Every one of us has the ability to think creatively. All we need to do is put on our thinking hats and learn how. Of course, a thinking hat doesn’t really exist. It’s what under the hat – your brain – that does all the work. But, by using the thinking hat approach you could train your brain to be better at finding creative solutions.
The idea of thinking hats was invented by Dr. de Bono. He believed that our brains have six different ways of looking at things. He also invented a thinking system that gave a different coloured hat to each of the six ways.
If you wear a white hat you see facts and Information.
If you wear a red hat you see feelings and emotions.
If you wear a black hat you see negative things.
If you wear a yellow hat you see good judgment.
If you wear a green hat you see creativity, new ideas.
If you wear a blue hat you see the big picture.
To sovlv a problem, you could pretend to put on different coloured thinking hats to see what clues you could gather to help you find solutions to the problem.
Here’s an example. Supposing you wanted to build a better mousetrap, the white hat will help you to think about the different types of traps that already exist, how they work, and even how much they cost! The red hat will help get you thinking about how you might feel catching mice in traps. The black hat might inspire you to ask why we even need mouse traps since mice are cute. The yellow hat will help you to see the pros and cons of using mouse traps. The green hat will help you come up with new ways to think about mouse traps – using different materials, designs, and methods of construction. The blue hat brings all your thinking together to help you realize your goal. Now you are ready to invent and innovate!