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Green Hat Thinking from Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

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Six Thinking Hats: Green Hat ImageWithin Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats process, Green Hat Thinking focuses on creativity & innovation: possibilities, alternatives, solutions, new ideas. Green Hat Thinking provides a specific time that is dedicated to creative thinking and innovation. Green Hat Thinking helps us find new ways of doing things, and it also provides an opportunity to think about ways to overcome concerns identified during Black Hat Thinking.

Green Hat Thinking may be used on its own or within a Six Thinking Hats sequence where the hats are used in a particular order to thoroughly explore a subject.

Green Hat Thinking: The Green Hat as a Formal Signal

People often say that they cannot be creative because they don’t have time or their work culture doesn’t encourage it. Green Hat Thinking creates a micro culture for innovation at any given moment.


“We need to think of other ways to do this. Put on your Green Hats.”

Green Hat Thinking: Expecting Creative Effort

You cannot demand that people have wonderful new ideas, but you can expect them to develop a habit of making a creative effort. Use Green Hat Thinking to call for this effort. Creativity is a matter of investing time in generating ideas. You won’t get a wonderful idea every time you use Green Hat Thinking, but if you do not put forth any effort, you may not get any new ideas at all.


“This is a difficult situation. Let’s spend three minutes using the Green Hat. Jot down your ideas individually. Then we’ll see what we’ve come up with.”

Green Hat Thinking: Adopting a Creative Attitude

What if you’re in a Green Hat session and can’t think of any ideas? The simplest form of creative effort is to look for alternatives. Even if these are well-known, it’s a creative effort to recall and list them. The minimum creative effort during Green Hat Thinking is to think of alternatives.


“Here’s one alternative: We could bundle some of the slower selling items in with more popular ones and sell the combination as a package. What are other options?”

Green Hat Thinking: Green Hat Thinking in Problem Solving

When Black Hat Thinking reveals faults, the Green Hat is used to remove these faults. When Black Hat Thinking points out difficulties, Green Hat Thinking tries to overcome these difficulties.


“Let’s use the Green Hat right now to see if we can fix the Black Hat problems.”


Click to learn more about Six Thinking Hats, call 800.278.1292, or click to request a Six Thinking Hats training proposal.



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