”. There will be several areas. Each pre-condition will have big things that need to be achieved – these milestones have dates Identify the individual actions that need to happen for each milestone From all the identified actions pick 1-3 that need to happen first. Give each one a due date and identify WHO will do them. As actions are achieved return to your template to select the next actions. Work in this direction Outcome Pre - conditions Immediate next steps Specific actions Milestones What specifically do you want. What is the win-win. What is the Goal or Vision. Describe in positive terms. What results does this outcome get? Describe the benefits. This is the motivation Benefits