Thinking hats boost your brain power

Six Thinking Hats is a structured tool for parallel thinking in a group setting, developed by Edward de Bono in the 1980s. By wearing a specific colour hat, the entire group thinks along the same path indicated by the hat. In doing so, the group is able to think together more effectively and come up with creative solutions and new ideas.

Structured approach

The Blue hat is for the facilitator who monitors but does not participate in the thinking session. The other five colour hats are a metaphor for 5
specific thinking approach.

The group begins by mentally wearing the White hat to gather information on the subject at hand. Next they wear the Red hat where they react emotionally, then the Black hat where they use logic and reasoning to find out what’s right and wrong, followed by the Yellow hat to enumerate the benefits and good points, and finally the Green hat to work out solutions and new ideas.


In one of his lectures, Edward do Bono says a fat man who runs slower than a lean and fit man, is able to move much faster and farther when he rides a bicycle. The fat man uses the same human power in cycling as in running. Although there is no additional power, the fat man accomplishes more with a bicycle than anyone else on their feet alone.

The Six Thinking Hats technique is the bicycle that enables a group of thinkers – without any increase in their individual brain power or intelligence – to go further in developing more creative and better ideas and solutions.

The benefits to any business or institution has been proved repeatedly whenever they used this technique. Without putting in an extra dime in investment other than time spent together, Siemens, IBM, Speedo and Cambodian villages have all come up with new products and more effective ways to do things.

By putting on the Six Thinking Hats, we can think through and arrive at a clearer understanding of an organisation’s institutional values, such as teamwork, trust and respect for others, open and timely communication, excellence in performance (arête) and creativity.

Arête is Greek for performance excellence, a mandatory lifestyle practice in the ancient world where every citizen strives to train and perform at his best, in the Olympics Games every four years, in philosophical exposition, in civic duties or in battle against invaders.