How do you review the progress you made in your business in the last 100 days? In this episode we look at a great technique to identify what went well, what could have gone better, and what lessons can be learned. This allows us to celebrate the wins, learn from the failures and begin to identify the priorities for the next 100 day period. Join us as we share the Thinking Hats technique for reviewing the last 100 days progress towards your business goals.
If you want to perform your own thinking hats review we’ve created a template that you can download here. (or go to www.thenext100days.org/episode12download)
To demonstrate Thinking Hats in action, Kevin and Graham use the technique to review whats happened in the first 100 days of the podcast, taking you through the successes, failures and lessons learned for the show right from the decision to start recording through publishing the first episode; going live on iTunes; and right through to recording the current episode. This episode forms great listening both for anyone wanting to review their business progress and for anyone contemplating starting a podcast as we share our own learning.
Thinking Hats is a really powerful but simple technique, and works particularly well when the review involves a group of people. It lends itself in particular to performing and end of project review. We consider each 100 day plan that you take on to be a project with a beginning, middle, and end. Undertaking a review is a great way to get closure on each 100 day period. Reviewing the last 100 days need only take an hour or so. As we explain in the show, there are six different coloured hats, each colour represents a different aspect of the review. You structure the review so you wear one hat at a time, and concentrate just on that particular hat.
The blue hat represents process – you wear this first, especially when working with more than one person, making sure everyone understands what they are doing and how the session will work. If you are by yourself, just make sure you have a template to write down everything that comes to mind as you go through each hat in turn
The white hat represents outcome – In this case its to review the last 100 days and capture learning in order to plan again, but you can use the technique in lots of other problem solving or review situations. Just be clear what the purpose of doing the review is and what you will use the information for
The red hat is about emotion – Its useful when reviewing the last 100 days to get your gut feeling of how it went out of the way, so record how you feel about where you are and what happened before you take a more objective and systematic review. In a team situation this lets team members get things off their chest and allows a more ordered discussion to follow.
The yellow and black hats record the successes and failures. The order you look at the yellow and black hats is interchangeable. I like to stay positive and take the yellow hat first
The yellow hat considers what went well. Record the wins, no matter how big or small. Avoid being negative, focus in on all the things that were good about the last period. Even when your emotional response with the red hat was poor you will be surprised how much actually went well when you turn your mind to it.
The black hat considers what went less well. Capture it and move on.
The green hat is most important of all, where you draw your conclusions. First think about what you could have done differently, particularly against all the things you noted under the black hat. What lessons have you learned. Where does your approach work, where does it need to change. Whats left unfinished? does it need to be carried forward to the next period?
You can download the Thinking Hats template we used for reviewing the last 100 days here (or go to www.thenext100days.org/episode12download)