Powerful and simple tools
(The teaching of creative thinking. Page 6)
The six coloured hats each indicate one mode of thinking (information, feeling, logical positive, logical negative, creative, process control). It is now possible to request a specific type of thinking:
"It is time we had some green hat (creative) thinking. Let's have two minutes of green hat thinking."
It is also possible to place "caution" and "critical" thinking (black hat) back in its proper place instead of having it come in at any time. Intuition and feeling (red hat) are legitimized so that it becomes possible to express feelings without having to apologize for them or even justify them:
"This is my red hat thinking on this matter."
It is the practicality and powerful simplicity of the method which has led to its wide adoption. The technique really does change thinking behaviour throughout an organization.
In the end, thinking tools must be practical, simple and robust. They must also be soundly based and fully understood by those who set out to teach the tools.
The tools must be practical and easy to remember. Many training programs have complicated schedules and steps. These seem impressive at the time of teaching but are low in practicality because the student must spend most of the time trying to remember the correct sequence of steps in the schedule. I prefer to treat tools as a carpenter. You become familiar with the tools and the use of them as appropriate. The carpenter uses a hammer when he or she feels a hammer should be used and a saw when that is appropriate.
Simplicity is the key word. Confusion and complexity are the enemies of training in thinking skills. Keep it simple, know what you are doing and make sure it is soundly based.