Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | [email protected] |

  | Issue 74 |


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Pleasant reading!
Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ


Methods and tools for managing innovation processes

Six Thinking Hats Ė Red Hat

Six Thinking Hats is a method that facilitates a civilized and in-depth discussion and comprehensive mapping of complex and controversial ideas. The method was developed by Edward de Bono, and it is detailed in this book . According to the method, complex ideas must be examined using six different types of thinking. Each type of thinking is represented by a different-colored hat.


The first hat, and perhaps the most important of them all, is the red hat. This hat is recommended for the beginning of the discussion, and it represents emotional thinking: gut feelings, emotions, intuition. When participants use the red hat, they are asked to describe briefly, and without justifying, how they feel about the topic under discussion. Itís important to express emotion, and not judgment.

For example:

  • The topic under discussion: Moving the companyís production to China
  • Red hat: How do you feel about this idea

    Mitch: I love it

    Sarah: I like it but itís concerning

    Mitch: I love it

    Sarah: I like it but itís concerning

    Harry: The idea scares me

    Seth: Confused

    Rachel: Itís exciting

    Bob: I hate the idea

    Zoe: Itís a terrible ide a...

    Discussion facilitator: Zoe, ďa terrible ideaĒ is a judgment. We donít judge with a red hat. Try again Ė How do you feel about the idea?

    Zoe: Despise it

    Facilitator: To sum up, the idea is controversial, some of you like it, others hate it, and some are confused. Letís hash it out now using other hats.


People are not accustomed to expressing their feelings during business discussions. Itís not a legitimate thing, particularly at work. We are required to make rational decisions and emotion is not logical, itís not based on reason. However, emotion is the eventual decisive factor. Therefore, acknowledging emotion as a driving force and legitimizing its expression is very important to fruitful discussions.


Evoking emotions, briefly and without justifications, at the initial stages of the discussion gives an indication of where people stand. In the above example, after one or two minutes we knew who was for the idea and who was against it, and without wasting time on unnecessary and tiresome arguments. Also, by using the red hat, the controversial nature of the topic was revealed, proving that it needs to be discussed more at length. Had all the participants loved the idea, it would have been paramount to check what problems there were (that the staff might miss because of the enthusiasm). Had the majority of participants hated the idea, the idea might be outright disqualified because of the anticipated difficulties of implementing it in the organization. Why waste time and money in continuing to discuss it?


In addition, the red hat gives people an outlet for their feelings. Every participant expresses his initial emotion, and then, after everyone has expressed their own feelings, the group can continue to explore additional aspects of the idea. If participants had not been given an opportunity to express their feelings about moving production to China in the above example, they would have had to keep their emotions bottled up inside, which would have manifested indirectly throughout the entire discussion, jeopardizing the teamwork.


Finally, since the red hat is based on emotion and not on judgment, it enables a much greater degree of flexibility later in the discussion. The participants can change their feelings later on. The fluctuating nature of emotions is a known and acceptable phenomenon. In contrast, judgment is fixed, prevents flexibility, and it is more difficult to change. In our example, Zoe might despise the idea, and later, after learning more about it during the discussion, feel that she despises the idea less than before, and perhaps is even starting to like it. However, if Zoe claims that the idea was terrible (meaning, judges it decisively), it will be difficult for her to admit later on that it was a good idea because it will be akin to admitting that her logic is impaired, that her judgment is flawed (that she ďisnít smartĒ).


In summary: The red hat gives legitimacy to emotion, enabling a quick mapping of where people stand, and preps participants for a more comprehensive discussion. We will describe additional hats in future editions of this column.



  • A recommendation for a book on leading changes processes can be found here .

  • Additional articles on Systematic Innovation can be found here .

  • Information about Systematic Innovation can be found here .



What's new at ZOOZ

Strengthening Patents


Patent registration is an essential part of creating intellectual property, and it is recommended for every company that develops its own knowledge and technology, as explained in this article , which featured in a past edition of this column. If you know this, and have already registered patents, you are most probably using the services of a patent attorney to check whether your idea is innovative and can be registered, and to register it properly and submit it for registration at patent offices worldwide.


However, itís important that you know that your patent attorney is not a technology advisor. Perhaps he has a relevant professional education (such as a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Electronic Engineering), but his expertise is in submitting your idea for registration, and not in developing technological innovations. In order to expand and strengthen your patent from a technological perspective, you need a different type of consultant Ė a technology advisor .


Now youíre definitely wondering: Isnít technological innovation development what our R&D Department does? And why do we even need to strengthen our patent? And how can an external advisor that isnít an expert in our industry give us advice?


True, your R&D Department is meant to propose ideas for technological innovation in your industry, but these ideas need to be reinforced by adding additional technological ideas (claims) to ensure that you can register a strong patent, one that your competitors will have a hard time bypassing. Assuming that you are interested in attaining a true competitive advantage and exclusivity for the technology you are developing, itís imperative that you have strong patents. Unfortunately, the technological expertise of your R&D Department, and the legal expertise of your patent attorney, are generally insufficient for this purpose.


In order to ensure truly strong patents, you require a different type of advice: experts that can advise even you, in your specific technological field, and help you develop stronger technologies and patents. To make such advice available, several months ago ZOOZ started representing the American company Ideation in Israel, whose consultants are considered the best technological thinking team in the world.


All of Ideationís scientists have advanced degrees and dozens of years of experience solving technological problems, technological forecasting, strengthening patents for clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, NASA, Xerox, HP, Motorola, GM, Philips, 3M, and more. Ideation uses designated computerized tools to systematically check how claims can be added to create stronger patents, and to build comprehensive patent walls that impart exclusivity and a true competitive advantage.


Since Ideation has assisted some of the largest multinational corporations in the world and smaller companies in a wide variety of industries, they will be able to help you as well. In addition, since they work with some of the largest companies in the world, they will be able to help you vis-à-vis such companies regarding intellectual property and business development.


In recent months, Ideation conducted several patent expansion and strengthening projects through us, and also signed contracts with several knowledge centers of universities and hospitals in Israel. The clients and we are very pleased with the results, and you are welcome to contact us for recommendations. We also welcome you to read about the work process with Ideation, and the special rates being offered to Israeli customer, here.



  • More information about Ideation can be found here .

  • For information about recommendations, contact us .



A creative advertisement and its logic behind it

Not like that!


One of the more creative ways to attract customersí attention is to offer them a strange, unusual, and wacky solution to a problem that you solve better.


This logic for creative advertising is called the Absurd Alternative. It stresses that there may be other (terrible) solutions, but if you want a truly good solution, then itís best to use the one you offer.


In this ad, the boy has been wrapped in a wad of cotton wool to protect him during a drive. This is of course an absurd solution to the problem of road safety, but parents that come across this ad will stop to look, read the text (Or buy a Volvo.), and internalize the message: Buy a Volvo to protect your child.


The Absurd Alternative logic is especially effective when evoking concerning issues that the customers prefer to avoid thinking about, such as death, disease, accidents, bankruptcy, dandruff, hemorrhoids, etc. The more ridiculous and bizarre the solution presented in the picture, the more attention grabbing it will be for potential customers and cause them to evoke the problematic issue (in this ad Ė accidents), grapple with it, and consider the proposed solution (Volvo car).


  • We would be happy to receive more interesting advertisements. Please send them to[email protected] .
  • Information about Creative Advertising workshops appearshere(page 18 of a Hebrew PDF booklet).

Published by ZOOZ | +972-9-9585085 | [email protected] |

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