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| Issue 86|
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Ari Manor, CEO,
Methods and tools for managing innovation
Six Thinking Hats – Blue 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 separately.
Previous columns described the
Red Hat (emotion), the
Yellow Hat (optimistic rational thinking), the
White Hat (facts and findings), the
Black Hat (judgment, playing the devil’s advocate), and the
Green Hat (creativity and alternatives).
We will now describe the Blue Hat.
The Blue Hat represents management and decision making: how to proceed with the idea, what needs to be done, who will do it, how, and when. When a Blue Hat discussion is conducted, various ideas about implementing the idea are raised, and participants make a joint decision about whether and how to proceed with it. Decisions are made according to the staff’s standard decision making mechanism. For example –
consensus decisions, CEO decisions, democratic vote, or any other agreed upon
decision making mechanism.
The Blue Hat is “worn” during the final stage of the hat discussion. Just
before, it is important to wear the
Red Hat one last time, in order to map feelings and check whether feelings have changed subsequent to the hat discussion that has been conducted thus far. In any case, decisions are made according to a
gut feeling, so you should first address the participants’ feelings before you decide.
- The topic being discussed: Moving the company’s production to China
Red Hat: How do you feel about this idea now,
after our discussion and in light of the
improvements that were proposed to the original idea?
I love the idea.
I like it and I’m less apprehensive.
The idea doesn’t frighten me anymore.
I’m still confused.
I’m more excited about the idea.
I’m inclined to like the idea in light of the discussion.
I’m still undecided but I’m definitely not rejecting it.
To sum up, some of you are in favor of the idea, and some of you have mixed feelings about it. Now let’s try and decide how to proceed with it using the Blue Hat.
Blue Hat: Each participant is asked to choose one of the following three options:
1. To proceed with the idea – to move the company’s production to China within a year.
2. To examine the idea in more depth via a designated committee that will submit its recommendations in a month’s time.
3. To reject the idea – and not to move production to China.
Sarah: Can I make another suggestion?
Discussion facilitator: Of course! What did you want to suggest?
To move only 50% of production to China, and assess the outcome in two years’ time.
Discussion facilitatorh: Sure, let’s add that as a fourth option. If there are no additional suggestions, let’s take a vote. Each participant can only vote once. Come on!
1. To move the company’s production to China within a year – 4 votes
2. To explore the idea via a designated committee – 2 votes
3. To reject the idea – 0 votes
4. To move only half the production to China at this stage – 1 vote
Discussion facilitatorh: The majority voted in favor of moving production to China within a year’s time. Mitch and Rachel will be in charge of this. The discussion is now over. Thank you all for your input!
In summary: The Blue Hat is meant to be used for decision making (how to proceed, what the timeline should be, and who is in charge), at the final stage of the discussion. Before that, it is important to re-examine the participants’ feelings using the Red Hat.
A final remark: Beyond decision making, the Blue Hat is also used to
manage the actual discussions. For example – when the facilitator says:
“Zoe – I’m putting on the Blue (management) Hat for a moment, to bring something to your attention: Please note that you are now wearing the Black Hat (judgment), while the rest of us are in the midst of a discussion using the Yellow Hat (advantages and benefits). Please hold on to the Black Hat for a later stage of the discussion”.
As you can see in this example, the Blue Hat is also used as Meta thinking – about the actual
discussion (what hat do we need to wear now), and not about the topic
being discussed (moving production to China).
We will summarize de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats method in the next edition of this column, and also recap when to wear each hat.
What's new at ZOOZ
Collection of Articles
New on the site! We have recently added three unique sections to the ZOOZ website
that feature hundreds of articles and additional information for managers and professionals on the following topics:
Over 50 articles and additional information about
business strategy and different types of marketing strategy, including
added value strategy,
Blue Ocean strategy, and more. You can learn how to synchronize
strategy and management, and read recommendations for
books on strategy.
Over 200 articles and additional information on
differentiation and positioning,
commercialization and the science of buying,
interviews with senior executives, and recommendations for
books on marketing.
More than 200 articles and additional information about
innovation and organizational creativity,
thinking tools for developing new products,
technological innovation, and recommendations for
books on innovation.
All the content in these resources is original and written by ZOOZ’s consultants based on our extensive experience with assisting and leading strategy, marketing and innovation processes with hundreds of organizations and companies in Israel and worldwide.
Some of the content has been published in previous issues of
LaZOOZ. Other content has been published in our other newsletters (ZOOZon and
Tzazit). Many have been published in the local press: The Marker magazine, Status magazine, Mashabey Anosh (Human Resources), Globes, Maariv, Haaretz, Shivuk website, and more.
All of the content is now available, free of charge, on the ZOOZ website.
Pleasant reading, and don’t forget to share!
advertisement and its logic behind it
The Power of Attraction
Using elements in the natural environment
is an advertising logic that was
described in this column in the past. This logic uses elements that already exist in the advertisement’s natural environment, in order to reinforce the advertising message.
The above ads appear on various ships, and they use the ship’s anchor rope to reinforce the advertising message:
Mondo Pasta – So good you can’t let go
The characters in the ads are
zealously sucking the spaghetti into their mouth (in other
words, the anchor rope) with their eyes closed, and with so
much force that it holds the ship in place. Just like the
message promises: “So good you can’t let go”.
The ad was developed by the Jung von Matt advertising agency from Hamburg, and it appeared on ships in the Port of Hamburg, the place with the most visitors in Hamburg.
This is indeed an ad that is creative, noticeable, and extremely….attractive.
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18 of a Hebrew PDF booklet).