Written by ZOOZ
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| Issue 77|
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Ari Manor, CEO,
Methods and tools for managing innovation
Six Thinking Hats Ė Yellow Hat
The Six Thinking Hats method was developed
by 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
The last column described the
Red Hat (emotion).
We will now describe the yellow hat, which represents ďpositive-rational thinkingĒ. This hat is used during the preliminary stages of a discussion to state the benefits and advantages of the idea being discussed. When participants use the yellow hat, they are asked to answer the question ďWhatís good about the proposed idea?Ē, and rationally explain the advantages and benefits that are raised. All participants, even those that did not like the idea to begin with, are asked to offer advantages and benefits. Itís important to dedicate a relatively long time to the yellow hat and raise as many unique advantages and benefits as possible. The facilitator then writes these all down.
- The topic under discussion: Moving the
companyís production to China
- Yellow hat: Whatís good about this idea?
Mitch: Itíll cut costs ($1.2/h/worker versus at least $6 in Israel).
Itíll also save on the cost of raw materials, which are approx. 30% cheaper in China.
Itíll turn us into a global company operating from several continents.
Maybe we will eventually be able to find customers in China. Itís a huge and growing market!
We could also grow quickly because itís easier to find more workers in China.
Right. And we would be able to downsize if times are tough. Itís easier to fire workers in China than in Israel.
The cost of renting production spaces will also be cheaper by about 50%.
But we know nothing about managing workers in China, or about renting production spacesÖ
Zoe, youíve raised problems in response to other peopleís yellow hat. Problems are a different hat (black), and we are not currently interested in discussing problems or turning the discussion into an argumentÖOur objective at this point, when we wear the yellow hat, is to map all the existing advantages. Can you help us find another benefit that hasnít been mentioned yet?
HmmÖIíll have to fly to China every so often, and Iíll be able to do some shopping thereÖ
Excellent. Personal benefits are also a legitimate consideration. Does anyone want to add anything else?
As the HR Manager, it will be an interesting challenge to hire foreign employees. Maybe weíll also hire foreign managers and become a more diverse and multi-cultural companyÖ
It will definitely be challenging and interesting and turn us into a stronger and more flexible organization.
We will probably be able to sell to Arab countries that donít buy Made-in-Israel products.
Anything else? Try to think of a totally different benefit that nobody has brought up yet.
Maybe weíll be eligible for tax breaks or grants from the Chinese government.
Fantastic! Weíve listed many important benefits. If you have nothing else to add, letís move to another hatÖ
Itís important to wear the yellow hat during the
preliminary stages of the discussion. This way, a fair list of advantages and benefits is created at the beginning, getting all the employees on board and showing them that the idea is worth discussing thoroughly, even if it is complex and controversial. It energizes and motivates the rest of the discussion, and makes it easier to overcome the difficulties that the idea entails.
Itís also important to intentionally dwell on the yellow hat
more than what we are accustomed to. Most people get fixated on one or two prominent benefits (in our example Ė cutting costs), and donít make an effort to think of additional important benefits. In fact, the benefits that are not raised at the beginning may be very important and critical (in our example Ė tax breaks, or selling to China and Arab countries).
Finally, itís important to ask
all the participants to contribute benefits and advantages, even those that didnít like the idea. Because the participants that didnít like the idea already used the
red hat at the beginning of the discussion to express their
negative feelings about the idea, there is no reason why they cannot also contribute
positive (rational) thinking to the group and add advantages and benefits. The idea behind the Six Hats is to work together as a group, and everyone needs to make a group effort at each stage (and hat) of the discussion, regardless of their inner feelings or emotions.
In summary: The yellow hat makes it possible to list a wide variety of advantages and benefits of the idea being discussed, and thus raises the participantsí motivation to continue discussing the idea and cope with the difficulties that it entails.
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
Combined Innovation Ė In Strategy, Marketing, Products, and MarCom
What innovation does your organization need? Innovative business strategy that will enable you to grow over the next few years? Innovation in sales and marketing that will enable you to increase your revenues in the coming year? Innovations in products and services that you offer that will make you more attractive? Creative advertising and public relations that will increase your exposure?
For the past two years, ZOOZ has been offering Combined Innovation processes that combine all of these. You will receive practical assistance for six months or longer, where we will meet with four different teams at your organization for one day a month. You will spend approximately two hours with each team, and we provide telephone and email assistance between meetings. The relevant managers from the organization participate in each different team. Between meetings, the participants apply the teamís decisions, and test and promote the topics that were decided upon.
The various teams are as follows:
Strategy team: Usually includes the organizationís upper management. Develops business strategy and growth directions (new areas of business) for the next five years.
Innovation team: Includes marketing and R&D managers. Focuses on raising and promoting ideas for innovations in the organizationís products and services.
Marketing team: Usually includes the CEO, Marketing Director, salespeople, and more. Develops marketing strategy and an annual work plan to increase sales in the coming year.
MarCom team: Includes products managers and MarCom personnel. Focuses on developing and improving the organizationís marketing materials (including the website, brochures, creative advertising, etc.).
Our cumulative experience with several organizations has
taught that combined innovation processes make it possible
to significantly improve the participantsí
professional capabilities and the organizationís
coordination and robustness. More importantly, the practical
emphasis of the process by focusing on the present (marketing
and MarCom) and concurrently on the future
(innovations and strategy), make it possible to increase
revenues and profits for the coming year and also create
growth horizons for years to come.
We would be happy to assist your organization grow with Combined Innovation processes.
You are welcome to contact us for more information.
More information about ZOOZ
can be found
For information about Combined Innovation workshops, and for recommendations,
advertisement and its logic behind it
You wonít break me!
Activation logic, which was
described in this column in the past, requires the potential customer to perform an experiment that proves that the product solves a problem or demonstrates the benefit that the product provides.
In this Canadian ad, the product advertised is 3M security glass. The double walled bus stops were built with this glass, and stacks of bills equaling $3 M were placed in between the panes of glass. However, only the top bills ($500 only) were real.
The money enticed passerbys to try to break the glass by whacking and kicking it, throwing objects at it, and performing various other attempts, but to no avail. They thus proved that 3Mís security glass is as strong and durable as it claims to be. Photos and video clips documenting peopleís attempts at shattering the glass were quick to make news headlines in Canada, and generated excellent exposure for the campaign, whose budget was only a few thousand dollars. This is a brilliant and accurate demonstration of the proffered solution (security glass), which also created a huge marketing buzz.
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. Itís 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).