Sociology: A Master Repackager

I have just finished reading the first four chapters of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and I must say it is interesting to see so much of my social psychology education being proven and applied. However, is Malcolm covering new territory? Let’s look at my visual summary of these chapters as a Zachman Framework:

In the first chapter Malcolm presents us with his Three Rules of Epidemics:

  1. The Law of the Few (Person)
  2. The Stickiness Factor (Datum)
  3. The Power of Context (Node)

In chapter two we look at The Law of the Few. Malcolm gives exotic names to his concept person (maven), context person (connector) and logic person (salesman). Nothing new here and I’ve added three of my own. In chapter three Malcolm describes his Stickiness Factor and advocates Blue’s Clues as the finest example of a “sticky” message. Nothing really new here either. In chapter four we are exposed to the astonishing change in the crime rate in New York City and the valiant efforts of David Gunn and William Bratton to clean up the New York Subway system. Malcolm discusses the Broken Window policy and makes a good case that “context” can reduce crime. Nothing really new when I include it in my diagram either.

One thing that did change for me is the positioning of Event and Node. If you have been following the evolution of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework you can see Node and Event have switched places. This is because it occurred to me that Event, Function and Goal are logical while Node, Datum and Person are physical. The new order has a better fit. Which leads to changing the following:

All the above considered, I can say so far that Malcolm’s book is a good read but in the same way that Blink is the repackaging of Intuition, The Tipping Point is the repackaging of Person, Datum and Node.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links


Icons: Zachman SQL

I’ve been tinkering with improving the graphic presentation of the Zachman Framework. These icons are the first step in that process:


Rules: The Connecting Tissue


The nodes for the network graphics are Cause states, Observer states, Energy states, Mass states, Space states and Time states.  To make this more relevant to business we can use the terms Goals, People, Functions, Data, Locations and Events.  The edges that connect the nodes in all the networks are Cause rules, Observer rules, Energy rules, Mass rules, Space rules and Time rules.  Nodes give the system its concepts, while edges give the system context.  States provide extegrity (new term) while Rules provide integrity.

Each of the networks is composed of finite steps between the starting and terminal node called paths, the potential ways of following the rules to perform the steps are called the strategies, the actual strategy followed is called the tactics, the edges operations and the  nodes are states .

Whether you are negotiating Goals, People, Functions, Data, Locations or Events, you have to create and observe the rules to maintain the integrity of the networks.  Goals are connected by Rules, People are connected by Rules, Functions are connected by Rules, Data are connected by Rules, Locations are connected by Rules and Events are connected by Rules.  Even Events (Time) is a network, because we are continuously referring to different clocks in different frames of reference.

All rules have the same characteristics:


We’ll explore how we will model this for each of the Six Hats, Six Coats networks in a subsequent post.

Now we have the connecting tissue of our networks.  Knowing this, we can embark on a course to model all six networks separately.  Once that is complete we can work on integrating two, three, four, five and finally all six networks into a single set of conventions.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

Systema: Aristotle and the Six Unities


Aristotle in his work Poetics defined what he termed, “the three unities”. The neoclassical form of these unities are defined as unity of action, unity of place and unity of time. Basically they were constraints placed on any dramatic work.

  1. The unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
  2. The unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
  3. The unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

These are excellent principles for the design of an interactive system. But considering the Six Hats, Six Coats concept I want to add three more unities:

  1. The unity of matter: a play should have only the props required by the actions.
  2. The unity of goal: a play should have only one moral.
  3. The unity of people: a play should have only the cast required to execute the actions.

So, there you have it. A modification of the neoclassical interpretation of Aristotle’s unities and another pillar in support of the Six Hats, Six Coats model.


For further reading on using drama theory for interaction design, I suggest Brenda Laurel’s book Computers as Theatre.

Business Modeling White Papers

The Zachman Framework states there are six focuses to any system. I have searched the web and have come up with white papers I feel best address each of these focuses. I also correlate them with my Six Coats metaphor:

Green Coat: Business Motivation Model from the Business Rules Group

Yellow Coat: Business Network Model (could not find an example)

White Coat: Business Data Model from Embarcadero Technologies

Black Coat: Business Process Model from the Business Process Management Initiative

Red Coat: Business Person Model from Cooper

Blue Coat: Business Event Model from IBM (Closest I could find)

relationary business modeling white papers relationary business modeling white papers relationary business modeling white papers

Start Art


The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki, appeals to what I consider the spirit of the Six Hats, Six Coats and Six Rings metaphor. There is an emphasis on two things, brevity and clarity or, better put, simplicity with attitude. Guy is a great speaker. I urge you to read his book and visit his site (see my Links widget).

His ten lessons from his speech on Start Ups:

  1. Make Meaning
    1. Increase the Quality of Life
    2. Right a Wrong
    3. Prevent the End of Something Good
  2. Make Mantra
    1. Wendy’s “Healthy Fast Food”
    2. FedEx “Peace of Mind”
    3. Nike “Authentic Athletic Performance”
    4. Target “Democratize Design”
  3. Get Going
    1. Think Different
    2. Polarize People
    3. Find a Few Soul Mates
  4. Define a Business Model
    1. Be Specific
    2. Keep It Simple
    3. Ask Women
  5. Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, Tasks)
    1. Milestone “Finish Design”
    2. Assumption “Sales Calls/Day”
    3. Task “Rent an Office”
  6. Niche Thyself
    1. High Ability to Provide a Unique Product or Service
    2. High Value to the Customer
  7. Follow the 10/20/30 Rule
    1. 10 Slides
      1. Title
      2. Problem
      3. Solution
      4. Business Model
      5. Underlying Magic
      6. Marketing and Sales
      7. Competition
      8. Team
      9. Projections
      10. Status and Timeline
    2. 20 Minutes
    3. 30 Point Font
  8. Hire Infected People
    1. Ignore the Irrelevant
    2. Hire Better Than Yourself
    3. Apply the Shopping Center Test
  9. Lower the Barriers to Adoption
    1. Flatten the Learning Curve
    2. Don’t Ask People to Do Something You Wouldn’t
    3. Embrace Your Evangelists
  10. Seed the Clouds
    1. Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom
    2. Enable Test Drives
    3. Find the Influencers
  11. Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down
    1. The Smartest, Most Successful, Highest Positioned Have Been Wrong

Six Hats, Six Coats


Edward de Bono’s concept of Six Hats on the surface looks creative, but in implementation it falls short. de Bono’s six hats are:

  1. Data (white)
  2. Emotion (red)
  3. Pessimism (black)
  4. Optimism (yellow)
  5. Creativity (green)
  6. Process (blue)

I do not disagree with these six hats. I tip my hat to de Bono. However, I feel that de Bono made a few mistakes. I am going to coin my own Six Hats:


The Conceptual hat is Creativity. The Contextual hat is Compatibility. The Logical hat is Reliability. The Physical hat is Economy. The Mechanical hat is Intuitivity. The Operational hat is Actuality. These are your six Perspectives.

Now, here is where I extend de Bono’s concept. This extension I call the Six Coats:


The Motivational coat is Goals. The Spatial coat is Networks. The Formal coat is Data. The Functional coat is Processes. The Personal coat is People. The Temporal coat is Time. These coats are your six Focuses.

Together, you take your hats and coats and wear them in a set order to get a project done. You start at the top and proceed left to right, row by row, to the bottom. This takes a chaos of perspectives and focuses and turns them into a methodology:


You may notice that the colors of the hats and coats complement each other. This is intentional:

  1. Green = Creatable = Goals = “Because we’re capable.”
  2. Yellow = Compatible = Network = “Because we’re portable.”
  3. White = Reliable = Data = “Because we’re reliable.”
  4. Black = Economical = Process = “Because we’re economical.”
  5. Red = Intuitable = People = “Because we’re intuitable.”
  6. Blue = Actual = Time = “Because we’re available.”

If you follow my blog you will see that my definitions are evolving. This is to be expected as I am learning between and during every post. I hope you enjoy the process with me.

To see a more recent version of the Six Hats, Six Coats model Click Here.