I like Morendil’s three-part distinction because it foregrounds b, what we want to have happen. That’s there in the six hats implicitly (especially feelings, critical judgment, and positive aspects), but it seems to be too focused on the particular proposal. What’s good about this proposal, what’s bad about it, how do I feel about it—all are asking secondary questions, when the primary questions should be what’s good, what’s bad, and what might be better—about the whole situation. Foregrounding “what we want to have happen” could be helpful in thinking about cryonics. What kind of future living do I want to have happen—ones in which future experiencers remember my experiences? Ones in which future agents carry out my (present?) goals? Ones in which some future person is me (and what does that mean)? Etc.
But I like the foregrounding of lateral thinking in one of the six hats (green hat). To my mind this is usually the most neglected step in human decision-making. Scott Adams (the Dilbert author) tells the story of a businessman who was notorious for bringing ten new ideas to every business meeting, at least nine of which were incredibly bad. The businessman was Ted Turner, founder of CNN. Having bad ideas costs extremely little—especially in a context where multiplication of ideas is the norm and evaluation of ideas is deliberately postponed. Having ideas in general, i.e. brainstorming, also costs little.
It’s a well-kept secret that having good ideas, i.e. innovation, also lends itself to structured process; one of the ways to do that is to dissociate the idea-generation phase from the idea-selection phase. Brainstorming is one way to do the first, but if you only brainstorm without a way to do the second, you’ll end up nowhere.
There are processes for idea generation other than brainstorming, one that has piqued my curiosity in the past (perhaps in part because of the way its informal name sounds) is the Zwicky box.