Book Review: Six Thinking Hats

Just finished Edward DeBono’s Six Thinking Hats. Its a nice primer on thinking as well as an intro to his Six Hat methodology…

The Summary: DeBono claims two points of importance. First, that complexity is the enemy of thinking. Thus, simple forms of thinking are the best forms. Secondly, that letting one get locked into “personality” prevents effective thinking, e.g., “So and so is so negative- they can’t give positive input.” So, defined roles and guidance make for effective thinking.

The Six Hats method is simple and well-defined. It creates helpful boundaries without being constraining. Its powerful and easy to use. A group or an individual can use these 6 Hats for guidance:

White Hat: Facts and Figures.

Red Hat: Emotion.

Black Hat: Why it Won’t Work.

Yellow Hat: Why it Will Work.

Green Hat: Creativity and Alternatives.

Blue Hat: Structure and Results.

These are not, by the way, roles that each person around the table uses individually. Our personalities draw to us to one or more of these hats naturally; but the 6 Hats method requires that each hat be worn corporately- more or less. I get excited about Green and Blue Hat, but Black hat is depressing and Red Hat intimidates me. But, if we are all in the process together, then i wear each Hat along with everyone else. It becomes easier if we are all playing the same game by the same rules.

And that’s what Six Thinking Hats does.

It provides a framework- a set of simple rules to follow. The poor and archaic method of logic- driven by argument and personality- is pushed aside in favor of lateral, collaborative thinking. The best idea wins- not just the best thinker.


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