Teams and committees have six action shoes

Did you know that Edward De Bono had Six Action Shoes too?

  1. Navy shoes: Formal, routine, procedure.
  2. Grey sneakers: Exploration, investigation.
  3. Brown brogues: Practicality.
  4. Orange gumboots: Emergency and danger.
  5. Pink slippers: Care and sensitivity.
  6. Purple riding boots: Authority and command.
It is good to keep these in mind during team and committee meetings. Firstly, it reminds us that our goal is to decide what actions we should do next. We are not just here to talk and worry. We are here to plan what that next thing we will actually do is. Then to write that down and go home.

Secondly, it forces us to clarify what type of actions we are capable of or willing to do. No use discussing the pastoral concerns (pink slippers) of someone at length if we are not in able to or willing to to care for them one on one. No use arguing about what rules should be made (navy)  if we are not in charge of procedure.

Thirdly, it allows us to focus discussion around the relevant issues. If the main issue is one of getting the job done (brown brogues), then we shouldn't be too worry about exactly how it is done (navy shoes). If our job is to deal swiftly with a report of sexual abuse (orange gumboots) we could cause a great deal of further problems by dwelling too long on everybody's feelings (pink slippers).