Six Thinking Hats and Six Sigma

In another post on this blog, DeBono’s Six Thinking Hats was presented as a method for decision-making. Here I’d like to reference it as a problem solving and quality improvement tool. The underlying principal behind the introduction of creativity and innovation in the Six Sigma process is the ability of the organization to achieve breakthrough process improvement at a rapid pace rather than work only on incremental improvements step-by-step.Six Thinking Hats is a technique for stimulating and generating innovative ideas and solutions that will help improve the overall potential of Six Sigma in business improvement and development. Creativity is required in each facet of the DMAIC Cycle:
  • Define – Project selection and the opportunity for breakthrough.
  • Measure – What are the best ways to measure? Are there different ways to measure? What will be key customer requirements now and in the future?
  • Analyze – Different efficient methods for data collection and analysis will result in new approaches to looking at improvement opportunities.
  • Improve – Creativity in experimental design, process design and optimization without new approaches will by definition be flawed and conform to the old way to doing things. The old clich├ęs of making a better mousetrap rather than designing a system where mice do not enter.
  • Control – Creativity in control and monitoring can have profound implications on the improvement effort. New and different ways of control will result in more efficient and optimized processes.
It’s overwhelming to see the results that can be accomplished by a person or team who know how to separate emotion from facts, the positive from the negative, and critical thinking from creative thinking. Six Thinking Hats is a time-tested toolset that boosts creative performance and innovation output. It provides a framework to sort out six different ingredients in thinking. Each person uses the same tool, at the same time, on the same challenge. It is called focused parallel thinking. Six Hats will increase creative and innovative performance by helping your and your team:
  • Break the idea killer habit that shuts down the creative process. It takes less than eight seconds for an idea, suggestion, or proposal to be criticized.
  • Generate powerful new ideas that are outside of the mainstream.
  • Follow a practical process for idea evaluation.
  • Consider a broader range of possible solutions and select the ones that best meet the business need.
  • Select opportunities to pursue based on balancing value against risk.
  • Develop action plans to minimize risk.
  • Sell well thought out ideas to management and clients with more confidence.
You can strengthen your future with fresh new thinking. The current business environment demands it. The measurable results from Six Thinking Hats include: shorter meetings, thorough decisions, better communication and easier problem resolution. By mentally wearing and switching symbolic “hats” (thinking dimensions), individuals or teams separate thinking into six categories for analyzing matters objectively, creatively, and comprehensively.

1 comment:

Shirley Fine Lee said...

For a reproducible copy of DMAIC Cycle, see .