Parallel thinking and Six Thinking Hats are term coined and implemented by Edward de Bono
With the traditional argumentative dialectics or adversarial thinking each side takes a different position and then seeks to attack the other side. Each side seeks to prove that the other side is wrong. This is the type of thinking established by the famous ancient Greek philosophers more than two thousand years ago.
TRUTH DISCOVERY AND ANCIENT GREEK THOUGHT
Dialectic is a form of reasoning or argumentation that focuses on resolving contradictions, and is related to the topics such as argumentation, debate, deduction, discussion, disputation, logical argumentation, persuasion, polemics, question-and-answer method and ratiocination.
INVENTING & BUILDING THINGS vs. DISCOVERING THINGS
While PARALLEL THINKING thinking is best understood in contrast to traditional argument or adversarial thinking.
Parallel thinking is described as a constructive alternative to "adversarial thinking", debate and in general the approach the has been known to advocate.
Adversarial thinking completely lacks a constructive, creative or design element. It was intended only to discover the 'truth' not to build anything.
If you want to build something 'parallel thinking' is much better approach.
With 'parallel thinking' both sides (or all parties are thinking in parallel in the same direction. There is co-operative and co-ordinated thinking. The direction itself can be changed in order to give a full scan of the situation. But at every moment each thinker is thinking in parallel with all the other thinkers. There does not have to be agreement. Statements or thoughts which are indeed contradictory are not argued out but laid down in parallel.In the final stage the way forward is 'designed' from the parallel thought that have been laid out.
A simple and practical way to apply 'parallel thinking' is the Six Hats de Bono method which speeds up thinking and also because it is so much more constructive then traditional argument thinking.
In general parallel thinking is a further development of the well known lateral thinking processes, focusing even more on explorations�looking for what can be rather than for what is.
Parallel thinking is defined as a thinking process where focus is split in specific directions. When done in a group it effectively avoids the consequences of the adversarial approach, as in courts of justice.
In adversarial debate the objective is to prove or disprove statements put forward by the parties (normally two). This is also known as the dialectic approach. Practitioners put forward as many statements as possible in several (preferably more than two) parallel tracks. This leads to exploration of a subject where all participants can contribute, in parallel, with knowledge, facts, feelings, etc.
Crucial to the method is that the process is done in a disciplined manner, and that all participants play along and contribute in parallel. Thus each participant must stick to the specific track.
Six Thinking Hats
Early in the 1980s Dr. de Bono invented this method. The method is a framework for thinking and can incorporate lateral thinking. Valuable judgemental thinking has its place in the system but is not allowed to dominate as in normal thinking.
The six hats represent six modes of thinking and are directions to think rather than labels for thinking. The hats are used pro-actively rather than reactively.
The method promotes fuller input from more people. The six hats system encourages performance rather than personal position. People can alternate any hat even though they initially support the opposite view.
The key theoretical reasons to use the Six Thinking Hats are to:
* encourage Parallel Thinking
* encourage full-spectrum thinking
* separate ego from performance
There are six metaphorical hats and the thinker can put on or take off one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking being used. This putting on and taking off is essential.
White Hat thinking / facts & numbers
This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. "I think we need some white hat thinking at this point..." means Let's drop the arguments and proposals, and look at the data base."
Red Hat thinking / feelings & emotions
This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. The red hat allows the thinker to put forward an intuition without any need to justify it. "Putting on my red hat, I think this is a terrible proposal." Usually feelings and intuition can only be introduced into a discussion if they are supported by logic. Usually the feeling is genuine but the logic is spurious.The red hat gives full permission to a thinker to put forward his or her feelings on the subject at the moment.
Black Hat thinking / judgement & caution
This is the hat of judgement and caution. It is a most valuable hat. It is not in any sense an inferior or negative hat. The riot or negative hat. The black hat is used to point out why a suggestion does not fit the facts, the available experience, the system in use, or the policy that is being followed. The black hat must always be logical.
Yellow Hat thinking / logical positive
This is the logical positive. Why something will work and why it will offer benefits. It can be used in looking forward to the results of some proposed action, but can also be used to find something of value in what has already happened.
Green Hat thinking / creativity, alternatives, proposals
This is the hat of creativity, alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and changes.
Blue Hat thinking / meta-cognition & process control
This is the overview or process control hat. It looks not at the subject itself but at the 'thinking' about the subject. "Putting on my blue hat, I feel we should do some more green hat thinking at this point." In technical terms, the blue hat is concerned with meta-cognition.
Scientists creating breakthrough cancer therapies like Clay Siegall need to practice parallel thinking to further their research. Working with others to achieve a common goal in scientific research should be more important than business or academic superiority. Competition can be fierce in the biotech world where Mr. Siegall conducts his research.