Organizational Change

Six Thinking Hats

How to come up with better business solutions in a cross-cultural environmentImprove meetings in a cross cultural corporate environment with the Six Thinking hats technique

When asking your fellow co-workers whether they would prefer to attend a meeting or to go to a movie, then certainly the answer for the majority would be going to a movie.

This may not be surprising: In the corporate world, meetings are associated with being unproductive, a waste of time, boring or some describe it even as a nightmare, while movies are associated with fun, engaging and entertaining.

The question for all of us in the corporate world should be how to turn meetings that are unproductive and boring into meetings that
Improve meetings in a cross cultural corporate environment with the Six Thinking hats technique are fun and engaging.

One of the root problems of meetings is adversarial thinking which is deeply rooted in Western culture: Debate, ego and a right and wrong mindset prohibit full engagement by all participants. Far-eastern cultures struggle with  organizational structures that are hierarchical and patronal. In meetings, monologues prevail and there is only one person (usually the boss) who is believed to have the answers to all problems.

In Edward De Bono’s parallel thinking concept, each participant thinks in the same direction, thus making it impossible for debate
How to improve meetings in a cross-cultural corporate environmentand monologue to occur.

The Six thinking hats is one of the tools to fully engage all meeting attendees, to come up with better business solutions, to improve overall meeting efficiency while at the same time create a cohesive team.

The hats:How to improve meetings in a cross-cultural corporate environment

Blue hat – Leads and structures the meeting
Green hat – Creativity
Red hat – Emotions
Yellow hat – Rational positive
Black hat – Rational negative
White hat – Factual

 Objectives:How to improve meetings in a cross-cultural corporate environment

  • Organizational change
  • Improve effectiveness in meetings
  • Faster decision making
  • Win-win approach (v.s. win-lose)
  • Brainstorm better business solutions
  • Increase creativity
  • Engagement of all parties in the meeting regardless of age, gender, race, or social status.
  • Improves communication between departments and hierarchies

Quotes before and after Six thinking hats seminar: How to improve meetings in a cross-cultural corporate environment

Before: “I will never get my point across.”
After: “I am part of the decision making process”

Before: “Only my boss is talking.”
After: “I was talking more than my boss.”

Before: “I would never dare talking straight.”
After: “All my ideas were received in an open manner.”

Before: “I feel embarrassed if I say something wrong.”
After: “There is no more right and wrong.”

Before: “Only some people’s ideas count, and it’s usually from the guys higher up.”
After: “Everybody’s ideas count, even the once from the cleaning lady.”

Before: “There was always argument in the meeting.”
After: “Argument cannot even exist.”

Before: “Nobody is talking in the meeting.”
After: “Everybody is engaged.”

Before: “There are winners and losers in the meeting.”
After: “Everybody is a winner, we win together.”

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