2 ways to make better decisions

By Jim LaDoux
What gets inspected gets improved. What’s tracked becomes transformed. Find ways to assess proposals and ministries through multiple angles of vision. Listed below are two ways I frequently use to reflect, rethink, and reinvent, and to make better decisions. Try both approaches in the near future!


  • WHY are we considering this? What is the purpose? How does it fulfill our mission?
  • WHERE is this leading us? Is it helping us live into our vision?
  • WHOM are we seeking to serve? What are their needs? Do we offer what they need?
  • HOW will we launch this ministry? What is the plan and process for moving forward?
  • WHEN might we launch this? Is this the right time? How long will it last? When will we assess results?


Each hat is a different color, representing a different evaluation task. Assign leaders within your group a color, asking them raised questions about the proposal or program being discussed through the lens.

White Hat (symbolizing available or missing information)
  • What information do we have?
  • What information do we need?
  • What information is missing?
  • What questions should we be asking?
Red Hat (symbolizing feelings, intuition, or emotions)
  • What energizes us about this proposal?
  • What’s our gut instinct about the plan?
  • What are our feelings about what we’ve discussed so far?
  • How do we sense others would respond to this idea?
Black Hat (symbolizing caution)
  • What will this cost us in the way of time, money, and human resources? 
  • What are the possible downsides to this proposal?
  • Who else has done this? How did it work for them?
  • Is this the best use of our resources?
Green Hat (symbolizing energy, growth, and life)
  • What do we like about this idea? 
  • How might we build on what’s been proposed? 
  • What other possibilities are we overlooking?
  • Who else should we talk to for more ideas?
Blue Hat (symbolizing the need for process)
  • What are the steps for moving forward if we decide to act? 
  • Who is responsible for each step?
  • Who else needs to know about the decision we’re making? 
  • How will we get the word out to people? 
  • What criteria will be used to determine if we’re successful?
Yellow Hat (symbolizing optimism and possibilities)
  • What are the good points about this proposal?
  • What are the benefits for moving forward?
  • Who would benefit from this program or ministry?
  • How would people experience these benefits?


  • Which approach intrigues you?  Why?
  • Which approach comes more naturally to you?
  • When could you see yourself using De Bono's thinking questions with groups?
  • Which questions would be helpful for team members to consider BEFORE a meeting?
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