Written by ZOOZ
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| Issue 80|
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Ari Manor, CEO,
Methods and tools for managing innovation
Six Thinking Hats – White Hat
The Six Thinking Hats method was developed was Edward de Bono, and is outlined
in this book. The method facilitates a civilized and in-depth discussion and comprehensive mapping of complex and controversial ideas. The discussion is carried out using six different types of thinking, each represented by a different-colored hat, which we will describe separately.
Previous columns described the
Red Hat (emotion) and the
Yellow Hat (optimistic rational thinking)..
We will now describe the White Hat, which represents information – facts and findings that are known, and data that is needed. Participants are asked to share what information they already know about the topic being discussed, ask questions, clarify what important information is still missing, and suggest how, who, and when this information will be obtained. The emphasis here is on group learning and obtaining factual, objective, reliable, and accurate data.
- The topic under discussion: Moving the
company’s production to China
- White hat: What do we know about this topic? And what important information do we still need to find out?
Mitch: There are several dozen companies in China with similar production lines to ours.
Most of our competitors have already moved their production to China.
If we want to operate in China, we will probably have to set up a company in Hong Kong or China.
If we set up in China, it has to be in partnership with a Chinese company.
What’s better – Hong Kong or China.
I’m not sure. I can look into it and get back to you all with answers within a week.
How does the taxation work?
There doesn’t seem to be much difference, but we can consult with international tax consultants.
What would we do with our workers in Israel? Will we have to fire them?
Note that Mitch’s question raises a problem. At this stage of the discussion we are not interested in overt or covert criticism, only in data and relevant and objective clarification. So, let’s skip the question that Mitch brought up, and focus instead on facts. Is there more information that you would like to verify or present?
Mitch: How long would we need to get organized for production in China? I hope it doesn’t sound like criticism because I really want to know…
That’s a very important question indeed! Does anyone know?
It took our Israeli competitors about six months to a year.
Excellent. We’ve verified some facts, and I propose that we stop the discussion now. Everyone should take a week to obtain some information about the issue from his perspective and according to his job: find information about managing production in China, managing quality in China, marketing aspects, taxation, etc. We’ll meet again in a week to present more information and facts, and then we’ll move on to other hats….
It’s important to wear the white hat during early stages of the discussion. This way, issues can be probed in an educated and informed manner. If the facts are not thoroughly verified, erroneous decisions might be made and important and critical information will be missed. In fact, it is extremely risky to act out of ignorance.
On the other hand, you have to place boundaries on the white hat so that it doesn’t lead to procrastination and deadlock. Infinite verifications will delay or thwart us. Overusing the white hat leads to “analysis paralysis”. So, although you need to obtain information and verify data, you need to do it quickly and know to move on even if you only have partial information. The world is full of uncertainty and we need to navigate our way through it
and keep moving forward.
Also note that the white hat enables group learning from a neutral standpoint. Therefore, the questions that are raised with the white hat are meant to be neutral and not negatively or positively biased. When you think with the white hat – do not allow questions that express covert criticism. There will be time for criticism in the discussion, but later – when we wear a different hat (the black hat).
In summary: The white hat makes it possible for the group to study the reality and verify the facts, and thus to reduce the risk of making uninformed decisions. However, if this hat is overused, it will stall progress, which is just as dangerous.
We will describe additional hats in future editions of this column.
for a book on leading changes processes can be found
articles on Systematic Innovation
can be found
Systematic Innovation can be
Information about Six Thinking Hats workshops can be found
here (page 13 of Hebrew PDF file).
What's new at ZOOZ
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For more information about ongoing marketing assistance, several hours per month,
advertisement and its logic behind it
Creative Fruit Salad
Unification logic, which was
described in this column in the past, creates an interesting and conspicuous hybrid between a product and one of its characteristic or benefits.
The left side of this picture shows part of a series of Lipton ads, which uses the unification strategy to illustrate new tea flavors – orange and strawberry.
The right side of the picture shows two ads out of a series of Kodomo ads that advertise new flavors for… children’s toothpaste - strawberry and orange.
The unification logic is the most common among the advertisements that have won creativity prizes. To use it, it’s important to create an exceptional hybrid, something that doesn’t really exist: orange-teacup, or strawberry-paste. You are welcome to try this with your advertisements as well, and increase the awareness for your products and services.
You are welcome to try the activation logic yourself: think of ways to activate your potential customers and cause them to try the benefits you are offering. It’s much more persuasive than giving them a standard written ad praising your product or service.
Information about Creative Advertising
18 of a Hebrew PDF booklet).