Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Infusing Innovative Thinking Into Six Sigma!

Did any of you read the article by Don Peppers on Six Sigma? Peppers did a great job bringing to light the lack of innovation tools in the Six Sigma process. The Six Sigma process was designed to plan, predict, document, adjust, and improve the current work process. For this purpose, Six Sigma is a great tool and meets all of the companies objectives. If the company is looking to be more innovative, then the company should be looking for a tool that promotes innovation like Lateral Thinking or any other innovation tool. I think that comparing Six Sigma process improvement to Innovation is like comparing "oranges and apples." They both may be fruits but their taste, look, and purpose are completely different.

If your company is looking to implement the Six Sigma process, I would recommend that the objectives be clearly identified and communicated company-wide so that the company does not try to accomplish innovation objectives with a process improvement tool. Here's a thought, may be 3M was not looking for innovation in Six Sigma but process improvement?

By de Bono Consulting

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

America's Secret Weapon

Bill Gates recently published America's Secret Weapon an amazing article about innovation and how America needs to invest more into research and development. In a comment to Gate's article, someone wrote that we need an individual with the vision, alignment, and execution of innovation. I think that we need to train the leaders of this country some tools that will help build and execute a game plan in order to remain the top innovative country in the world. Thousands of companies and governments have turned to Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking to push their people to think outside the box. I know these innovative tool will produce the innovative ideas this country needs to remain at the top.

By de Bono Consulting

Monday, March 28, 2016

Brainstorming Tools that Improve Creativity!

Business leaders today have taken an amazing brainstorming tool phase "Think outside the box" and turned it into a buzzword for their creativity. Lateral Thinking was the original brainstorming tool that used this phrase to train our clients to think unconventional or from a different perspective. How can Lateral Thinking improve the company's creativity?

Lateral Thinking will provide a generic process that forces each participant to think of new ways to improve the process. For example, a company is always looking to improve its current distribution systems, product development process, accounting systems, and assembly line processes. By using Lateral Thinking, a company will reduce the number of brainstorming sessions and begin executing their new ideas.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What Makes the Lateral Thinking Different Than Other Idea Generators?

The difference maker that Lateral Thinking brings to a company is revolutionary. Lateral Thinking changes a companies ideas generators from a slow and difficult process to a fast, productive, and fun process. The competitive advantage the Lateral Thinking gives a company is multiple ideas in a matter of few minutes towards any situation, problem, or process. Below is a fun example of Lateral Thinking Results done in our office.

Problem in the space exploration world: How to land a rocket in order to recycle it?

Current process: Land the rocket the same way it took off.

Lateral Thinking process:

  1. Land it like an F-15 lands on an aircraft carrier. 
  2. Have a plane catch it in the mid air and assist the landing. 
  3. Land it the same way it took off.
This was a 30 second Lateral Thinking session which could change and revolutionize the way rockets land. Lateral Thinking forces the teams thoughts outside of the current ways of doing things and look for more innovative solutions that are beyond this world. This is why our clients see Lateral Thinking as their competitive advantage in today's marketplace.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Where Good Ideas Come From?

What's the best way to collect these Good Ideas based on our hunches? In addition, how many Good Ideas are lost in the coffee shop?

We use Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking as a tool to collect our Good Ideas or Solutions to our problems. After all, Good Ideas are solutions to our problems. So the next time you have a hunch try our tools to turn that hunch into a Good Idea!

By de Bono Consulting

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Six Thinking Hats Maximizes Six Sigma Improvement Projects!

Here's how to use the Six Thinking Hats in Six Sigma improvement projects:

White Hat Thinking: Information Known and Needed

Six Thinking Hats: White Hat Image
During the Measure phase of a Six Sigma Project, a White Hat session will collect all the projects' information and define the limits for each of the selected outputs. Having all of the information collected in an organized and efficient process will give the Six Sigma Project team the ability to set realistic and achievable targets.   

Green Hat Thinking:  Creativity and Alternatives

Six Thinking Hats: Green Hat Image
The Green Hat or Lateral Thinking tools will provide solutions during the Improve phase of the Six Sigma Project. Using Lateral Thinking tools like PO and Random words will generate creative ideas that will be Harvested systematically. In addition, Lateral Thinking techniques like Challenge will cut unnecessary costs to implement the solution, provide alternative solutions, or improve the projects processes.

Black Hat Thinking: Cautions and Difficulties

Six Thinking Hats: Black Hat Image
The Black Hat will improve the Define phase of the Six Sigma Project by classifying the VOC into Black Hats and Green Hats. Using the results from the Black Hat and Green Hat sessions, the team may use the DMADV project rather than DMAIC based on the potential problems and difficulties that were identified. 

Yellow Hat Thinking: Benefits and Feasibility

Six Thinking Hats: Yellow Hat Image
During the Improve phase of a Six Sigma Project, a Yellow Hat session will provide the strongest evidence for each of the team solutions so that the team can make the best business decision without bias. In addition, a Yellow Hat session will provide the differences between each solution which will give the team more confidence in their decisions.

Red Hat Thinking: Intuition and Feelings

Six Thinking Hats: Red Hat Image

The Red Hat provides each team member an opportunity to express their gut feelings about the Six Sigma Project and/or solutions in a short phrase or one word. The benefit from a Red Hat session is that each team member and stakeholder has a moment to express their concerns with the teams decision allowing them to buy-into the solution even if he or she does not agree with the solution. This is arguably one of the most powerful benefits of using the Six Thinking Hats.

Blue Hat Thinking: Process Control

Six Thinking Hats: Blue Hat Image
The Blue Hat is typically worn by the Master Black Belt on the Six Sigma Project. The Blue Hat session forces the team to focus on finding the best solutions while getting each team members input and buy-in to the team's solution.


There are many companies that have integrated the Six Thinking Hats with Six Sigma methodology to drive their companies business improvement and development. Using the Six Thinking Hats and Six Sigma together will bring clarity to the thought process during every Six Sigma project.