24 Aug 2005

Hatter Mania


Yesterday, attended a session on "Six Hats Thinking" - a parallel thinking concept proposed by the guru of "lateral thinking", Dr Edward De Bono.

Most of the corporate training sessions in my purview are a pure hogwash. ( atleast the ones I've attended of late ). In the race to meet CMM standards & the latest levels, imparting training gains quite weightage for any organization. But is that quality training - or training that benefits the employee ?. Most often not. 8 out of 10 times it turns out to be a cursory introduction to the latest zen stuff pervading the markets of learning & quality control. Or a tea & snacks session interspersed with boring moments when the LCD projector is not working, notes are unavailable or the scope of the subject coverage leaves you cheated - wanting for more.

That said I was quite skeptical of this one too. However by the end of the session, I was convinced otherwise. Short and effective, it introduced a simple way to structure our ideas and make the most of them.

There are 6 hats that signify various types of thinking & you are encouraged to wear each of these hats ( not literally! ) and think of ideas from a new dimension. Given a problem/requirement, the whole technique is about disciplining your mind to think in each of these lanes & structure you ideas methodically. In a group, it has the added advantage of giving every member a chance to put forth ideas without inhibitions & also to come up with hitherto almost perpendicular & novel ideas. As a tool it can greatly aid discussions and creativity whilst also helping in keeping the ego factor at bay.

More on the technique here. ( Feeling a bit lazy about explaining it myself ).

Also, some of the tools tried out while in wearing the green hat ( like "Random Word" ) seemed really effective in nurturing new ideas.

Altogether, a fine metaphorical technique to get the best out of minds that are ready to think.

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