Six Hats of Lateral Thinking by deBono

DeBono offers a very simple framework of applying lateral thinking to any problem
It is called the six hats thinking method

- control
- process
- summarize
- overview
- conclusions

- creative thinking
- search alternatives
- PO : Provocative operations

- thinking positive
- constructive
- value / benefit

- Feelings/ emotions
1.Ordinary emotions:
2. complex judgements (intuition, sense, taste)

- neutral
- objective
- facts
- figures

- caution
- risk
- should we follow


Some Thoughts about new venture inspirations

Lateral Thinking 
Deliberate Creative out-of-the-box thinking by deBono focusing on possibilities and creative stimulus

Design Thinking 
Observe customers, understand needs and pain points. Define the problem. Come up with a solution

Observe successful business models that work in other industries and apply to your own

Have a Market Engagement Hypothesis but then go out and pretotype yourself by removing false positives one by one through 'skin in the game' experiments

Clone a successful model from another market and hope it works out here

Do something which actually no one wants to do and is willing to pay a premium

Some quick notes on Lateral Thinking

How to escape existing patterns

1. Accident (by chance)
2. by Mistake
3. Humour (DeBono on Humour: Humour is on the most significant characteristics of the mind. )
4. Lateral Thinking

Humour is an asymmetric patterning system

Lateral Thinking
  • use 'movement ' instead of judgement 
  • PO (provocative operation) is a movement value 
    • Provocation: you can say something which is stupid 
  • idea is a stepping stone 
  • take something that we take for granted and escape from it 
  • come in from a random point 
  • Intelligence is like the horsepower of the car. Thinking is like the skill of the driver 

Vertical Thinking vs. Lateral Thinking 

  • towards a solution  vs. one moves for the sake of moving 
  • design experiment to show an effect vs. design experiment to provide an opportunity to change one's ideas 
  • some direction vs. without direction 
  • I know what I am looking for vs. I am looking but I won't know what I am looking for until I have found it 
  • analytical vs. provocative 
  • sequential vs. can make jumps 
  • selection by exclusion vs. welcomes outside influence for provocative influence 
  • fixed categories and labels vs. labels change 
  • most likey paths vs. explore least likely. 

Insights is brought about by alternations in pattern sequence brought about by provocative stimulation and lateral thinking provides such stimulation 

is the arrangement of information on the memory surface that is the mind 

is simply the difference of what one has and what one wants 
1. avoiding something 
2. getting something 
3. getting rid of something 

Lateral Thinking Techniques 

Fractionation - very similar to Brainstorming

Reverse Method - basically revert your assumptions and see what other perspectives it brings

Example for Reverse method

Going on Holiday 

  • Holiday goes on ... maybe take one day of permantently ? Holiday is not a temporary thing but something which happens permanently in the mind 
  • Holiday One, mabybe together, as a family ? 
  • Holiday with uniformity of surroundings 
  • etc. 

Jesus lives 
  • Jesus is dead .. maybe for me personally in my life, so that I should reconsider my relation to Jesus 
  • Life is Jesus 
  • Jesus death ... makes me think of the cross and resurrection 
  • Jesus not live .. maybe we should do live music worship 

Random Stimulus 

the word is Holiday, now use a random word as a PO https://randomword.com/
  • Holiday PO bee --> maybe a holiday in the nature with a beekeeper 
  • Holiday PO  noctiflorous (flowering at night)

Some quick notes on PRETOTYPING

Notes from the Right-It by Alberto Savoia 
  • Avoid groupthink. Actually this is one reason why big corporations only seldom succeed especially if ideas come from your boss 
  • Hyperzoom: from Market Engagement hypothesis (e.g. Sleeptech will be the next big thing ) to XYZ hypothesis like 3% of male middle managers between 30 to 49 will by an electronic gadget such as Oura Ring to improve sleep quality. 
  • Get YODA (your own data) as opposed to OPD (other people's opinion) from THOUGHTLAND.  Remember: opinions are biased judgements 
  • YODA should have Skin in the game and not "will you buy it". Willingness to buy is the greatest sin of marketing research in my opinion. 

Law of Market Failure 
  • Punch 1 Most new products will fail in the market 
  • Punch 2 They will fail even if competently executed (about 80%) 

Flop Formula 
1. Failure due to launch (marketing) 
2. Operations 
3. Premis (no one cares) 

Make sure you build the right it before you build it right 

Right it = an idea for a new product that if competently executed 

Most Market Research is Thoughtland 
  • Lost in Translation ( an idea is an abstraction) 
  • Prediction problem (users will not know whether they will really use it) 
  • Skin in the game 
  • Confirmation Bias problem 

Data beats opinion 
  • relevant 
  • fresh 
  • your own 
  • significant --> look at p-value . As rule of thumb to 3-5 experiments 
MEH marketing engagement hypothesis identifies your key belief or assumption about how the market will engage with the idea 
XYZ Hypothesis "At least X% of Y will Z"