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  • Writer's pictureRolf Graf

Six Thinking Hats workshop in Ho Chi Minh City

Beunite organized a training and HR development program “Six Thinking Hats” for Cell Signaling Technology  in Ho Chi Mingh City on 31st August 2017.

The workshop took place at Saigon Prince hotel, located at Nguyen Hue Walking street in downtown city from 14.00 to 17.30 p.m.

The objective of the workshop was to

  • practice the thinking process, to

  • explore meeting subjects deeply and thoroughly, to

  • improve discussions and debates in a intercultural setting, to

  • get to the root causes of e “perceived” problem, to

  • enhance lateral thinking and creativity, and to

  • brainstorm business solutions

In the first part of the workshop (1.5 hours) the Six Thinking  Hats concept was introduced while in the second part (2 hour), delegates practiced using the technique of parallel thinking to explore meeting topics and to discuss sensitive and controversial topics in debt.

“The power of the Six thinking hats is to discuss anything, even if you first don’t want to talk about it, as everybody thinks and talks in the same direction and nobody loses face and nobody is right or wrong”, one student commented.

The workshop started with a short ice breaker “Jump”, whereby sensory skills and body movement was stimulated.

In order to introduce the topic of the six thinking hats, delegates were asked to build their colored hat from paper. During this exercise, students could be creative and get familiar with their environment.

Next on the  agenda was a short power point to introduce the concept of parallel thinking and the meaning of the six hats:

  • Blue hat – setting the agenda (controlling the thinking  process)

  • Red hat – emotional thinking (let go your feelings)

  • Yellow hat – rational positive thinking (positive outcomes of an idea)

  • Black hat – rational negative thinking (the devil’s advocate)

  • White hat – neutral (just the facts please)

  • Green hat – creative thinking (lateral and outside the box solutions)

After the power point, the poem “Six men from Indostan” from Edgar Allen Poe was presented as a metaphor for parallel thinking, followed by a short writing exercise.

“It’s a great way of practicing intercultural understanding, and to understand what other people think and feel, I will apply this technique within my business unit.”

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to practicing the six thinking hats technique. Delegates learned how to get to the root causes of a problem by applying the 5-Whys technique, also part of the Six Sigma theory.

The thinking hats are applied to get to the root causes of the  problems and consequently to brainstorm solutions.

This technique was first practiced with the help of a hypothetical case study and once students were confident with actual issues the organization faced.

Every idea was discussed in a structural manner and the best ideas were harnessed and turned into a marketable product or business concept.

The 3.5 hours were a bit short to introduce the Six Thinking Hats yet students enjoyed the session and we received thoroughly positive feed-back.

“What impressed me the most”, one delegate remarked, “is that my crazy ideas were actually discussed in a serious way. They were not that crazy after all.”

The six thinking hats remains one of the most powerful tools to enhance group creativity and to foster innovative drive in a intercultural setting.

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