The Black to Your Green
So there are the six thinking hats, right?
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, White and Black. My classmate, Hope, breaks them down here.
I’ll focus on these two: the Green Hat & the Black Hat. The Green Hat represents creativity; ideas, possibilities and alternatives. The Black Hat on the other hand, represents cautiousness. It considers dangers, difficulties and weaknesses of an idea. It’s the risk spotter.
To understand how we think, we were asked these questions:
“What hat do you like to wear the most?”
“What hat do you like to wear the least?”
It’s a creative school of course, so there are a lot of people who love to be the Green Hat wearers. You know, those ones who absolutely love to have their heads in the clouds and who would figure out how to merge a unicorn and a toilet into something out of this world.
I’m adding one more question though – “What hat do you find yourself wearing the most?”
This has nothing to do with whether or not you like to wear it. What’s the hat that you find yourself wearing by default?
For me that hat is black. I honestly don’t even like wearing it. I’ve just found that it’s my default state. I’m the practical one who sees why an idea is probably not the best route to go through. The few people I’ve worked with at SCA will probably testify to that. Initially, I felt bad about being the one who’d give constructive feedback more often than I’d shoot out purely green hat ideas. But then I realized it creates a balance, and so I’ve embraced it.
The truth is that someone who’s very comfortable shooting out ideas is usually not phased by the challenges those ideas may have. All they need to do is find a way around the curve.
GH: Let’s get Pennywise to follow people around in order to remind them to drink milk.
BH: (internally: huh?) How exactly would that work?
GH: We’ll place his pictures all around town. Sometimes, radio adverts will come up with him saying “I’m watching you.”
BH: That’s interesting… but there will be copyright issues with that. Also, don’t forget that the audience is a very superstitious one. They’ll just call the blood of Jesus over him and throw your product in the trash.
GH: Okay, that’s true. So we don’t need to show him, but we could create our own asset that when people see, they’ll remember to drink our milk.
BH: So like the voice in your head that reminds you of things? But visually?
GH: Exactly, the Fido Dido to our 7up. The “wassssaaaaa!” guys to our Budweiser.
BH: Great, let’s get on that!
This doesn’t happen just with these two hats. All the hats can find their balance in another hat. But understanding how you work by default and how you can use it to improve the overall creative process does make things easier. Every default green hat thinker needs a default black hat thinker.
In case you were wondering, I love to wear the Green Hat the most and the Blue Hat the least. But I find myself wearing the Black Hat more often than I would like.