Edward Debono's Six Thinking Hats


The program aims to:

1.     Acquire a systematic and effective creative thinking framework

  • Understand the need for constructive thinking
  • Experience the effectiveness of parallel thinking compared with critical thinking
  • Learn to use one thinking mode at a time

2.     Effectively use the technique for constructive and quality thinking at both the individual and organizational levels

  • Learn to facilitate productive meetings
  • Learn to stimulate innovation by focusing the creative energy of the team
  • Use the Six Hats as a way to enable contribution from all team members
  • Explore a subject more thoroughly
  • Apply the Six Hats sequencing technique to solve problems and design new ideas.

3.     Dis-associate the “ego element” from any team meeting discussion situation

  • Use the hats as a “rule” to minimize and control situations of manipulation and overbearing influence from dominant team members
  • Conversely, encourage increased participation from team members that are more reserved and quiet
  • Make decisions that have its merit based on a thoroughly examined perspective rather than being personality-driven.


Executives, Managers and Leaders involved in decision making, planning and problem solving. It is also designed for business people at all levels and functions who wishes to attain a quality thinking.


Classroom and activities




  • The Western thinking approach which is critical and judgemental in nature may be suitable for situational analysis but not for the design of new concepts and ideas which require a completely different mode of thinking.
  • Traditional thinking concepts have been focusing on the premise that truth must be “argued out” rather than explored thoroughly. Argument is inefficient, ineffective and extremely slow as it was never designed to be constructive. The parallel thinking of the Six Hats method is rapidly replacing argument around the world.
  • It is important that participants understand the principles behind the need for constructive thinking and why it is necessary to put in the effort to “unlearn” the Socratic method of critical thinking. It is important that participants have an open mindset to embrace a different thinking technique which works.
  • This section will cover introductory background topics including :
    • The caution of adversarial and judgmental thinking
    • Why critical and analytical thinking is not enough
    • Background to the development of the Six Thinking Hats


  • Parallel thinking simply means laying down ideas alongside each other. There is no clash, no dispute, no initial true/false judgement. There is instead a genuine exploration of the subject from which conclusions and decisions may then be derived through a “design” process.
  •  There are six metaphorical hats, each of a different colour. The thinker uses one hat at a time and follows, exclusively, the mode of thinking indicated by the hat. At no point is there any attempt to disagree, to challenge or to dispute a point. Statements and ideas are put down in parallel, alongside each other. Everyone is focused in the same “direction” and is thinking cooperatively, in parallel.
  •  The Six Hats framework is treated as a sort of “game” with rules to manage and control the flow of the thinking process. The following topics will be covered:  Breaking down thinking into manageable sequences and avoiding the confusion of thinking about everything at once.
    • Using each hat to generate the focus and synergy of parallel thinking to replace adversarial thinking habits
    • In-depth explanation on the function and use of each hat


  • There are two broad uses of the Six Hats method:
    • Occasional Use This means the use of one hat at a time in a meeting or during a conversation. This is the most widespread use of the hats. Each hat provides a convenient and practical way of asking for a certain type of thinking
    • Systematic Use Here the hats are used in a sequence, one after the other, in order to explore a subject quickly and thoroughly. Each hat may be used as many times as required in the sequence. The sequence of hats may be planned in advance or may be worked out as the meeting progresses, depending on what is happening.
  • The main value of the Six Hats method is probably in meetings in order to get meetings that are more productive and more focused. The hats also free certain minds and allow these minds to think in a richer way instead of being locked into one point of view which has to be defended.
  • The Six Hats framework can be used for written reports. It is possible to lay out a report according to a sequence of hats with detailed considerations under each hat.
  • The Six Hats framework can also be applied to action proposals with each proposal being examined under a sequence of hats.
  • This section will cover certain exercises and activities that will assist the participants in embracing the methodology and principles involved in using the Six Hats framework.
    • Exploring all necessary aspects of each situation
    • Harnessing the potential in negativity
    • Principles in using the hats on its own (singular use)
    • Principles in using the hats in a sequence (systematic use).



  • Creative thinking is by far the most difficult of the six types of thinking represented by the six hats. A major portion of the practice session is devoted to use of the green hat for “creative effort.” During the green hat period, thinkers look for further alternatives or modifications of existing ideas.
  • One deliberate technique of lateral thinking is introduced as a practical tool to be used while wearing the green hat. The technique is called Random Entry.
  • If an area is pin-pointed as one which needs fresh concepts, then that area can be tackled in a specific creative thinking session later.
  • In the practice of using the Six Hats, it is important to recognize that the hats themselves indicate a direction in the thinking not a description of the thinking process. The value of the Six Hats lies in where it leads the thinking to rather than summarizing or explaining the thinking itself.
  • There is a huge temptation to use the hats to describe and categorize people, such as “she is a black hat” or “he is a green-hat” person. That temptation must be resisted. The hats are not descriptions of people but modes of behaviour.
  • The “game” aspect of the Six Hats is very important. If a game is being played, then anyone who does not obey the rules of the game is considered uncooperative. Getting people to “play the game” is a very powerful form of changing behaviour.
  • The following topics will be covered in this section of practicing the Six Hats:
    • Using lateral thinking techniques to generate creative alternatives and perceptions more easily Leading more focused, productive meetings
    • Identifying individual thinking preferences within your team and capitalizing on them to increase productivity in thinking
    • Introducing a micro-culture of creativity into your organization and methods to promote participation in corporate thinking efforts.


Duration 2 days
Member Fee RM 1,590.00
Non-Member Fee RM 1,908.00
SMECorp Funding Yes

Price is inclusive of 6% GST

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Dates Venue
No scheduled classes