Here’s your DFQ #023:

Ask yourself: How should I think strategically about this?

What strategy should I use?

Judgment or design?


Should I use my black hat or put on my green hat?

335 thoughts on “#023 STRATEGY

  1. I find it helpful when assessing scenarios at work, not to automatically jump into a ‘right/wrong/black/white’ approach because experience has taught me that this is rarely the case. I think it’s important to be able to use different ways of thinking and not get stuck in the habit of always using one approach.

  2. Good options both… The real benefit I find is to actively use that language out loud, and is speaks volumes to show the people you are dealing with that your actively thinking, processing, deciding etc rather than simply reacting.

  3. I feel that I would always grab the black hat option. But to improve and add valve in what I do I need to take off my black hat and replace it with the green. Green is for growth.

  4. I think this depends on what it calls for. Not everything in the world is right/wrong or black/white. I have to admit I have a tendency to put on a black hat but have learnt over the years to sometimes evaluate what the situation is first before i decide which hat i should put on (and sometimes i put on one, and then also put on the other one to gain a more holistic perspective)

  5. Best to consider all opinions/options and then make a decision. It is always easier and quicker to judge and harder to consider carefully and hopefully making a good plan.

  6. Black Hat is important to support Green Hats
    To make Green Hats be reasonable
    To let the persons with Green Hats more realible

  7. Design provides a thinking environment that has already escaped from the convention of today and defending what we know. Design allow us to explore new ideas and what ifs.

  8. The hat I need is the green hat (design). I am looking for a way to add value to past/future clients. I need to search for professional people or firms who are doing it better. So I need to design a plan to find them and become one.

  9. To take the analogy further, I now prefer to think of my green hat as my ‘everyday’ hat. Many people have their black hats on 24/7. This stifles innovation and has the potential to prevent great ideas from ever getting off the ground.

    When presented with a new idea, make sure your green hat is firmly on your head. Only once you have explored the concept and can see potential should you switch over to the black hat. Then, weigh up the costs vs benefits of the idea before fully investing your time and energy.

  10. Faced with an uncoventional problem, I can use my green hat to try to think up or design different solutions and then use the black hat to determine the best one.

  11. I tend to wear the green hat most of the time, tbh. My life is about design, and when I’m not working I am thinking about what to do next. A bit obsessive, perhaps, lol

  12. Try to turn off the black hat way of thinking completely and solely use the green hat because the black hat can inhibit the green hat from producing something innovative. Only put the black hat on once the green hat thinking feels exhausted.

  13. I should strategically think about a young family couple using design. To date, I have been judgmental and it never occurred to me until this lesson of a design option. So, how do these two young family members build a life despite their personal challenges?

  14. I always used black hat because my work practiced consultant so it caused big problem to take off black and using green hat. my family did not happy from me continuously.

  15. I like to put both on at certain times. When starting, I use Green to generate ideas, then Black to combat the what I like to call ‘Crayon Executive’ who likes to see pretty pastel coloured pictures with clearly laid out assumptions, risks, costs, charts showing their profits going up etc..

  16. One has to start with the green hat. If one starts with the black hat it will inhibit the flow of ideas that is necessary to be innovative.

  17. I think the color of your hat pretty much depends on the particular situation you are facing. There are times and places for each way of thinking. Sometimes you want to make a quick decision about a matter and don’t have a lot of time to analyze the situation in detail. You want to be able to make decisions quickly and decisively and be done with it. This calls for black hat thinking. Other times situations call for more careful analysis and evaluating different options. You want to be able to see alternative ways of achieving results. These kinds of situations call for green hat thinking.

  18. Design thinking is the cvs to bvs thinking. I like to constantly endeavor to make this switch consciously and consistently . I have noticed the in most situations we face the black hat thinking should be brought in full mindfulness and awareness

  19. When looking at a deal – is it in my interests or not? Yes or No.
    Instead most of us are all usually ok with saying, it would be ok – but only if it was changed like so – if there was added value.
    For me the opportunity here is to apply that more broadly – can I be adding value to everything that passes in front of me every day? Surely I will be able to participate in some of that value add – I will be able to judge yes more often.

    1. This is a peak valuable insight, Andreas, and is really how we can choose to extract more value out of life as a whole–including business, relationships and random spontaneous acts of x10 happiness.

  20. My default thinking is always black hat thinking. I judge the ideas, the situations, the persons. But more and more through practice, I use green hat or design. How can I design something? How can I achieve my objectives? Green hat thinking gives me the power to change things.

  21. Should we choose between judgement and design or give-up the former altogether?

    We judge naturally almost any situation we face. What would happen if we decided to design an answer instead each time we face a situation? It’d be like applying what-if to every decision.

    It’s decided, I choose the design strategy for all important situations from now on and keep the judgement for the life & death ones.

  22. If it is a win/win situation where the endgame is to be creative in the process of adding value, my sales role for example then the Green Hat. This is certainly a change from when I was selling door to door and in the car trade when it was quite adversarial. It was the thrill of the hunt and very much about winning the sale. More Black Hat.

  23. Dans le précédent post, j’ai précisé les domaines sur lesquels je me concentre en ce moment et c’est avec les chapeaux vert (soutenu par le blanc) et jaune que ma réflexion aboutira même si dans l’affaire il se rencontre beaucoup de chapeaux noir et rouge. Et, toujours, l’indispensable chapeau bleu !

    In the previous post, I specified the areas on which I concentrate at the moment and it is with the hats green (supported by white) and yellow that my reflection will end even if in the case one meets a lot of black and red hats. And, always, the indispensable blue hat!

  24. One of the roles of an administration is to deal with critical incidents and accidents. When presented with a situation in which something has gone wrong, the easiest thing is to wear the black hat (or the Bishop’s Mitre) and judge the protagonists (sinners). What takes more imagination and time is to examine the circumstances and look for what really happened and why. Root cause analysis is a structured attempt to wear the green hat. The ultimate goal is not to choose a “fair” punishment, but to design a better system where the error or problem becomes harder and harder to reproduce.

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