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Creative Problem Solving with Six Thinking Hats. How to use Edward deBono’s parallel thinking in problem solving. Gary Dichtenberg CyberSkills, Inc. Goals of this program. Define parallel thinking Identify each of the six hats Learn how to ask a good question

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creative problem solving with six thinking hats

Creative Problem Solving withSix Thinking Hats

How to use Edward deBono’sparallel thinking in problem solving

Gary Dichtenberg

CyberSkills, Inc.

goals of this program
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
what is parallel thinking
What is parallel thinking?

At any moment everyone is looking in the same direction.

so the six hats are
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
uses for six hats
Uses for Six Hats
  • Problem solving
  • Strategic planning
  • Running meetings
  • Much more
six colors
Six colors…
  • White: neutral, objective
  • Red: emotional, angry
  • Black: serious, somber
  • Yellow: sunny, positive
  • Green: growth, fertility
  • Blue: cool, sky above
and six hats
…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
general hat issues
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
benefits of six thinking hats
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
using the hats
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
the blue hat
The blue hat
  • Thinking about thinking
  • Instructions for thinking
  • The organization of thinking
  • Control of the other hats
  • Discipline and focus
the blue hat role
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
open with the blue hat
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
and close with the blue hat
…and close with the blue hat
  • What we have achieved
  • Outcome
  • Conclusion
  • Design
  • Solution
  • Next steps
white hat thinking
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
red hat thinking
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
yellow hat thinking
Yellow Hat Thinking
  • Positive & speculative
  • Positive thinking, optimism, opportunity
  • Benefits
  • Best-case scenarios
  • Exploration
green hat thinking
Green Hat Thinking
  • New ideas, concepts, perceptions
  • Deliberate creation of new ideas
  • Alternatives and more alternatives
  • New approaches to problems
  • Creative & lateral thinking
black hat thinking
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
six hats summary
Six hats summary

Blue: control & organization of thinking

White: objective facts & figures

Red: emotions & feelings

Yellow: hope, positive & speculative

Green: creativity, ideas & lateral thinking

Black: cautious & careful

asking the right question
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
creative problem solving
Creative Problem Solving

Paul Reali • CyberSkills, Inc.

traditional cps
“Traditional” CPS
  • Mess-finding
  • Data-finding
  • Problem-finding
  • Idea-finding
  • Solution-finding
  • Acceptance-finding
common idea finding methods
Common idea-finding methods
  • Brainstorming
  • Mind Maps
  • Free association
  • Freewriting
  • Incubation
six hats problem solving
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
hypothetical problem solving program using the hats 1
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
hypothetical problem solving program using the hats 2
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
hypothetical problem solving program using the hats 3
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
hypothetical problem solving program using the hats 4
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
want to learn more
Want to learn more?
  • Workshops by Paul Reali
    • CyberSkills, Inc.
    • 336.774.1411
    • www.cyberskills.com or www.omniskills.com
    • preali@cyberskills.com
  • Lateral Thinking, deBono’s Thinking Course, and other books by Edward deBono