Thursday, August 24, 2006

Six Thinking Hats

This book, by Edward De Bono, is a really good framework for attacking issues. Of course, every one who writes a book wants it to be revolutionary, and to "change the way the world's most successful business leaders think." But today, I'm feeling cynical, and I think that changing the way people think doesn't happen very often.

However, this book is useful, and it could be easily tailored to the point of even becoming (wait for it) AN ASSOCIATION HACK.

Basically, the point is that you engage different kinds of thinking when you're deliberating. You can be interested in numbers, in feelings, in growth, in creativity, etc. So De Bono lists these attributes and gives them a hat of that color. The hat is symbolic (altho it could be concrete, I suppose), and basically, it allows you to communicate what's going in to the thought processes. It helps the user of the framework to be more explicit, and therefore there's less playing of "guess what I'm thinking". Here is a much more in-depth review of the book, with a free worksheet.

I would say, definitely get this book if you're frustrated in group decision making processes. Then, I would come up with a fact sheet based on it, strip it down and explain it to the group before the next meeting. Definitely worth a try if your meetings are in a nonproductive rut.