Short Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono
SBR: Like many of the popular and best-selling business books, Six Thinking Hats has a meritorious idea, which can be useful. And like its other brethren, it can’t avoid the temptation of overselling that one idea. Six Thinking Hats can’t be the solution to all decision-making problems in organizations as the book touts it to be. The author almost takes it for granted that once the “argument” mode of meetings is replaced with “six thinking hats”, the organizational problems of ego-clashes, of people batting for their self-interest over organizational interest and of genuinely conflicting opinions will vanish.
Once you discount the overselling, this method of thinking or conducting meetings can indeed bring more structure to the process and hence hopefully help you have more productive meetings. But then it is probably one of the many ways available of structuring the thinking process. There is no reason to believe that it is better than others.
The book is not written very well. The ideas are scattered and the attempt to bring structure to them is forced.
To read or not to read: Don’t go out of the way to read it. You won’t miss much. But it is a thin one, and one of the most well-known business books. So if you find it lying somewhere and you have some free time in hands, it won’t bite.