As promised in my previous post, here are a couple of tools that can be used to encourage flock thinking during partnership discussions.
- By providing each individual with a ‘perch’ upon which they can place their ideas in full view of the rest of the flock.
- By providing each individual with ‘flying space’ within which they can explain, explore and develop their ideas.
- ‘Dovetailing’ individual ideas into discussions and/or future actions.
Tools to develop flock thinking
- Two-circle thinking
- Edward de Bono ’s six thinking hats
When the above stage of the process is completed there will be ideas within the inner circle upon which everyone can agree. These can be incorporated within the final decisions reached by the group.
The contributions in the outer circle, however, can still influence the group’s actions. These ideas are discussed and considered again, with clarifications sort as necessary.
- The Blue hat is about being purposeful and structuring and organising thinking and discussions.
- The white hat is about asking questions and collecting facts.
- The green hat is about generating new ideas and different ways of looking at things.
- The Yellow hat is about identifying positive aspects.
- The black hat is about identifying negative aspects.
- The red hat is about expressing feelings and hunches.
A group uses the six hats by systematically applying the thinking associated with each hat to the problem before it.
- It may start by thinking about what it wants to achieve and the order in which it wants to use the hats (Blue Hat).
- Then it may ask questions to gain more information about the problem (White Hat).
- Once the group has all the information it needs it may ask itself if there are any other ways of looking at or dealing with the problem (Green Hat).
- It may then look at the pluses and minuses of the differing ideas it has identified (Yellow Hat followed by Black Hat).
- Next, it may explore how it feels about the process it has gone through and the ideas it has explored (Red Hat).
- Finally, it will need to return to Blue Hat thinking and make some decisions based upon the discussions it had whilst working through the fore-mentioned process.
As the group thinks about the problem before it in the ways dictated by the various hats, differing and opposing viewpoints and ideas will emerge. It is important that these are acknowledged and explored in parallel and that the temptation to debate their relative strengths and weaknesses is resisted.
For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition