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Lateral Thinking And Six Thinking Hats

921 words - 4 pages

If training and application of Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats strategy were to be adopted by American corporations, countless hours of “paralysis by analysis” could be eliminated. The groans are palpable when yet another meeting request arrives in the Outlook Inboxes of mid-level managers on a daily basis. And, while the participants are perpetually extolled to “think outside the box”, it is done so without really giving them the cerebral tools to do so. Even just providing today’s working intellectuals with one – defined – “thinking hat” would be helpful, but arming them with all six and how to apply them would work wonders.
De Bono offers that based on the ...view middle of the document...

The first of the hats is the White Hat, which is the information known or needed, purely the facts. While the Yellow Hat represents brightness and optimism, the Black Hat symbolizes judgment – the antagonist of the group. The Red Hat is symbolic of feelings, hunches and intuition as the Green Hat focuses on creativity and new ideas. Finally, the Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process, ensuring that the Six Thinking Hats guidelines are observed (de Bono, 2007b). De Bono opines that once the various approaches are identified and a system of their use developed, individuals will be more creative and productive when collaborating amongst groups of co-workers. By intentionally putting the six hats to use, not only will creative thinking be enhanced, critical thinking will be aided as well (De Bono, 1984).
An additional benefit to employing the principles of Lateral Thinking and the Six Hats Method, is the opportunity to reduce the egos in the room. Instead of adversarial thinking there is 'parallel thinking'. At any one moment everyone is looking and thinking in the same direction. There are different directions and each direction is indicated by the color of a hat (de Bono, 2006a). Eliminating the over-inflation of the self-images that are so common in the board rooms across the country would most certainly deliver more efficient decision making, reduce debate, and focus the discussion on a particular approach during the meeting or collaboration session. While Malcom Quantrill was actually referring to academia when he said, ”The corporate management model for university departments and colleges thrive on: (1) the production of rules (2) and the proliferation of administrators to enforce these rules.” (1989) the same could most certainly be said for corporate America.
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