6 Thinking Pencils

11Jan11

Interesting post here on GAGARIN

This idea is based on de Bono’s ‘6 thinking hats’ method to creative critical thinking. In this case colour pencils are used as a tool for coding comments generated during brainstorms by the participants.

Each participant selects one pencil and then approaches the discussion with a mindset matching the pencil’s colour. By switching pencils the participants systematically redirect their thoughts on the subject. This ensures that the group thinks together in a focused manner.

WHITE = INFORMATION
Data, facts, information known or needed.

YELLOW = BENEFITS
Why something may work.

RED = FEELINGS
Feelings, hunches, gut instinct and intuition.

BLACK = CRITIC
Potential problems. Why something may not work.

GREEN = CREATIVITY
Creativity, possibilities, alternatives,solutions and new ideas.

BLUE = OVERVIEW
Managing the thinking process, focus, next steps and action plans.

I hate the complexity of this (‘Am I holding the right colour pencil?’, ‘what if what I have to say applies to more than one colour?’), as this places a barrier in front of the flow of idea generation; but I like the thought organisation sentiment.

Perhaps it would be better to capture the thinking first and then classify it, by colour if you wish? But I guess the idea is that any bias in the ideas generated (by colour propensity) reveals the need for more suggestions to be provided in certain areas. Ensuring more balanced and considered comments are provided for each idea generated during the brainstorm session. But great ideas, or bad ones, can be over-analysed in group think.

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