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Six Thinking Hats (1999 Edition Revised and Updated)

by Edward de Bono

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Like many people, I've bumped into the six hats method a few times during different meetings run by well meaning facilitators. Discovering the book while browsing the library prompted me to get it out, and read about the method from the source.

As with every de Bono book I've read so far, I quickly became annoyed by the author's voice. To me he seems overly earnest, self-aggrandising and oblivious to everything except the sound of his own echos. The breezy, rapid way he puts down words make for easy reading, rather like munching through a packet of rice crackers. But, like the rice crackers, de Bono's writing is bland, and puffed out with air. The method presented in the book could have been presented in a decent pamphlet.

This doesn't mean that his concepts don't have merit -- I'm interested in his ideas around this hats method as an imaginary structure that directs thinking, and turns meetings into games with rules. The approach could allow people to explore different thinking purposes under the protection of the game, without getting trapped by personal agenda.

What is missing from the book is any research (other than anecdotal success stories) that the method actually works. de Bono is an idea generating super-star, but it feels that he spends so much time spinning up exotic ideas, he has no time to invest in actually discovering if anything works. In the vernacular of the book, too much green hat. I'd like to hear from his black (risk and consequence) hat and his white (facts and research) to see how this method is really being used.

Overall, I liked the approach, and I think I will attempt to employ it in my next few thinking challenges. And I might read more de Bono books, but not any time soon. Rice crackers leave me feeling unsatisfied. ( )
  Beniaminus | Nov 1, 2017 |
It's an exciting concept and framework for thinking... but this book bashes you over the head with basics and doesn't detail enough in the way of practical use (e.g., an entire workshop, meeting, or any larger context). ( )
  stonecrops | May 18, 2016 |
Decent book with decent ideas. However I think that the practice of the concepts in the book would be hard to implement. However I think it is a good read in learning how to break down a meeting to make them more effective. To try an curb the "Meeting after the Meeting" that happens in so many offices across the country. ( )
1 vote ehough75 | Nov 8, 2010 |
I included this book in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  toddsattersten | May 8, 2009 |
Often required for business continuing ed credits, the concepts continue to be relevant to today for those strategic thinkers or wanna-be's. ( )
  readit2 | Jun 1, 2008 |
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