Six Thinking Hats & Six Sigma

The underlying principal behind the introduction of creativity and innovation in the Six Sigma process is the ability of the organization to achieve breakthrough process improvement at a rapid pace rather than work only on incremental improvements step-by-step.

Six Thinking Hats is a technique for stimulating and generating innovative ideas and solutions that will help improve the overall potential of Six Sigma in business improvement and development.

Creativity is required in each facet of the DMAIC cycle:

  • Define – Project selection and the opportunity for breakthrough.
  • Measure – What are the best ways to measure? Are there different ways to measure? What will be key customer requirements now and in the future?
  • Analyze – Different efficient methods for data collection and analysis will result in new approaches to looking at improvement opportunities.
  • Improve – Creativity in experimental design, process design and optimization without new approaches will by definition be flawed and conform to the old way to doing things. The old clichés of making a better mousetrap rather than designing a system where mice do not enter.
  • Control – Creativity in control and monitoring can have profound implications on the improvement effort. New and different ways of control will result in more efficient and optimized processes.

Use of the de Bono Innovation Tools in Six Sigma

At a large multinational shipping company all Green & Black belts are trained in Six Thinking Hats. Black Belts also receive training in Lateral Thinking. The de Bono thinking tools are a core part of the process improvement tool-set and methodology. The organization has 30 Six Thinking Hats Certified trainers who train approximately 1,500 employees worldwide per year.

Additional Six Thinking Hats / Six Sigma Reading: Six Thinking Hats as Applied in Six Sigma

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