The phrase “think out of the box” has lost its luster with overuse, but the idea of creative thinking is still appealing. Clients expect us to do it, and we love it when clients do it. As corny as they are, creative “exercises” are a good way to get the ball rolling. Here’s one that might help you to look at old problems in new ways. Think in color – with hats!
Using the six thinking hats is a quick way to run through a problem in your mind and apply different types of thinking to the subject. Just put on each different color hat and see what you come up with.
White Hat: This is the pragmatic hat. It’s neutral, objective and “cold” emotionally. This is the “just the facts, ma’am” hat and will help you analyze the truth and nothing but the truth reality of the situation.
Red Hat: This is your “seeing red” hat. The bull heading for the toreador’s cape. It calls your emotions into play and asks “what is wrong with this picture – what doesn’t fit – why can’t I make this work?” It’s okay to be annoyed if you learn something from it.
Black Hat: Here’s the gloom and doom hat. “This will never work.” It points out all the obstacles, both real and imagined, and allows you to either eliminate the negative or get lost in it and give up.
Yellow Hat: Aha. Sunshine. Positive thinking. Hope for the future. You’ve analyzed the facts, gotten riled about the situation, seen the dark abyss and now you can take a breath of fresh air and turn over the coin – see the other side in the bright light of optimism.
Green Hat: Spring green. Grass growing. Fertile and creative. Time to cultivate new ideas in the light of that optimism you just experienced. Plant some seeds and anticipate the harvest.
Blue Hat: The sky’s the limit. Get as high above the scene as your brain can take you and look down from a fresh perspective. See the whole picture – from the facts to the obstacles to the possibilities and put them all together in a pattern that works from the bird’s eye view. With the blue hat, you can take those fresh new ideas and put them into the broader context – ending up with the winning combination of creative ideas that work to achieve results in an exponential way.
Wed, September 9, 2009
by Suzanna Phelps-Fredette filed under