Six Thinking Hats Ona Wiki Page

Can the SixThinkingHats be used to run discussions on a Wiki?


Finally! Something the hats can be used for!
Great Idea ! That would enhance wiki readability
Interesting Idea! Needs work! How can I adapt this idea and put it to use?


This could lead to more constructive conversation on Wiki and prevent the disintegration into arguments which happens sometimes.

It could also be a way of making sure that all the hats are considered. If a hat weren't being used enough, there would be an obvious blank space, or the whole hat would be missing.

Stuff under the same hat is kept together.

It's possible that once a SixThinkingHats page grows to a certain size that a newbie could infer what the hats are about just from reading the thoughts already under them.

One benefit is that you can conduct a parallel thinking session online at almost no cost.


Using the SixThinkingHats to organize pages tends to disenfranchise people who don't know -- or don't like -- the SixThinkingHats.

If someone used the hats improperly it might reflect negatively on the hats themselves.

People can skip the hats they don't like, whether reading or writing, and that defeats part of the purpose of the SixThinkingHats system, which is, to ensure balance.

It seems to force people to make small sentence-sized contributions instead of being able to lay out their thoughts in detailed essays.

The hats seem to be optimized toward making decisions. Some Wiki pages aren't designed to help people make decisions and so the hats may not be applicable.

Stuff under the same hat is kept together.

Unlike people in a meeting or a person working alone, the wiki page is never "done." Somebody could add an important fact two months after the "conclusions" have been drawn, a fact which makes the conclusions completely different. Yet the hat system has no way of indicating that this has occurred.

If you have a "multiple choice" question where you can do option A or option B or option C, you might have to use all the hats for each option, and that makes a pretty long page.


If you allow yourself to add to the hats after you have reached a decision, you end up further entrenching the decision you've already made, which is precisely the situation that the hats are supposed to help you avoid.

Without a disciplines triangle, the hats session could be run incorrectly.

Without a clear focus statement, using the hats online leads to messy thinking.

If you don't use the hats thinking tool correctly, no additional tool (wiki, etc.) will help.


There are a few pages such as GrokTheCompiler and DialecticMode where hats are already used as tags.

Most of the discussion on this page is not listed under any hat whatsoever.

[More WhiteHat would be nice]

The 24x7 de Bono Thinking Systems (dBS) software can be used for online collaboration

The dBS collaboration version of the 24x7 software requires a $10K USD investment.

I have used the wiki successfully to conduct collaborative lateral thinking sessions.

Hats sessions are easy to set up and conduct in a wiki format when people know how to use the hats.

The training manuals explain how the hats can be used for writing; collaborative writing is one example of an extension of that method.


Each of the hats could go on a separate page, instead of putting them all on the same page. Something like "This page is for BlackHat thoughts about the ForthLanguage."

In fact, doing that might make it possible to go to the BlackHat page and click on the title and see all the BlackHat pages on Wiki. (But what good would that do?)

It's possible to insert a hat tag into regular paragraphs every time somebody changes hats. This might yield the benefits of identifying hats without changing the order people put things in. However, identifying all that hat-switching might just be noise.

A page could have a six-thinking-hats part and a regular discussion part.

The 24x7 dBS software can be used for online collaboration.

A separate wiki link needs to be set for each focus topic and outcome.


Well, this page is getting interesting...

...but I'm contributing most of the thoughts myself and no one is adding anything. Hmmm...

It works fine when the disciplines triangle is laid out (focus, method, and time).

Well, just as WikiGnomes add categories, they could add listing of HatColors? to the bottom of pages that seem to primarily be the view under one of the hats.

Nope, SixThinkingHats says using the hat colors as tags is a bad idea. It would be better to call to attention the fact that one or more of the hats is not being used. "There needs to be more YellowHat on this page," for example.

On the other hand, the more I think about this and see it in action, the more it looks as if tagging what's already there makes it easy to see what is missing, if stuff that goes under the same hat is kept together.
I think the SixThinkingHats can be used to run Wiki discussions, but the hypertext nature of Wiki makes it too easy for people to skip the hats they don't like, and part of the idea of the SixThinkingHats is to make everybody spend some time with each hat so that they get good at thinking with all six hats. But then, a hat with nothing under it would be an open invitation to contribute, wouldn't it?

It seems that it would be pretty simple to split a Wiki page into a section for each hat and invite people to place their contributions under the appropriate hat.

The person starting up the page would do the InitialBlueHat by himself. Then he would divide the page into sections, one for each hat in the sequence. So for example if the sequence he chooses uses the RedHat twice, then there will be two RedHat sections on the page. The only way for another person to contribute to the InitialBlueHat would be to refactor the page. The person starting the page might use an InitialBlueHat to introduce readers to the SixThinkingHats and to justify his choice of hat-sequence, but he could also just leave the InitialBlueHat to be implied by the structure of the rest of the page.

People would be encouraged to place their contributions under the appropriate hat and to contribute to all hats.

A FinalBlueHat could be used to allow people to comment on the quality of the result. But I think that, rather than stating a conclusion, readers of the page should be allowed to draw their own conclusions. (Would stating a conclusion disallow that? Don't readers draw their own conclusions anyway?)

I wonder if it would work. Maybe a good CollectiveIdea will result from this.

In particular, the SixThinkingHats is supposed to prevent arguments. On the Wiki, arguments start out as OpEds and eventually take the form of FlameWars. Because the SixThinkingHats allows contradictory ideas to be laid out in parallel, it gives everybody the chance to express his or her view, while making it more difficult for people to attack each other's views (which only leads to people entrenching their positions and isn't very productive).

Writing a SixThinkingHats page might be a good alternative to an OpEd.

Maybe this page should be refactored into an example! (Done!)
Here are some pages laid out as SixThinkingHatsOnaWikiPage:

There needs to be more BlackHat on this page. (Now there is some. See up top.)
Here's some stuff that was deleted from the GreenHat above:

Can the SixThinkingHats be combined with ColorForth? Maybe this would lead to a Wiki where text under different hats could be set in different colors by its author. It could also lead to a programming language where code to address users' feelings is in red, and code to check for faulty arguments is in black, and code that returns results is in yellow... hard-coded data would have to be in white...

This page might inspire some one to come up with a Wiki scheme for doing subpages, where subpages are automatically indented.

[A little BlueHat here: both of these are technically a misuse of the GreenHat. My fault! I did the first one. (Note to self: Way to go, bonehead!) The GreenHat isn't supposed to come up with completely irrelevant random ideas; it's supposed to be a deliberate search to see if there are any answers to the question that haven't been considered. Here, though, it seems like we're dealing with a binary option. You either use the SixThinkingHats or you don't. Is there a third option? That's the kind of question the GreenHat is supposed to be used for answering.]

On adding hats to the collection of the six thinking hats: (tongue-in-cheek) You could consider using all of the hats you have in your collection, The New York Yankee Baseball cap ("Champions at any Cost Hat"), The Cap you got at the last conference or seminar you attended (The "Current Technology Hat"). The Football(American) Helmet you still have from your days as a Collegian, (The "Protect Your Brain Hat"), add any appropriate hat from your collection to be used appropriately or inappropriately. -whatever!
There are several wiki pages that have fictional conversations between the hats (using each as a DramaticIdentity). I think this is a bad idea, as it forces people to refer to the SixThinkingHats page to figure out what is going on. The dialogues would make more sense to most readers, and not lose any meaning, if the sides were just labeled Pro and Con. --KrisJohnson

Perhaps the dialogue between GreenHat and BlackHat (on WikiSquatting) would then be better labeled What-if and Yes-but, in-lining the appropriate interpretation of the hat roles? -- Or do you think that GreenHat is Pro- in that case? JeffreyMiller

An example misuse: RefactorLowHangingFruit.

Really? Misuse? And there is a better way to use the hats in a discussion? Please clarify, because whoever refactored the arguments on RefactorLowHangingFruit into statements by the hats made a lot more sense than the original thread mess.

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