The Power of Perception Training May 31

Post by Frank Connolly 22nd March, 2011

Think Quick are pleased to announce our very first public workshop training the 10 x Power of Perception, strategic thinking tools.

It has been said that up to 90% of the mistakes we make are not a result of poor logic, but a result of mistakes in our perception. The “Power of Perception” training will provide you with 10 simple strategies for sharpening and improving your perception and focusing your thinking in a more comprehensive, effective and and efficient manner.

This course assists participants to develop more broad and inclusive viewpoints and create a framework for defining and addressing a given situation.

A work-based assessment will be provided to all participants with a view to assisting an immediate application of the methods back in the workplace. Coaching via phone and email will be available free of charge to assist participants to complete this assessment.

You should attend this course if you or your staff have a need to:

  • Improve your scanning of specific issues and the broader environment,
  • Think with greater structure and clarity,
  • Use methodical and construtive problem sensing and solving techniques,
  • Make confident and considered decisions’
  • Avoid first pattern-match solution orientation and,
  • Avoid impulsive behaviour and judgements.

Date: Tuesday May 31

Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Location: Airlie Leadership Development Centre, 260 Domain Rd Sth Yarra

Value: $499/person with an early bird rate of $449/person up until May 13. Bookings of 3 or more also attract the early bird rate.)

Other: This is a public workshop and participants from all sectors are welcome. Coffee/tea/Hot chocolate on arrival, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.

To Register: Click Here

Session Flyer: POP training ALDC May 31

Training in the Parallel Thinking of the Six Hats May 27

Post by Frank Connolly 22nd March, 2011

“A huge thanks for what was hands down the best and most practical training I have ever done.  As a mediator I loved the close parallels between the hats and the various stages and foci of mediation, but even apart from that I pretty much started using the training as soon as I walked out the door. ” (March 18 participant)

Join us for a highly interactive day of learning and practical application of 12 thinking tools at Melbourne’s most prestigious training venue.

People and organisations are seeking improvement and quality across many areas except that which is the most important – the quality of the way we think.

If we improve the quality of our thinking the quality of the actions that follow correspondingly improve.

The Six Thinking Hats are designed to dramatically improve the way we think. The methods are used to look at issues from multiple perspectives and help us to move beyond our habitual thinking styles to achieve a more rounded and thorough view of a given situation.

In this full day session participants will develop:

  • a sound understanding of multiple thinking styles,
  • the ability to design and facilitate effective, outcome oriented meetings,
  • the ability to generate new ideas using lateral thinking methods,
  • the ability to design and lay out a thinking process, and
  • become a more thorough and objective thinker.

The session will be held at Melbourne’s premier training venue and all participants will be provided with an optional work-based assessment with which to immediately start to apply the methods back in the workplace. Successful completion of this assessment provides the “Blue Hat Facilitator” Pin.  Email & telephone coaching will be provided to assist with this at no additional cost.

Date & Time : 8:30am – 4:30pm, Friday May 27, 2011

Where: The Airlie Leadership Development Centre, 260 Domain Rd South Yarra

Value: $499/person with an early rate of $449/person up until May 13

Other: Participants from all sectors are welcome. Coffee/Tea will be provided upon arrival by qualified Baristas and the highest quality morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. (If you’ve been to Airlie before you’ll know what this means!)

Course Brochure: Hats training ALDC May 27

To Register: Click Here

For more information, contact Frank at Think Quick on 0400 109727, or

Siamese Lateral Thinking

Post by Frank Connolly 21st March, 2011

I’ve just been fortunate enough to spend some time in Bangkok teaching Lateral Thinking on behalf of the deBono Institute to a combined group of Thai and Indonesian staff from Exxon-Mobil. I promised the students that I would share a few online insights on my time with them, hence this post!

First off I must concede that Lateral Thinking is not for everyone, the methods push your brain into an unstable state and many are far from comfortable with this. It’s far easier to simply default to thinking and doing the same old things, the same old way because they are comfortable and worked in the past.

Sadly the world does not work like this. We now have an urgent need to think laterally as it’s a means of breaking the existing and well-established patterns that already exist in our heads. Without doing so we are doomed to producing the same old thoughts and ideas ad infinitum, and never come to grips with the increasing number of new and complex challenges facing us.

Anyway, despite the associated difficulties with learning these new and challenging tools, the students took to them with a great deal of enthusiasm. The thing that really impressed me the most, is that this course is delivered in English, and English for every student in the room constituted their 2nd or even 3rd language. (My Thai and Indonesian is pretty good, but a vocabulary of 4 or 5 words will just not cut it.) So not only did they grapple with new concepts and ideas, but they did it in a language that I assume was much less comfortable to them than others.

I suspect many here in Australia would struggle to be able to do similarly, let alone be able to speak multiple languages. I have read in the past that those with additional language skills have a correspondingly greater number of connections form in their brains, so I wonder if this was a factor in the groups uptake of the tools?

During the course of the two days training we looked at a number of issues, both organisational and personal, to which we could apply the lateral thinking tools. These included such diverse topics as “generating ideas to increase collaboration across the organisation’s international boundaries”, “challenging aspects of their personal development plan process” and “designing a new type of toothbrush”.  The final idea generation session during which the group applied all of the tools in an end to end process, involved generating new ideas to assist themselves to save money better and make sound personal investment decisions for the future.

Anyway, if these students were typical of the calibre of staff that the organisation has in both Thailand and Indonesia, we can expect good things from Exxon-Mobil in the future.

Evaluating Evaluation

Post by Frank Connolly 20th March, 2011

Friday March 18 saw a full house at The Airlie Leadership Development Centre for training in Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.

Toward day’s end one of the participants asked if we were going to distribute feedback/evaluation forms. My response was “Absolutely not, never in a million years.” Of course I then had to explain myself for fear of being seen to be too blase about the whole matter of evaluation.

Over the journey I have lost count of how many workshops, seminars, conferences, training sessions, etc that have had evaluation forms handed out at the death with the most inane and superficial questions one can imagine. (I know I’ve used some myself!) Typically, irrespective of the efficacy of the training most people just want to scribble something quickly and get the hell out and home. Under such circumstances the quality of the response is underwhelming. If the questions asked relate to the nature of the venue or the quality of the lunch, then even more so.

If people are there to train at their own, or the company’s expense then something with a little more grunt is needed. For too long those responsible for sending staff to training have not applied sufficient rigour to the final outcomes of their investment.

As we have conducted this training on so many occasions and had such positive feedback in each instance, it’s easy to start to become complacent about what it is you are actually achieving. Good learning and positive feedback are one thing, but how is it impacting in the real world? What is the return on investment? Are you adding value?

Now of course there are many well thought out and detailed ways to properly evaluate training and many organisations have such systems in place. My preferred model is a much simpler one, and one that ensures both the trainer and trainee are truly held to account for the investments made.

The aspect of training that has always fascinated me most has been the gap (Actually its not a gap, its a chasm) that exists between the training and its embedding into ongoing practice in the workplace. For this reason one of the books I’ve always referred to has been Bob Sutton’s The knowing-doing gap. We actually know what to do in organisations, or we have a fairly good idea but we just don’t do it!

Our way of addressing this gap, which we are experimenting with at the moment with some success, is the incorporation of a work-based assessment component of the programme that ensures that to achieve the final qualification, participants must apply the methods at least twice in a real life situation and report back on the session’s outcomes. The training is simply an important starting point, its where it ultimately leads that matters. It is our belief that it is only practical outcomes that result from workplace application that provide something tangible for those who need to assess the efficacy of training programmes.

If a trainee is compelled to complete a task at least twice in the real world, there is a far greater probability that they will then go on and repeat it a third and fourth time, particularly if the methods are sound and results are achieved. If trainees can report on tangible business outcomes it makes the Learning & Development’s function far easier come the time for budget cuts when short term thinking ensures that L&D is the first thing to go. Like most of my colleagues I have always thought that the L&D and Org Dev functions were essential and not discretionary, but try and tell the bureaucrats and pen pushers that!

So we need to start to focus on three key areas:

1) The participants must be change the way they feel about, or positively perceive what you have to offer so that a willingness to practically apply it ensues. (The video attached, which many might consider the culmination of a successful session is only a good indicator of key area 1)

2) The second essential area is the actual practical application of the methods in real world situations, and

3) The third is the ability to be able to report on the outcomes of those practical applications, (not the training, not the assessment, but the outcomes of the assessments.)

The embedding into work practice and return on investment are one of the few things that Learning & Development, the pen-pushers and the bureaucrats should be able to agree upon.

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