Tag Archives: Seven Thinking Hats

5 Whys

LinkedIn suggested some useful content to me (as it often does).

This time it was about a questioning technique called the 5 Whys.

Watch the 3’13” video here.

It sounded somewhat familiar, and indeed Wikipedia confirms it’s been incorporated in approaches such as e.g. lean manufacturing.

I then wondered how this questioning technique would relate to the Six (or rather Seven) Thinking Hats method, which I blogged about earlier.

In my view, the 5 Whys are particularly useful to direct Black hat thinking, helping to identify root-causes of issues, risks etc. A hypothetical example:

  1. Why do we have a problem with our profitability? Because our revenue is too low.
  2. Why is our revenue too low? Because our revenue per customer is too low.
  3. Why is our revenue per customer too low? Because they are not aware of our full services portfolio.
  4. Why are they not aware of our services portfolio? Because we haven’t told them.
  5. Why haven’t we told them? Because we didn’t think of that.

Conclusion: Our revenue is too low because we forgot to do something small, yet important.

Interesting technique.

The Case for Seven (and not just Six) Thinking Hats

I’ve mentioned the Six Thinking Hats method a couple of times on this blog (references at the bottom of this post).

In short: it’s a fantastic method for group decision-making, among other things.

Here’s a great post by the School of Thinking on the Six Thinking Hats method – and why we should have a Seventh one:

http://www.schoolofthinking.org/what-is-your-dangerous-idea/the-seventh-hat-for-wisdom/

It makes total sense to me…

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