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Six Thinking Hats Edward deBono’s parallel thinking for effective problem solving and exploring new ideas
The Basics There are six different  imaginary  hats that you can put on or take off. Think of the “hats” as thinking icons. Each hat is a different color and represents a different type or mode of thinking. We all wear the same hat (do the same type of thinking) at the same time. When we change hats - we change our thinking.
What does each Hat mean? Manages the thinking process, focus, next steps, action plans. Blue Hat Creativity- possibilities, alternatives, solutions, new ideas. Green Hat Difficulties, potential problems- why something may not work. (Disadvantages) Black Hat Values and Benefits- Why something may work. (Advantages) Yellow Hat Feelings. Emotions and Intuition . Red Hat Data, Facts, Information known or needed. White Hat
Simplifies thinking by having to deal with one thing at a time
Benefits of Six Thinking Hats Provides a common language Diversity of thought Use more of our brains Removal of ego (reduce confrontation) Focus (one thing at a time)  Save time  Create, evaluate & implement action plans
The blue hat role Control of thinking & the process Begin & end session with blue hat Facilitator, session leader’s role:  open, sequence, close Focus: what should we be thinking about Asking the right questions Defining & clarifying the problem Setting the thinking tasks
Thinking Process 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
What we want to take away What we have achieved Outcome Conclusion Design Solution Next steps
Summary of The Facilitator’s Role : Define the focus of the thinking Plan the sequence and timing of the thinking Ask for changes in the thinking  Handle requests from the group  Form periodic or final summaries of the thinking for consideration by the team x
Participant’s Role Follow the lead of the facilitator Stick to the hat (type of thinking) that is in current use Try to work within the time limits Contribute honestly & fully under each of the hats
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, judgments Removes feelings & impressions
Green Hat Thinking New ideas, concepts, perceptions Deliberate creation of new ideas Alternatives and more alternatives New approaches to problems Creative & lateral thinking
Yellow Hat Thinking Positive & speculative Positive thinking, optimism, opportunity Benefits Best-case scenarios Exploration
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
Red Hat Thinking Emotions & feelings Intuitions, impressions Doesn’t have to be logical or consistent No justifications, reasons or basis All decisions are emotional in the end
Hats sequence in meetings Facilitator (Blue Hat) Open Clarifying the problem Present the facts of the case (White Hat).  Generate ideas, how the case could be handled (Green Hat).  Evaluate the merits of the ideas, List benefits (Yellow Hat).  List drawbacks (Black Hat).  Get everybody's gut feeling about the alternatives (Red Hat).   Summarize (Blue Hat).
References Six Thinking Hats by  Edward de Bono The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by  Clayton M. Christensen  and  Michael E. Raynor

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De Bono Six Thinking Hats Summary Anne Egros

  • 1. Six Thinking Hats Edward deBono’s parallel thinking for effective problem solving and exploring new ideas
  • 2. The Basics There are six different imaginary hats that you can put on or take off. Think of the “hats” as thinking icons. Each hat is a different color and represents a different type or mode of thinking. We all wear the same hat (do the same type of thinking) at the same time. When we change hats - we change our thinking.
  • 3. What does each Hat mean? Manages the thinking process, focus, next steps, action plans. Blue Hat Creativity- possibilities, alternatives, solutions, new ideas. Green Hat Difficulties, potential problems- why something may not work. (Disadvantages) Black Hat Values and Benefits- Why something may work. (Advantages) Yellow Hat Feelings. Emotions and Intuition . Red Hat Data, Facts, Information known or needed. White Hat
  • 4. Simplifies thinking by having to deal with one thing at a time
  • 5. Benefits of Six Thinking Hats Provides a common language Diversity of thought Use more of our brains Removal of ego (reduce confrontation) Focus (one thing at a time) Save time Create, evaluate & implement action plans
  • 6. The blue hat role Control of thinking & the process Begin & end session with blue hat Facilitator, session leader’s role: open, sequence, close Focus: what should we be thinking about Asking the right questions Defining & clarifying the problem Setting the thinking tasks
  • 7. Thinking Process 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
  • 8. What we want to take away What we have achieved Outcome Conclusion Design Solution Next steps
  • 9. Summary of The Facilitator’s Role : Define the focus of the thinking Plan the sequence and timing of the thinking Ask for changes in the thinking Handle requests from the group Form periodic or final summaries of the thinking for consideration by the team x
  • 10. Participant’s Role Follow the lead of the facilitator Stick to the hat (type of thinking) that is in current use Try to work within the time limits Contribute honestly & fully under each of the hats
  • 11. 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, judgments Removes feelings & impressions
  • 12. Green Hat Thinking New ideas, concepts, perceptions Deliberate creation of new ideas Alternatives and more alternatives New approaches to problems Creative & lateral thinking
  • 13. Yellow Hat Thinking Positive & speculative Positive thinking, optimism, opportunity Benefits Best-case scenarios Exploration
  • 14. 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
  • 15. Red Hat Thinking Emotions & feelings Intuitions, impressions Doesn’t have to be logical or consistent No justifications, reasons or basis All decisions are emotional in the end
  • 16. Hats sequence in meetings Facilitator (Blue Hat) Open Clarifying the problem Present the facts of the case (White Hat). Generate ideas, how the case could be handled (Green Hat). Evaluate the merits of the ideas, List benefits (Yellow Hat). List drawbacks (Black Hat). Get everybody's gut feeling about the alternatives (Red Hat). Summarize (Blue Hat).
  • 17. References Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor