59 – Decision hats for middle management. Some suggestions.

Posted by Whistler                                                                          570 words

I recently posted on hats that councillors could wear when making decisions in their different capacities, or when making different types of decision. The hats would provide a cue to other councillors and onlookers. I received some comments from readers and since then I conducted an informal poll of colleagues to determine what head gear they think could be worn when they make decisions. Again, the idea is to signal intention to others.

Managers mostly operate in the one capacity but they make many different types of decisions. Here are some thoughts on hats that could go with them.

 wizards hat A Wizards hat – for conjuring resources from thin air to make those last minute projects happen. This particular hat would go nicely with a dark suit. For a more festive decision, a hat with stars and the moon on it could be worn.
mickey mouse hatSome Micky Mouse ears – for the decision that defies reality and takes you into a whole world of fantasy. It is not the most comfortable hat, nor is it sun smart. I know some people who would be wearing it far more often than they should.
 combat helmet GI combat helmet – for the ‘Catch 22’ decision where there are going to be no winners and everyone will end up with yellow teeth and toes for a week afterwards.
pirates hatA Pirate’s hat – to be worn when getting the benefit from a tough decision made by someone else. The hat shown is quite traditional. The tricorne, recently popularised by Captain Jack Sparrow, is another choice.
 chefs hat The Chef’s hat – when something has to be cooked up in a hurry. It is easily kept in the brief case for use at short notice.
priests hatA Priests hat – when something needs to be officially buried. You can select the denomination of your choice.
 propeller hat Propeller hat – to be worn when trying to make your IT systems work. It builds affinity with the IT guys. It is also ineffective and amusing.
sorting hatSorting hat – for decisions about wicked problems where there are multiple right answers. You can be confident that the right choice will be made once you don this hat.
 knotted hanky hat The old knotted hanky – for decisions when everyone is getting into the details and you are expected to be an expert on every one of them. Roll your sleeves up and knot your hanky.  It is actually more serious than it looks.
nostradamus hatNostradamus hat – for those decisions that you make and then hope it will be 1000 years until you are proven right or wrong (or at least after the end of your contract).
 hessian cap Sustainability cap – for those decisions where the environmental importance must be clear to everyone. If you must eat your hat, I recommend this one (organic and high fibre).
fascinatorThe Fascinator – a curious choice for some managers but necessary when entertaining local politicians in order to maintain their attention. You could try the propeller hat if you feel more comfortable in it.
 high tech helmet I am not sure what you would call this hat but it looks like one that could be used for those special decisions where you have no idea what you are doing, no one else has any idea, and the results are likely to take you somewhere you have never been before.  I quite like it.


Of course, these are only suggestions.