De Bonos’ thinking hats method

Thinking laterally to arrive at truly new approaches requires courage and the ability to do so. Some organizations encourage their employees to think laterally, others regard lateral thinking as a non-results-oriented academic exercise or an unwelcome sign of obstruction. If truly new things are to emerge, lateral thinking must be encouraged and practiced.

Thinking from different perspectives can be implemented by using De Bono’s method of thinking hats in groups. Here, the members of the group are given different colored caps. The cap colors symbolize different thinking attitudes: White stands for analytical thinking, red for emotional thinking, black for critical-sceptical thinking, yellow for optimistic thinking, green for creative, associative thinking, and blue for orderly, moderating thinking. Distributing these roles usually results in a more open discussion than if each participant had to express his or her own stance. It also ensures that each perspective is represented in the process of finding a solution and is thus appropriately considered in the decision-making process.


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