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.