This tool can be used to improve creativity, solve problems and settle
disputes. It was created by thinking guru Edward de Bono. He discovered that in the West,
meetings for the main part are unproductive. They tend to focus on what is
and not what can be - the creative element. As a consequence meeting often
become personal and disputes ensue. Arguments are extremely damaging and
are often used by people to show off how clever they are - the ego aspect.
Lets take the analogy of a group of people buying a holiday home. In a traditional meeting each person would look in a separate window to the house -in other words everyone is looking in different directions. The six hats allows everyone to look through the same window at the same time - eradicating confusion. This is called, "parallel thinking." Everyone is looking from the same point of view - everyone is adding to the parallel. The reduction in arguments means that meetings take much less time.
Each window can be thought of as a hat. In other words each window or hat is a different view point / role / direction of thinking. The hat principle makes things less personal. De Bono proposed six hats. Each of these can superficially be distinguished by its colour: red, blue, green, yellow, white and black. We can therefore arrive at the phrases red hat thinking…" "Blue hat thinking" etc. By changing hat, we change the way that we think - when we do this we alter the biochemistry of the brain allowing us to work to the optimum.