Gentle Bamboo Solutions

The Green Hat


Yesterday I did a session for a corporate client titled Insight Generation. In it, I covered a concept called Six Thinking Hats. I’m especially happy with the idea about The Green Hat. I share below an excerpt from the post-training handbook from the session.

The Green Hat

This is the hat of creative ideas. This is a no-holds-barred discussion where participants suggest something extremely out of the box.

The ideas should NOT be obvious. If the suggestion seems reasonable, then we’re not stretching ourselves. If the ideas seem practical immediately, then we know we have to dig deeper. If at least half the group doesn’t laugh at it, well… you know where I’m going with this.

The crazier the idea sounds, the better it is. This is a non-judgemental phase. Record everything everyone said. The time to worry about the viability comes later.

Creativity is a muscle that needs constant workout to become stronger. This is the phase which allows for unfettered expression of that creativity.

Insights emerge, not necessarily the first time such an exercise is done, but sometime eventually.

The person wearing the Blue Hat should constantly, and in every meeting, keep aside time for this exercise. There’s a lot of ifs and buts in this stage. The Green Hat is created to encourage that kind of discussion, and not to curtail it.

At worst, it leads to the meeting ending in a fun note where everyone laughs at each other’s silliness in a fun way. At best, we emerge with an insight so deep that it changes the very nature of our work.

Permanent change and improvement is a guaranteed consequence of this method if it is practiced and encouraged frequently.

Go on. Wear the green hat. Show your team your crazy side. You just may cause a massive positive impact from the insights that come up.

If you feel this concept is resonating with you, let me know in a reply. I can share one mail per hat next week.

Hat’s the way,