Today is ANZAC DAY in Australia.

Today the Chairman of the Board of SOT, Dr Brian Monahan and myself attended ANZAC ceremonies in Melbourne.

There is no IP more precious to the Australian Culture than the story of ANZAC. There is no Aussie meme that has more enduring replicator power than the ANZAC meme.

On ANZAC Day Brian and I had many conversations with diggers from the Vietnam War as well as the other wars that cost Australian lives.

One of the recurring themes amongst talking with war veterans is their despair that their war was never the last war. Why do we still go to war? Why are young Australian men and, in recent years women, too, still coming home in body bags?

In this context I would like to ask the following question: Should the great Australian War Memorial in Canberra tell the truth?

I don’t know what would be the better answer to this question but I do think that it is a question that should not be protected from thinking.

If this question can be asked in Australia then it may also, one day, be asked in other nations around the world.

What if the Australian War Memorial in Canberra told the truth?

I was recently in Canberra and spent a day at the memorial. It’s easily one of the best days any human, Australian or not, can ever invest in their own future.

One of the things that this wonderful place does is to ensure that every Australian who gave his life is remembered.

Lest We Forget.

But the great elephant in the room–in every one of these galleries that are crammed full of certain, but highly sanitised, images of the wars–is that the image you are looking at is nothing remotely like the truth.

All the images are painstakingly edited. Why? For what good reason? For whose benefit? On whose authority?

This is a question that I believe could be well served by greyscale thinking.


Australia: (CAP) Career Acceleration Program

In Melbourne, Australia in 1970, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson designed the generic Career Acceleration Program (CAP).

This was a train-the-trainer technology, for converting knowledge into skill. In training CAP instructors, six principles were emphasised. To become successful trainers they had to master these Six CAP Principles:

1. Learning By Teaching:

Learning by teaching means that if you have to explain something to someone else, then you must have already learned to explain it to yourself. So people are encouraged to teach their skills to each other, to their families, to friends, and so on.

2. Knowledge into Skill:

Developing a thorough understanding and conviction of the difference between merely having knowledge on a matter and owning a skill of performance in it. The virtue of virtuosity. Understanding the strategy of practice and repetition.

3. Measurement:

Unless one was deliberately willing to trade off the necessary time and energy needed to acquire a new skill – that is, logging the hours of practice and repetition – the trainee could never expect to go beyond the knowing stage and reach a level of operating skill. This means focusing on the process and measuring it in hours of practice (HOP) and key performance indicators (KPI).

4. Commitment to Action:

The skills must be useful in daily life. To assist the transfer of skills acquired in training to real life situations, trainees designed specific “action commitments” on special planners including times, dates, places, etc.

5. Effective Follow-up:

The monitoring of feedback and measuring results were an important part of CAP. Checking to see if what happened was what the trainee really wanted. This became a continuous part of the process.

6. Reinforcement:

Noticing increments of progress in acquiring new skills and then recognising them in an appropriate way by feeding back information–cybernetically–for positive reinforcement (CPR) were fundamental principles of CAP.


Military Training Strategies

images-31.jpeg SOT uses two primary Scheyville Australian military leadership training strategies:

1. digital training and

2. daily training.

From 1967 through 1974 in Australia and South Viet Nam, Dr. Hewitt-Gleeson studied, as part of his military training and service, world-class Australian Army officer training in leadership, survival, confidence training, instructional techniques and military arts. He conducted further experiments while serving as an officer/chief instructor in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Reserve Officer.

As a result of this experience he designed CAP which was well received by trainees, trainers and educators for producing measureable results. Since then, continuous, focused development of the training technology in the marketing, business, and public training applications has brought its evolution to its current stage of development.

FROM BLACK TO GRAY is all about the escape from judgmental thinking to wisdom.


wisdom n. experience and knowledge together
with the power of applying them critically or practically
Oxford English Dictionary


Survival is clever and requires intelligence. Long term survival endows wisdom and this is a very clever thing, indeed

From the hard-won accomplishment of longevity emerges broad experience and special knowledge. It cannot be taught.

The Grey Thinking Hat is for Wisdom.

The experience of surviving for a complete generation through childhood, adolescence and adulthood endows knowledge and perspective that a young brain cannot match.

To achieve 50 years of survival, through two or more generations, allows the brain to build a database of experience which offers a perspective of history, an understanding of long term consequences, a faculty for prediction and a wisdom that cannot be acquired in any other way. It takes half a century.

(Master Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Grey Hat, Paris, 1887)

Grey Hat Thinking is the ability to see consequences, immediate, short term and long term. It is the ability to look back over history and to see forward into the future. To understand cycles, passages of time, the passing of fashions, eras, eons and the many possible futures including extinction, the possibility of no future at all.

My mentor, Professor George Gallup, was acknowledged worldwide as one of the greatest leaders of change. George was also a wonderful American gentleman and a very nice man. He was 84 when he died at his place in Switzerland in 1984.

He was the inventor of the Gallup Poll at Princeton and the designer of market research. He was the first to map the Human Meme Pool. George Gallup’s great personal wisdom was supported by his long experience of measuring, in scientific detail, the opinions of more people around the world than anyone else in history. In The Miracle Ahead he wrote that:
Change cannot be brought about easily by leaders, except in those situations in which the changes advocated do not disturb present relationships. In fact, it is the leaders who typically become the most bitter and the most effective foes of change. The public, therefore, must take the initiative and assume responsibility for progress in the affairs of man. The public must force change upon its leaders (who) command more respect today than perhaps they deserve… The leader is expert in his small world as it presently exists, not expert in the world as it might be. Although he plays an important role in modern society, it is not realistic to expect him to advocate change. This is the surest way for him to lose his status … The hope of the future rests with the citizen. To be effective, he must be well informed, and he must discover ways of making better use of his own great capacities and those of his fellow man. He cannot expect his leaders to give him much help in his upward march.

Grey Hat Thinking also means the wisdom to see other points of view. It includes the sagacity of patience to see beyond one’s own immediate viewpoint and the wisdom to see the viewpoints of others involved in situations: your partner’s viewpoint, your children’s, your children’s children, your neighbour’s, your customer’s, your enemy’s.

The wisdom of Grey Hat Thinking comes from long term survival.

Elizabeth II says: “One of the features of growing old is a heightened awareness of change. To remember what happened 50 years ago means that it is possible to appreciate what has changed in the meantime. It also makes you aware of what has remained constant. In my experience, the positive value of a happy family is one of the factors of human existence that hasn’t changed. The immediate family of grandparents, parents and children together with their extended family is still the core of a thriving community. When Prince Philip and I celebrated our Diamond Wedding Anniversary last month we were much aware of the affection and support of our own family as they gathered around us for the occasion.” – click to view her Christmas Message 2007 here.

It is the wisdom that emerges from the hard won, labour-intensive experience gained from having to solve life’s wide range of problems through multi-changing environments over several generations and for an extended period of time.

One of the well-known paradoxes of wisdom is expressed by Mark Twain’s admission: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years”.

Even though we may not be able to teach children to do Grey Hat Thinking we can still teach them to understand what it is–to recognise it–to appreciate it, to consult it, and to seek it our wherever it can be found.

Of all the original Thinking Hats–White, Black, Yellow, Red, Green, Blue–the Grey Hat is also the Senior Hat.

Wisdom, wrote Albert Einstein, “is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it … The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while … How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.

NOTE: If you have any suggestions or comments on this topic, please post your ideas below and if your comment is included in the book you will be given appropriate attribution and a free copy of the book.

See also: The Original SOT Thinking Caps Concept …

Chinese character for Wisdom


Why is everyone in Hollywood talking about 10,000 hours?

That’s the amount of time that author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes for a talented person to master a cognitively complex skill — like becoming a world-class pianist or an Olympic athlete — in his new book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.”

According to Gladwell, it’s the number of hours that separates the merely good from the really great, and it’s easy to see why the “10,000 hour” idea has caught fire in an industry like Hollywood, which is only partly a meritocracy, where riches rain down just as often on the lucky and the well-connected as on the talented. For many who have found success in the entertainment industry, Gladwell’s theory offers a nifty, concrete explanation to the question of “Why me? Why have I climbed to the top of my field when so many others have failed?”

—click through to original article …