Better design through broader scanning

The most common mistakes we make in our thinking are in the way we perceive the world around us. By and large our logic is quite sound but two people can look at the same thing and perceive it very differently. Our “perception” therefore involves not just what what comes through our collective eyes, but what goes on in our individual minds.

How then, do we get a sufficiently comprehensive view of an issue so that multiple perspectives can be incorporated and the best possible decisions made?

Last month Think Quick conducted a series of training pilots in a major Victorian Govt Dept to provide staff with a range of thinking tools to broadening their scanning ranges and perceptions across particular issues and thereby add value to the business of Govt. As a part of this training all participants were asked to complete a work-based assessment designed to help embed the learning into ongoing practice.

The training conducted, The Power of Perception provides 10 strategic thinking tools for sharpening perception and focusing thinking in a comprehensive, effective and efficient way.

As the assessments are being completed we are now seeing value added through the practical use of the tools. The application of four of the tools in sequence (diagram above) produced the simplification of a process involving the allocation of $30 million dollars per annum (fig 1.) Not only will this process aid in the simplification of the resource allocation but also carry the associated benefits of saving time, lowering meeting costs and reducing the red tape in decision making.

(Fig 1)

At the same time we are seeing the application of the tools in the personal lives of trainees with one family recently applying the methods to aid their year 12 level son to consider future options and their consequences, assess those options and make an informed decision on what he will do in 2011.

We are all good thinkers when we put our minds to it, but the application of some process and structure to our deliberations with simple, yet rigorous thinking tools, can make the tasks at hand a hell of a lot easier!

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About the Author

Frank Connolly is the Principal of “Think Quick”, a business that adds value through thinking differently. His work history covers all sectors and includes initiatives that have yielded bottom line benefit in the 10’s of millions of dollars.

Current clients range from Exxon-Mobil to Government Depts within Australia to Global NGO’s.

Much of his working life has been split between Australia, the South Pacific and Asia where he has trained and facilitated Lateral Thinking techniques, and been acknowledged by Edward de Bono as one of the foremost practitioners of the de Bono thinking methods worldwide.

Frank believes strongly that if we can improve the way we think, the actions that follow also improve.

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