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Lateral Thinking

Thinking that is Outside the


Can You Solve this Puzzle?

Can You Solve this Puzzle?

Can You Solve this Puzzle?

Lateral Thinking
Lateral thinking is a term coined by
Edward de Bono, a Maltese psychologist,
physician, and writer
de Bono defines Lateral Thinking as
methods of thinking concerned with
changing concepts and perception.

Lateral Thinking Example

It took two hours for two men to dig a
hole five feet deep. How deep would it
have been if ten men had dug the hole
for two hours?
The answer appears to be 25 feet deep

But did you consider?

A hole may need to be of a certain size or shape
so digging might stop early at a required depth.
The deeper a hole is, the more effort is required
to dig it, since waste soil needs to be lifted
higher to the ground level. There is a limit to
how deep a hole can be dug by manpower
without use of ladders or hoists for soil
removal, and 25 feet is beyond this limit.

But did you consider?

Deeper soil layers may be harder to dig out, or
we may hit bedrock or the water table.
Are we digging in soil? Clay? Sand? Each
presents its own special considerations.
Digging in a forest becomes much easier once we
have cut through the first several feet of roots.
Each man digging needs space to use a shovel.

But did you consider?

It is possible that with more people working on a
project, each person may become less efficient due
to increased opportunity for distraction, the
assumption he can slack off, more people to talk to,
More men could work in shifts to dig faster for
There are more men but are there more shovels?

But did you consider?

The two hours dug by ten men may be under
different weather conditions than the two hours dug
by two men.
Rain could flood the hole to prevent digging.
Temperature conditions may freeze the men before
they finish.
Would we rather have 5 holes each 5 feet deep?

But did you consider?

The two men may be an engineering crew with
digging machinery.
What if one man in each group is a manager
who will not actually dig?
The extra eight men might not be strong
enough to dig, or much stronger than the first

What is Lateral Thinking?

Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not
immediately obvious
Ideas may not be obtainable by using only
traditional step-by-step logic.
Techniques that apply lateral thinking to
problems are characterized by the shifting of
thinking patterns away from entrenched or
predictable thinking to new or unexpected ideas.

What is Lateral Thinking?

A new idea that is the result of lateral
thinking is not always a helpful one
When a good idea is discovered in this
way it is usually obvious in hindsight

CONFUSION is the biggest enemy

of good thinking
We try to do too many things at the same time.
We are affected by FEELINGS
We seek new IDEAS and OPTIONS
We have to be CAUTIOUS
We want to find BENFITS

Tossing too many balls at a time

Six Thinking Hats

Looking at a Decision From All Points of View

'Six Thinking Hats' is an important and powerful technique. It

is used to look at decisions from a number of important
This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style,
and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation.

Six Thinking Hats

Looking at a Decision From All Points of View

This tool was created by Edward de Bono.

Many successful people think from a very rational, positive viewpoint. This is part
of the reason that they are successful. Often, though, they may fail to look at a
problem from an emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoint.
This can mean that they underestimate resistance to plans, fail to make creative leaps
and do not make essential contingency plans.

Six Thinking Hats

Looking at a Decision From All Points of View

Similarly, pessimists may be excessively defensive. Emotional people

may fail to look at decisions calmly and rationally.
If you look at a problem with the 'Six Thinking Hats' technique, then
you will solve it using all approaches. Your decisions and plans will
mix ambition, skill in execution, public sensitivity, creativity and good
contingency planning

Each 'Thinking Hat' is a different style of


These are explained in the following slides -

White Hat

With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look
at the information you have, and see what you can learn
from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to
This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate
from historical data.

Red Hat

'Wearing' the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut
reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react
emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not
fully know your reasoning

Black Hat

Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision.
Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not
work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan.
It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency
plans to counter them.
Black Hat thinking helps to make your plans 'tougher' and more
resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you
embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real
benefits of this technique - many successful people get so used to
thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance.
This leaves them under-prepared for difficulties

Yellow Hat

The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic

viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the
value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when
everything looks gloomy and difficult

Green Hat

The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop
creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in
which there is little criticism of ideas.

Blue Hat

'Blue Hat Thinking' stands for process control. This is the hat
worn by people chairing meetings. When running into
difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct
activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are
needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, etc..

Group Discussion and Decision Making
using 6 Thinking Hats

All of you are divided into groups of 6
Groups have to think according to the color
of the Hat allotted to them
We will discuss various decision making
issues, and try to reach a probable solution
with optimal suitability.

Tossing one ball at a time is much

Improve the quality of
Allow a thinker to deal
with one thing at a time
Allow switch in thinking
Emphasis on what can
be rather than just on
what is
not on who is right and
who is wrong

Do one thing at a time and in the end the full picture


White Hat:

Focus on the data available.

Look at the information available and see what can be
learnt from it.
Look for gaps in knowledge, and either try to fill
them or take account of them.
Analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from
historical data.
In God we trust . . . everyone else must bring data

Red Hat
Exactly the opposite of White Hat which is
neutral, objective and free of emotions
About emotions and feelings
- the non rational aspect of thinking

- Opportunity to express feelings, emotions and

intuition without any need to explain or to
justify them.
- Hunches bring about the best decision

Black Hat
Look at things pessimistically, cautiously and defensively
See why ideas and approaches might not work
Highlights the weak points in a plan or course of action.
Allows to eliminate them, alter the approach
Prepare contingency plans to counter problems that arise.

Makes plans tougher and more resilient

Helps spot fatal flaws and risks
Reality Check: What Black Hat is not: Negativity

Acts as the Devils Advocate

Yellow Hat
Helps you to think positively
It is the optimistic viewpoint
helps see all the benefits of the decision and the
value in it
spot the opportunities that arise from it.

Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going

when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

There is always a bright side

Green Hat

The creative hat

Put forth new ideas, options and alternatives
Develop creative solutions to a problem
A freewheeling way of thinking, in which there
is little criticism of ideas
A specific time is set out for everyone to make
a creative effort

Think Out of the Box

Blue Hat
Worn by people chairing meetings
Blue hat wearer is like the conductor of an
Sets the focus, defines the problems, shapes the
questions, determines the thinking tasks
Ensures the rules of the game are observed

Focus on the big picture

The blue hat role

Control of thinking & the process

Begin & end session with blue hat
Facilitator, session leaders role

open, sequence, close

Focus: what should we be thinking about
Asking the right questions
Defining & clarifying the problem
Setting the thinking tasks

Open with the blue hat

Why we are here

what we are thinking about
definition of the situation or problem
alternative definitions
what we want to achieve
where we want to end up
the background to the thinking

and close with the blue hat

What we have achieved

Next steps

Decision For:






CBS should not have an

Evaluation System in Practice






CBS should give all gazette

holidays to the students and Staff






Classes at CBS should be held at

evening instead of morning



Only online shopping should be

allowed to the students
Students should be responsible for
functioning of the Mess at CBS


Careers should be assigned at the time of birth itself.

Application of 6 Thinking Hats

and your learning from today's

Advantages of adopting Six Hats

method thinking

Focused Thinking
Emphasis on parallel thinking
Symbolic role
Transformer of personality
Removes ego
Saves time
Empowers organization

A good technique for looking at the effects of a decision
from a number of different points of view.
It allows necessary emotion and skepticism to be brought
into what would otherwise be purely rational decisions.
Opens up the opportunity for creativity within Decision
Helps persistently pessimistic people to be positive and
Plans developed using the '6 Thinking Hats' technique are
sounder and more resilient than would otherwise be

Outcome of Six Thinking Hats

Shorter, more productive meetings.

A new approach to problem solving and decision

Reduced conflict.
Improved results.
Higher quality and quantity of ideas.

A practical way to teach thinking as a skill
The colors and hats provide a useful visual image that is
easy to learn and remember.
Can be used with six-year-olds up to senior
Provides a framework for organizing thinking
No longer a matter of drift and argument
Thinking is more focused, more constructive and productive.

The game and role-playing nature of the hats allows for

the detachment of ego from the thinking
This is not me, but my red hat thinking.

It is

fun and
effective to

Thank You