In 1983 the School of Thinking pioneered the ‘thinking caps method of teaching thinking skills’. This method is now used widely around the world. SOT created the six thinking caps strategy to help thinkers to escape from their current thinking patterns.

After leaving SOT in 1985, Edward de Bono published a later version of Six Thinking Hats in which he has changed the idea from the original ‘caps‘ to ‘hats‘ and he also switched the ‘blue‘ and ‘green‘ ones around. His book is a fine summary of the ‘Thinking Caps’ idea but, disappointingly, he failed to attribute where the 0riginal idea came from when he was in the School of Thinking in 1983. Edward has promised to rectify that oversight in future editions.

In the Preface of a recent edition of Six Thinking Hats Edward acknowledges that, “The Six Thinking Hats method may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past 2300 years”.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

WASHINGTON – Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter.

The slide has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.)

Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

— Click through to the original article …

In this rare clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning — and the most important gift we can give others.

His concept of ‘crabbing’ is similar to one of the applications of X10 thinking used by SOT members.

About Viktor E Frankl

Neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl pioneered an approach to psychotherapy that focuses on the human search for meaning.

Google searches for the keyword “downturn” have quintupled since 2009.

This is no surprise. In business, the uncertainty of global finances has led to a world of tight budgets.

Two of the biggest costs, the biggest budget chunks, are always: payroll + marketing.

So, two of the biggest returns need to be:
1. return on payroll, and
2. return on marketing.

To survive harsh economic conditions and grow their business, senior management will be focusing on payroll optimisation and marketing optimisation.

In my own consulting I am focusing my attention on helping my clients with tight budgets to become leaders of change:
1. to create more profit out of their monthly payroll expense, and
2. to harvest more sales revenues from their marketing investment.

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.

Click here to visit the Gallup World Poll.

In the early sixties George wrote about his disappointing experience with many leaders and their poor ability to manage change. Most leaders have a strong disincentive to change due to their significant investment in the status quo. Often, it’s just not intelligent behaviour for leaders to champion change, regardless of how much rhetoric is squandered on the topic.

He observed that genuine change is more likely to come from the bottom-up than to be led from the top-down. Even a brief glance at history supports George’s observations.

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.

Tenpower: the deliberate use of the powers of ten

Since the early seventies I have been working with people around the world to help them grow their own business or career much faster. That is, presumably, much faster than it would have grown without my help. Where I have been able to help it’s been to get management to embrace change by focusing on their company’s cognitive assets. To get them to change their own habits of thinking and to harness the vast untapped potential of the brainpower of their enterprise. And, to try to get them to escape from the status quo and use the X10 cognitive provocation: “whatever your business is now, multiply it by ten”.

In theory, X10 is simple enough to do because you just add a zero. But, I have to report my own disappointment in the willingness of many business leaders to seriously test X10 as a way of managing change.

In practise, it has been much more difficult to get business leaders to try it out because, to many minds, it has seemed so preposterous or just too simplistic. Although a minority of senior managers have done exceedingly well with X10, the majority have had difficulty getting their head around the X10 idea.

Instead of testing X10, some instantly dismiss it as a simplistic, Pollyannish, positive thinking gimmick. In most cases, however, they are simply trapped in the old-fashioned pyramid structure where the bosses at the top of the pyramid do all the thinking and the bottom-dwellers just do what they’re told. These leaders remain oblivious to the immense X10 opportunity that is, in fact, the bottom of the iceberg of their intellectual capital.

Meanwhile, as the hi-growth companies are leaping ahead by utilising all their human assets to take care of business, many of these old-fashioned business leaders stay trapped on a steamship to nowhere. They cannot change and so their customers, their employees and their shareholders are sadly being left behind.

Because business is about survival it must, by definition, be about change. Furthermore, because business is also about growth it must be about continuous change.

It’s not so much about protecting the past as it is about designing the future. This is why logical thinking, by itself, is so inadequate for business strategy. We have to provoke ourselves to escape from the logic of the past. The gravity of traditional thinking can be so strong, especially within the cloisters of the executive suite, that a very powerful escape mechanism is required.

X10 is such a mechanism. Like the huge twin boosters on the space shuttle that power it out of the earth’s grip, X10 provides corporate strategy with the powerful provocation it needs to escape its rigid past patterns of thinking and of growth.

The X10 or ‘multiply by ten’ strategy is not simplistic nor mere positive thinking but is a serious strategy for provoking continuous change and has a scientific base. It’s simplicity of design is memetically important for its effectiveness. It enables you to use X10 as your corporate mission statement. As a meme that sits in the brain, X10 can be easily replicated from brain to brain throughout the enterprise.

The ‘powers of ten’ strategy is provocative, incredible and difficult for people to accept … at first! This cognitive dissonance is intentional. For those that persist, the dissonance disappears and they change the way they think. They come to use the Tenpower strategy as a natural part of their daily thinking. Soon it becomes reasonable, believable and easy to use. At which point they have an unfair advantage over their competitors who have not internalised the strategy.

— TIP: Take a few minutes for this special trip into Powers of Ten.

DFQ TD10 (Feedback Question):

How can you multiply YOUR business or career by ten?