Decision-Making Tools and Techniques - "The Six Hat's Approach" William G. Dumire
University of Phoenix
April 1st, 2006
Decision-Making Tools and Techniques - "The Six Hat's Approach" Introduction
"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." (About Quotations.com). Our ability to make well informed and critically analyzed decisions along with the decision-making processes we employ, are key in determining our overall successes and failures. We are faced with daily decisions that can ultimately change the very courses of our lives. Poor decisions will lead to unintended failures while educated, deliberate, and purposefully planned decisions will bring about a desired result with great success. Why Use Decision-Making Tools?
Since high-quality decision-making plays such a significant role in our personal and professional lives, it's extremely important to identify tools and techniques that can aide us in the process. While many such tools exist, for the purposes of this paper, I will concentrate on one specific tool used for this purpose. The tool that will be discussed is called the "Six Thinking Hats" method (Mind Tools.com). Introduction to the "Six Thinking Hats" Method
The "Six Thinking Hats", created by Edward de Bono, is used to "look at decisions from a number of important perspectives." (Mind Tools.com). The method forces you to think "outside the box", to move away from your naturally engrained "habitual thinking style" while considering possibilities that may have never exited for you previously. (Mind Tools.com). This tool provides the user with a better developed multi-perspective on the problem being considered. Description of "Six Thinking Hats" Method
The "Six Thinking Hats" method requires an individual to view each problem from six distinct perspectives, thus ensuring "you solve it using all six approaches." The six "hats" are described as white, red, black, yellow, green, and blue, each representing a distinct approach that should be taken to address any given problem. To better illustrate how this technique is applied, one should consider an example problem in need of a resolution then work through each "hat" to solve it. Introduction of Problem to be analyzed using the tool
The West Virginia University School of Dentistry is considering the implementation of digital radiology into all academically related and patient care treatment programs. One department has already begun experimenting with the new technology with great success and very positive feedback from faculty, staff, students, and patients. In order to fully consider and address the various implications of implementation, Administration should don the "six hats" to perform a detailed analysis of the situation. The "White Hat" Consideration
As discussed earlier, there are six "hats" to consider when applying this method of problem solving. The first hat, designated by white, allows you to concentrate on the data currently available. In other words, review all the available information and decide what can be learned from it. You should also look for "gaps in your knowledge and either try to fill them in or take account of them." (Mind Tools.com). When considering the implementation of digital radiography, we already know that new equipment will need purchased /older systems upgraded, new staff and faculty training must occur, additional software purchases to accommodate digital system, etc. We also know that we will need to investigate several digital imaging products to find the most appropriate model for our school to follow. The "Red Hat" Consideration
The next hat, red, calls for us to look at the problem "intuition, gut reaction, and emotion." (Mind Tools.com). This allows the individual to rationally face the problem while analyzing how...