According to the things we’ve learned in this course so far, we know that creativity requires delayed judgement, an innocent reaction to the whole world, and the use of right-brain thinking. However, these do not seem to help creativity very much. A different exercise can then be proposed, designed particularly for training and making creativity mix smoothly into everyday life. This is called ‘Six thinking hats’.
The six thinking hats are white, red, black, yellow, green, and blue.
The white hat is related to facts, figures, information, asking questions, and defining information needs and gaps. When one puts on the white hat, it means that he wants to have a look at the fact.
The red hat takes care of intuition, feelings and emotions. When one puts on the red hat, he can express out his intuition without giving any reason.
The black hat is the hat of judgement and caution. It is the most valuable hat and needs to be used most often. One puts on the black hat to point out the reason why a suggestion doesn’t fit the facts. The black hat is logical.
The green hat is about creativity, alternatives, proposals, provocations and changes.
The blue hat focuses on process. One puts on the blue hat to examine the process of thinking.
The hats might have a sequence ‘white, green, yellow, black, red, blue’. This is the sequence for a new topic. However, the sequence is not fixed but varied according to situation.
One can ask another individual to put on/take off a hat of a particular color, and one can frankly express his thoughts under the protection of a hat. One can also ask the whole group to put on a hat of a specified color of hat for a while. The hats offer a chance to switch the mode of thinking.
De Bono, E. (1995). Serious creativity. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 18(5), 12.
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