Aloha Society Members,
In one of the personal blogs, a new member who joined (who is also properly trained in thinking skills) proposes we should do some thinking! He later reveals surprising personal details about who he actually is and what he's doing here. See Manuel Oddy's blog for the comprehensive scoop... But here are the essential thinking skill parts, so when anyone adds to this thread with their ability to use the thinking tools, their efforts will be bumped up to the top of the heap here in the forum... because the blog posts will cycle out of view, (no matter how alive they remain in continuing contributions.)
So the stuff in Bold
is a reprint from Manuel Oddy's blog post,
with additional attributions of some of his respective responses. It seems that Manuel has gone back to his life as a cockroach and left the society. Some of the contributions that were here as comments are gone. At least some of his splendid writing and contributions live on in the front part of this post! - Franis Engel
Step #1 = Comprehensive Thinking Tools Used Together
The first part is this thinking skills exercise is to do a CAF (make a comprehensive list that Considers All Factors) of the characteristics of a Club of Mediocrity. Do a list of 10 points on what you think a Club of
Mediocrity (CoM) would contain as its characteristics. If you get 10 original points you have done well.
Here's an example that Kim Jones contributed, (using the Six Hats Thinking to help generate the list)
- hW Mediocre types will always find each other.
- hB Mutual Admiration societies are universally uncreative.
- hR Preaching to the choir is there elevated to an artform.
- hY Mediocrity, when interestingly presented is quite entertaining.
- hG Mediocrity, being difficult to recognise given it's widespread existence, often passes for brilliance of one kind or another.
- hW Mediocre thinkers love to describe the thinking processes they understand
- hW Mediocre thinkers rarely report on how their thinking skills have affected their own lives but more likely the lives of others.
- hY Clubs of any kind offer protection. Mediocrity, being so widespread, can enjoy lavish intellectual protection there, given the style of thinking of the mediocre is never under any threat.
- hH It may be that mediocrity is oblivious to mediocrity. There is a need to show mediocrity to itself in a way that will change its self-perception.
- hR Operations thinking is too hard for mediocre types. They will always fall back into description.
Note: the "official" notation for the Hats are:
Step #2 = First Important Priorities:
- hW = white hat
- hR = red hat
- hG = green hat
- hY = yellow hat
- hB = black hat
- hH = blue hat
All who did a CAF are now invited to do a FIPPick out the three most important factors in your Consider All Factors exercise, and put them in order of importance. The CAF should have been factors that come to mind
as they come to mind, in any order.
The CAF broadens perceptions. The FIP narrows down & assigns importance. Normal thinking jumps to conclusions first, usually
emotional conclusions, then backs up that conclusion with logic to
justify how right it is. After you have done your
FIP, you can tell us your Red Hat on the exercise. Don't be tempted to analyze your red hat or give any reasons for your red hat. Do please write something interesting for others if you had any insights about the value of doing these exercises.
Here are examples of the FIPs in a snyposis (collected by Raymund Kwok) that have been done already. (You'll need them to do the next steps of this thinking skill...)
by Donald Krsticevic
1. Everyone believes they are THE subject matter experts and can defend that belief well.
2. Members blindly follow tradition and what the others are doing, without question.
3. Members rely on credentials to impress and sustain membership and think thats enough
by Sinclair McLay
by Manuel Oddy
1. Thinking is not valued, only word play
2. Any ideas outside the box are immediately put in a box labelled suspicious or sinister
3. Honesty is replaced by conformity
1. Mediocre people make others into being at fault and assign blame,
instead of being pro-active to see what they can contribute to solving
2. With any uncertainty about motives of ideas, someone in this
mediocre group will bring up terrorism or other paranoid consequences.
3. Name-calling, rumor-mongering and other misrepresentation dramas are used to keep members in line.
by Kim Jones
1. Mediocrity, when interestingly presented is quite entertaining.
2. Mediocrity, being difficult to recognise given it's widespread existence, often passes for brilliance of one kind or another.
3.Operations thinking is too hard for mediocre types. Step #3 = Concept Extraction: The next step is to choose from the final 3 FIPs (of our colleagues above, or the FIPs from other people who have added to this thread) just
one factor which can serve as a concept from which to extract ideas. This is a basic operation of lateral thinking. So
each of you choose please one factor from your colleagues final three FIPs (ignoring your own FIPs for the sake of this exercise.) Having chosen your final FIP, create three new concepts from the
concept. I extract one
or two or even 3 concepts from this one concept. For the sake of the
exercise try to get three new concepts. The way to do this is to ask:
What is the (movement or action) principle behind this concept? Keep in mind the above purpose when extracting your
concepts.Chosen: Mediocrity, when interestingly presented is quite entertaining.My three concepts from the above concept (final FIP)1. Mediocrity can be used as a stepping-stone to further improve ideas2. How to create entertainment using mediocrity3. Use mediocrity as a provocation for interesting presentationsNow I have 3 new concepts from the chosen concept I selected from Kim's three final FIPs. The next step is to create ideas from the above new
concepts. Feel free to generate at least two or three practical ideas from each of your three generated concepts. To get these ideas from concepts we ask: What is a way to make this
concept work?So here are three ideas from the above three concepts:1. Post mediocre ideas in order to use them as stepping-stones to quality ideas2. Post unusual photos and ask members to generate ideas for the society using the photo as a random input form of stimulation3. Remove the concept of mediocrity altogether and replace it with the idea of a place on the society for new, interesting, and better ideas
for members to do.
Here is an example of Franis doing this:
Chosen from Donald's FIP:
Members rely on credentials to impress and sustain membership.
The principle selected is status - the goal is to be recognized and
ultimately, to be heard, believed or taken seriously or as intended.
1. Concept of Exaggerating (Way to make it work: action of parading credentials)
With ideas added: Existing credentials paraded more prominently excite
pride and status to the mediocre, attracting more members. Since it's
these people who need thinking skills, they should be attracted in this
way. Current trainers would be featured by interviews, advertising
their websites, posting their schedules, etc.
2. Concept of Reversing, (Way to make it work: action of obliterating credentials)
Ideas added: As the cockroach has done, identity and status could be
deliberately disregarded, leaving the merit of pure ideas to stand
alone with its own value. Provide a specific section that is completely
anonymous for everyone to have an anonymous "evil twin" that can be
regularly changed, so nobody knows who is who purposefully. Those who
provide thinking training are allowed to have anonymous status on the
rest of the forum, because they provide value!
3. Concept of adding value, (Way to make it work: action of bestowing or providing credentials)
Ideas Added: Some sort of credential or badge is invented to be awarded
through membership and participation. This motivates people to
participate because they get something out of it that they can later
hold up as a credential elsewhere.
Step #4 = the Pentine: Look back over all the FIPs, and over all the CAFs again and choose
one. Then make that into a heading. Underneath that heading write 7
factors that come to mind. Then write a story in whatever direction you
like based on these seven factors. In the story you don't need to
mention the factors per se, but only what ideas the factors suggest.
You don't need to use all the factors. Write a story of about five or
six sentences or not more than half an A4 sheet that encapsulates the
An example from Donald Krsticevic
: The CAF chosen: There is no conscious effort to change
1. Deep down, people hate change.
2. Too change is a difficult and time consuming
3. Everyone knows change is necessary but for "other people" only
4. Its hard to prove, up front, the new state is better
5. Change requires co-operation and sign off from the group.
6. Not everyone benefits from change, some are actually worse off
7. Its much easier and fun to go with the flow and maintain the status quo
The coakroach and the ape were sitting at the table. "I think we need to
change", said the coakroach to the ape. "Why?" replied the ape. "Because we
are misunderstood and feared and we should become more user friendly."
"No, " said the ape after some thinking. "We have survived and multipled over
thousands of years, and therefore must be right, that its the others who must
CHANGE."Step #5 = use the Thinking Hats: Do the Pentine first, then your Red hats (Feelings) on your own Pentines, then your Blue Hats (Judgment on Process) on the entire thread in one sentence.
Here's another example with a Pentine from Sinclair McLay, (he made his story into a poem!) including his corresponding Red Hat on his Pentine and his one-sentence Blue hat on the entire thread:
'Clubs for those who take themselves too seriously'
1. How do you measure "take too" seriously ?
2. Would anyone admit to taking themselves too seriously ?
3. Birds of a feather - those clubs have already self-organized
4. How should these clubs be regarded ?
5. Do the driven take themselves too seriously?
6. The levity quotient - even though good ideas can come from levity not all do.
7. Occasional interaction between clubs that take themselves too seriously and those who do not could be very productive
'Why the long face ?'
Said the butterfly to the bear.
'Bees are dying
No time for fun, time of despair
Need a doctor
Now flutter off, life's not fair'
'Have some nectar'
Said the butterfly to the bear
RH Surely any idea - from whatever source - 'mediocre' or not - can be
used as a stepping stone. Or has value in itself looked at from a
hH The tools have helped greatly - presumably the next step is what will come of their use?
Step #6 = Suggestions from these exercises: Contributors who have gone through these steps now list items for using the tools as CAFs or Creative Hit Lists, or areas of general focus. Think of six to 10 factors from this thread (or new factors that arise) as objects for future consideration, furture work, creative projects or sources for future thinking skills exercises.
Future Topics for Thinking from Franis:
Admin needs to extract the related blogs, threads, etc. that got accidentally posted in various unrelated areas together. Social responsibility. Providing a
suggestion box for future topics. An area called "Think tank" where
topics may be meaningful to members. A contribution requirement of
participation in a certain number of thinking skill threads? A way to
"earn" the concern of others for your own personal advantage becoming
one of the topics addressed as a thinking example?(optional) Step #7 = Pre-Flight: Before going through this process yourself, use the Six Thinking Hats to contribute your ideas on effectiveness.
Raymund Kwok, hB: Just thinking for the sake of thinking, creativity is important, but is EBNE (Excellent, But Not Enough.) You can find creativity is
just only one of the six hats. Results and values are the goals of the
thinking processes. I found it is a waste if the discussion does not go further to produce some results. I want to try converting ideas into workable actions.
That's the challenge - Let's See Some Thinking NOW from those who want to play!!!
- Franis Engel