Six Thinking Hats
A Proposal Analysis
Tool by Edward de Bono1
The proposal is read out and then everyone puts one
the following hats in turn:
The White Hat is the
hat. This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. People can ask for more information or data to help analyze
The Red Hat represents
emotions. This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. People have to say how this proposal
makes them feel emotionally: scared, threatened, excited,
energized, etc. It is important to get the feelings expressed,
as they can be hidden reasons why people would oppose or support
The Yellow Hat is the hat of
This is the logical positive: why something will work and why it
will offer benefits. Everyone in turn has to say what is good about the proposal.
Even if you think the idea stinks you have to find some good
points and redeeming qualities about it.
The Black Hat is the
hat. This is the hat of judgment and caution. Everyone has to find fault with the idea. Even if it was
your idea and you are very proud of it you have to point out
some drawbacks and disadvantages.
The Green Hat is the hat of
growth and possibilities.
This is the hat of
alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and
changes. Everyone has to suggest ways in which the idea could be adapted
or improved to make it work better.
The Blue Hat is the
hat. This is the overview or process control hat. It looks not
at the subject itself but at the 'thinking' about the subject. It is used to check if the process is working well. When
you wear it, you discuss whether you are using the method in the
most effective way.
What Is Six Thinking Hats?
Six Thinking Hats
proposal analysis tool invented by Edward de Bono1
is particularly useful for
evaluating innovative and provocative ideas.
While most of our thinking is adversarial, the
six thinking hats technique overcomes these difficulties by forcing everyone
to think in parallel. As participants wear each hat – white, red, yellow,
black, green, or blue – they all must think a certain way at the same time.
Why Six Thinking Hats?
The method is a framework for thinking
and can incorporate
The Six Thinking Hats tool:
encourages Parallel Thinking
encourages full-spectrum thinking
separates ego from performance.
Many organizations all over the world use the Six
Thinking Hats tool. Among its active users are British Airways, DuPont, Federal
Express, IBM, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, Pepsico, Polaroid, and Prudential
Questions To Answer
To gain an even broader picture, once
you complete the
SWOT Analysis, run through it again as though you are one of
Obviously, you will have less inside information
on this perspective, but
flipping the point of view
to another business owner with a
different set of apparent strengths and weaknesses might give you
some interesting insights...
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