6 thinking hats of Edward de Bono is a great concept to help you do brainstorming in strategic meeting. While it heard like a funny concept, it hold an important notion on analysis and decision concept, which is “it is all about perspectives”. Edward de Bono history itself is very exciting to read and you can read it by yourself here.
The concept of the thinking hats is simple. There are 6 type of perspectives that we can use (later on wrote as “hat”), they are white hat, red hat, black hat, yellow hat, green hat, and blue hat. White hat means we are looking into the data. White hat process the problem logically, while red hat process the problem emotionally. Black hat attack the problem from defensive and cautious perspective, while yellow hat look the opportunity in a very positive state. Green hat means a creative thinking perspective. Green hat enforces you to think out of the box, out of ordinary. The blue hat resembles the position of the meeting leader, the one who decides when to change from one perspective (“hat”) to the other.
From my experience, this concept is very powerful, especially in brainstorming process. The blue hat (leader) can choose how we approach the problem. When the leader chooses to use white hat, we can see some pattern in data. Yet data is not the only matter, emotion possibly be the key to problem you seek, so the blue hat can change to the red hat mode and so on. Simply speaking, the blue hat is the key to unleash the team power as it is the leader who chooses which hat we’ll use for a while.
Edward de Bono Website. http://www.edwdebono.com/
Six Thinking Hats. Mindtools. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm