All Types of Thinking are Important
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada
: Edward De Bono designed the 6 thinking hats approach because people were getting confused and overwhelmed with too many thoughts.
We organize our thinking into 6 structured ways and then follow a process - a sequence of hats. Lateral thinking is not a combination of various types of thinking. But it is just the green hat - only for exploring new ideas and possibilities, nothing more.
Critical thinking is black hat.
Mathematical thinking is white hat if it's solely dealing with information, data, knowledge.
A hat sequence for problem-solving is: blue (what's the problem?), white (what do we know?), green (what solutions are there?), yellow (what are the benefits?), black (what are the risks?), red (let's pick one that we emotionally feel is best), blue (what the next steps?) This shows all types of thinking are important.
When working with groups, the 6th approach is also called parallel thinking. Everyone thinks the same way at the same time. No mixing of hats allowed.