| Home page | Training section | Tool Box |

« Lateral thinking »


This "lateral thinking" technique was developed by Dr. Edward deBono who called it 6 HATS THINKING and based it on how the brain self-organizes.

It introduces 6 complementary ways of perceiving and allows us to shift thinking modes quickly and efficiently. or to direct others to change their thinking.

It lets you change minds... without offending anyone. For example, you can ask an individual or a group to wear a specific hat or to change one hat for another hat while examining an issue; or you can indicate that you are going to wear a specific hat and examine a situation from that perspective.

A marvelous analytical tool, the 6 Hats method is excellent for minimizing resistance to new ideas, concepts or directions; it lets you to explore ideas from several angles and to avoid overlooking its different aspects. It's a great management tool.


Wear or have others wear any or all of the following "hats" and record your perceptions from each vantage points :

WHITE HAT: Open minded thinking. Inputs data, facts, numbers. Questions and listens without judgement. Like "Abstract thinking". Let's the unknown become known.

RED HAT: Emotional brain thinking. Feelings, emotions, intuitions, guts and spirit. One never has to justify these. By soliciting others' RED HAT, you can identify potential positions and resistances.

BLACK HAT: Logical negative thinking. Justifies why something does not fit the facts, rules, culture, system or policy, etc... Explains why ideas are bad, why they won't work or what to fix or rethink. It predicts failure, etc..

YELLOW HAT: Logical positive thinking. Examines benefits, advantages and reasons why something could or should work. Tells why ideas must go ahead, who would profits and how to expect success, etc..

GREEN HAT: Alternative thinking, off-the-wall suggestions or creative provocations, innovative propositions, wow ideas and future/now thinking, etc..

BLUE HAT: Thinking about doing. Examines the steps to implementation; asks who does what? Goes to the end of a thought, evolves an idea to its extremes or to its next step. Lets the dust settle, works ideas or creatively does nothing but incubate them for a time, etc..

Note. Creative people want as much information as possible BEFORE committing themselves to a decision or direction. When asked "how does one get a good idea?", two time Nobel prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling answered: "Get a lot of ideas and throw out the bad ones."

This tool help us generate a lot of ideas in an orderly and detached way and then analyze the options in order to throw out bad ideas (or resolve contradictions).

| Home page | Training section | Tool Box |