Richard Bach’s story Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a very insightful work about innovators and innovation. I’m not going to give a lengthy review of it except that I recommend reading it. Leave the breakfast flock and learn how to truly fly.
I have just finished reading a Cutter Consortium white paper entitled The Psychology and Motivation of Creativity and Innovation by Paul Robertson. I found it quite interesting and it gave me some insight into the Six Hats model.
Paul describes a three ring model as illustrated below:
The Substantial World is the external world of your senses. The Structural World is the Substantial World you have accepted as rational. The Conceptual World is the Structural world you think within habitually. It should be noted that the Substantial World is a subset of the Real World, the Structural World is a subset of the Substantial World and the Conceptual World is a subset of the Structural World.
When we are thinking habitually we are using intelligence:
When we cross the boundary between habitual and rational thought we are using innovation:
When we cross the boundary between rational and external thought we are using creativity:
The Creative world is the world of values that do not fall within the domain of the Innovative world and the Innovative world is the world of values that do not fall within the context of the Intelligent world.
Here is the same concept represented as the Six Focuses of Database Design:
From the above illustration you can see that creativity involves incorporating data manipulation and data definition into the domains and attributes; innovation involves incorporating data domains and data attributes into the relationships and entities; and intelligence involves utilizing existing relationships and entities.
I want to point out that I do not necessarily agree with this concept because I believe the six hats can be top down as well as bottom up. What I mean to say is creativity can come from the front lines as well as from senior positions.
The following table represents my interepretation of the Zachman Framework:
I have taken this framework and applied the following de Bono metaphor:
I also incorporated my own metaphor to differentiate the axes:
These two modifications produced the following table:
This is where I had an “aha” moment. I asked myself what the entities would be:
I also recognized that in each column these entities were related hierarchically allowing the creation of a six dimensional hypercube. In creating the hypercube it was possible to look at a variety of “slices”. For example:
The table above combines Motive with Person. We can see that Motive is verbal while Person is a noun.
Next we will combine Function and Data to create another slice:
Again, Function is a verb and Data is a noun.
Let’s look at one final slice:
Here we see that nodes and time have many possible states.
But, why am I doing this exhaustive analysis of the possible combinations in the Six Hats, Six Coats hypercube?
Let’s go back in time for a moment and look at this table:
When Dmitri Mendeleev created this table to describe periodic behaviour of the elements, many of the elements had not been discovered. However, the table projected what the properties of those elements would be making the search much easier.
The Six Hats, Six Coats hypercube is also a form of periodic table. Its entire collection of possible cells are called the framework space. Many of the cells in the hypercube do not yet exist, however their properties can be predicted. This makes their search and discovery of system components systematic instead of random or organic.
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
– Arthur Koestler
Since I posted STL: Structured Thinking Language and STL: Structured Thinking Language (remix), I have made quite a bit of progress in my thinking regarding the syntax of Structured Thinking Language.
The Six Hats are no longer verbs. There are only two verbs in STL, INDUCE and DEDUCE. INDUCE is a bottom up process of learning the structure of a system. DEDUCE is a top down process of teaching the structure of a system. INDUCE observes and orients. DEDUCE decides and acts. All STL statements begin with the INDUCE or DEDUCE verb to determine whether you are referring to an existing or a new system.
Each of the verbs can also be IMPLICIT or EXPLICIT according to the definitions found in Implicity and Explicity.
The Six Hats are now six adjectives:
The Six Coats remain the unchanged nouns:
Giving us the following:
Now that we have the verbs, adjectives and nouns of STL we can work on the syntax:
INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT CONCEPTUAL NOUN.nounname; INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT CONTEXTUAL NOUN.nounname ( MOTIVE.motivename, LOCALE.localename, OBJECT.objectname, METHOD.methodname, PERSON.personname, MOMENT.momentname ); INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT LOGICAL NOUN.nounname.attributename; INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT PHYSICAL NOUN.nounname.attributename.constraintname; INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT MECHANICAL NOUN.nounname ( select, insert, update, delete ); INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT OPERATIONAL NOUN.nounname.attributename.value;
NOUN can be any one of the Six Coats nouns. Noun name can be any name unique for that specific noun. Cardinality of context is always one to many be the relationship associative, relative or recursive. A noun has multiple attributes each with a constraint, affordances and ultimately a value. Note I do not call mechanical access “privileges”. I prefer “affordances”.
The danger Kenneth described was remaining in any of these stages too long. I agree, but you probably guessed that I disagree that there are five stages. I believe there are six stages and there are symptoms of remaining in them too long. Again I am referring to my Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor.
These are the symptoms of wearing any of the Six Hats too long. You can also wear any of the Six Coats too long, but that remains for another post.
I’ve had a bit of an epiphany today as I was thinking about the Structured Thinking Language. It has to do with the process of creating databases, but is transferable to each of the focuses of the model.
The steps to designing a database are:
1. Conceptual Design
2. Contextual Design
3. Logical Design
4. Physical Design
5. Personal Design
6. Synchronal Design
First is the conceptual design of a object. This is the object motive or primary key attribution.
Second is the contextual design. This is the object location or foreign key attribution.
Third is the logical design. This is the object formation or non-key attribution.
Fourth is the physical design. This is the object function or domain attribution.
Fifth is the personal design. This is the object personation or ownership attribution.
Sixth is the synchronal design. This is the object momentation or datetime attribution.
A table is a collection objects with the same motive. A row is a collection of objects with the same location. A column is a collection of objects with the same formation. A domain is a collection of objects with the same function. A privilege is a collection of objects with the same personation. A schedule is a collection of objects with the same momentation.
A table is an object. A row is an object. A column is an object. A domain is an object. A privilege is an object. A schedule is an object. And they are all attributes of a datum object.
The same goes for each of the focuses.
It looks like I will be reviewing the naming of my STL verbs and nouns again.
It can also be presented as follows:
It has been a challenge to the traditional Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom hierarchy by introducing not one, but three forms of data. I call them Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data.
Blue Data or Reflex Data is data that affects the system, but is not necessarily captured at all. It influences a transaction, but requires techniques external to regular data capture to record. Some of the most subtle aspects of design influence this level of a transaction. This is when a customer leaves a website because the Flash presentation takes too long to load.
Red Data or Intuitive Data is registered by the system, but does not generate any exceptions or variances. Although the data affects the bottom line it does not register in the cognitive-physical or cognitive levels of the system. This is “business as usual” data.
Black Data or Exception Data is registered by higher levels of the system. This is data that calls for physical-cognitive response outside the domain of normal operation. An example would be a customer having to make two orders of nine units and one order of seven units because the system cannot capture more than nine units in one transaction.
I believe that for the Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom model to be complete it has to recognize the significance of Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data. For business to truly be successful, it not only has to ascend the DIKW hierarchy, it has to descend the hierarchy below the traditional definition of data and recognize all of data’s facets.
And what is Information, Knowledge and Wisdom, but higher forms of data?