Presentation on theme: "Six Thinking Hats: Written by Edward De Bono Presented by: Scott O’Tremba, Principal Lovell High School."— Presentation transcript:
Six Thinking Hats: Written by Edward De Bono Presented by: Scott O’Tremba, Principal Lovell High School
“The Six Thinking Hats method may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past twenty-three hundred years.”
Why the Six Thinking Hats? Leaders make decisions. How many have been trained in a decision making process?
My story: 2006 faced with a decision regarding our master schedule. I shared my issue with my best friend who works at the head office of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in Milwaukee. He told me about the process they used called “Parallel Thinking” from the book Six Thinking Hats. I read the book over Christmas vacation and by March I had led a community meeting, a stakeholder committee and we had our new master schedule, including a half-day of professional development time every Friday afternoon in the district. I stuck to the Six Thinking Hats to the letter and have used it ever since. I credit this way of thinking for much of the success we’ve enjoyed at Lovell High School the past 8 years.
What is the foundation for Six Thinking Hats? Argument versus Parallel Thinking “The basic idea behind Western thinking was designed about twenty-three hundred years ago and is based on argument. Socrates saw his role as simply pointing out what was “wrong”. Many people tell me (De Bono) that they enjoy argument because they can show off how clever they are. They can win arguments and demolish opponents. None of that is very constructive.” “The basic tradition of Western thinking (or any other thinking) has not provided a simple model of constructive thinking. That is precisely what the Six Hats method (parallel thinking) is all about.”
What is Parallel Thinking and Why Six Hats? “Parallel thinking means that at any moment everyone is looking in the same direction. But the direction can be changed. So, we need some direction labels for thinking. This is where the hats come in.” “A strong association already exists between thinking and “thinking hats”. The hat indicates a role. A hat can be put on and taken off with ease. There are six colored hats corresponding to the six directions of thinking: white, red, black, yellow, green, blue.” “The whole point of parallel thinking is that the experience and intelligence of everyone should be used in each direction. So everyone wears a specified colored hat at the same time going in that direction, with a focus on one thing at a time.”
White Hat: the white hat is neutral and objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures. Red Hat: Red suggest anger (seeing red), rage and emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view. Black Hat: Black is somber and serious. The black hat is cautious and careful. It points out the weaknesses in an idea.
Yellow Hat: Yellow is sunny and positive. The yellow hat is optimistic and covers hope and positive thinking. Green Hat: Green is grass, vegetation, and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas. Blue Hat: Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky. Which is above everything else. The blue hat is concerned with control, the organization of the thinking process, and the use of the other hats.
“In practice, the hats are always referred to by their color and never by their function. You can ask someone to “take off their black hat for a moment” more easily than you can ask that person to stop being cautious.”
Using Hats: Two basic ways: singly to request a type of thinking or in a sequence to explore a subject or solve a problem.
Sequence: In any sequence. Hats can be taken off and then put back on, but discipline is very important.
Timing: “A short time is preferred to force people to concentrate on what they are trying to do and reduces aimless waffle. Normally one minute per person for each hat.”
Guidelines: “A blue hat should always be used both at the beginning and end of the session.”
The first blue hat indicates: “Why we are here, What we are thinking about, The definition of the situation (or problem) Alternative definitions, What we want to achieve, Where we want to end up, The background to the thinking, and A plan for the sequence of hats to be used.”
The final blue hat indicates: What we have achieved, Outcome, Conclusion, Design, Solution, and Next steps.”
Benefits of the Six Hats Method: Time saver Simple to understand Thinking is clear “The final blue hat stage the decision is often obvious to everyone present.”