One of the World’s Most Influential Lateral Thinkers – Dr George Gallup of The Gallup Poll

Dr George H. Gallup Sr is the Patron of the School of Thinking.

In 1980, George Gallup said, “What the School of Thinking is doing to teach people to think for themselves may be THE most important thing going on in the world today.”

At that time, it was my great privilege to have Dr George Gallup as my examiner for my PhD which was a scientific R&D project looking into the subject of ‘selling’.

That was in New York in 1980. The project was successful and Dr Gallup wrote in his assessment that “Michael’s Newsell approach may be the first new strategy for selling in 50 years”.

George H. Gallup, Founder | 1901-1984

Most people have heard of the Gallup Poll but few know much about its founder who was also the inventor of market research.

Today, Jim Clifton, Chairman of Gallup says: “Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.”

But how did it all get started?

In the 1939s in the USA Gallup called his polling company the American Institute of Public Opinion and billed the Gallup Poll as a reliable index of the voters’ mood. Much of the political establishment just laughed at him. After all, his “Institute” was just a tiny office above the Woolworth’s on Nassau Street.

The election of ’36 propelled the Gallup Poll into prominence that would see it become a vital force in political culture. For the next 60 years, it remained the most popular newspaper poll in the world. No election, no policy debate was complete without its percentages.

Public opinion polling organizations affiliated with the Gallup Poll were set up in Britain and dozens of other foreign countries; in some European languages the verb ”to poll” became ”to do a Gallup.”

In presiding over his manifold activities, Dr. Gallup cut a dynamic and vigorous figure until he was well into his 70’s. He had much nervous energy, he could be highly affable and he had a forceful, plain, Middle Western way of speaking that bespoke his Iowan origins.

Winston Churchill would complain: “Nothing is more dangerous than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always taking one’s temperature.”

But to Gallup, polling was useful precisely because it did read democracy’s temperature.

George Horace Gallup Jr. was born Nov. 18, 1901, in the heartland of America — a small town called Jefferson, Iowa.

From a young age, he was instilled with a sense of democracy based on the sturdy, self-sufficient farmer. When he was 9, in fact, his father entrusted him with a herd of dairy cows to earn his own spending money. Later, young George worked his way through the University of Iowa.

As editor of the student newspaper, Gallup loved to stir things up — even in the quiescent ’20s. “Doubt everything,” he wrote in one editorial. “Question everything. Be a radical!”

Gallup earned a PhD in journalism, which he promptly put to work in the most practical way by doing surveys of the Des Moines newspaper market. Editors assumed that their readers read all the front-page stories. Gallup found out the readers rarely did — preferring comics, pictures and bright features.

His work got him noticed by Young and Rubicam, the big New York ad agency, and in 1933, Gallup headed east to take over their market-research department. For a home, he picked a rambling white farmhouse off Great Road in Blawenburg, N.J., complete with working dairy farm.

At the family dinner table with his wife, Ophelia, and their three children, Gallup engaged in provocative, mind-stretching conversation.

“We were like guinea pigs for his ideas about polling,” said his son, George Gallup III. “He’d poll us. Do you like dogs or cats better? What kind of cereal?”

The dinner-table talk, together with his long commutes to Manhattan, gave the elder Gallup time to think. One of his thoughts: If market research works to sell toothpaste, why not politics?

And so, in September 1935, the Gallup Poll was born.

The ad man had always been a journalist at heart, and he thought of his political poll as a dynamite newspaper item. After he set up the headquarters of the Institute of Public Opinion at 114 Nassau St., he enlisted more than 20 papers across the country to buy his poll results as a syndicated feature.

The poll, first published Oct. 20, had a grand title: “America Speaks.” Its first question, in these pits of the Great Depression, was: “Do you think expenditures by the government for relief or recovery are too little, too great or just about right?” Sixty percent said “too great.”

Gallup would conduct biweekly polls of a sample of perhaps 2,000 people — each one chosen, in the time-tested manner of market research, to represent a larger group, including all classes, races and regions.

And instead of relying on mail-in ballots, Gallup would send pollsters to talk to people in person — at work, on home or on the street.

By bringing out the voice of the “average voter,” Gallup never wavered in believing he was serving the Republic.

“When a president, or any other leader, pays attention to poll results, he is, in effect, paying attention to the views of the people,” Gallup said.

Gallup was too inquisitive to just write about politics, though. As early as 1936, he was asking people if a woman should have a career if her husband has enough money to support her. Only 18 percent said yes.

Public-opinion polling has actually been a money-loser for Gallup throughout its history. George Gallup made his money — millions of it — from corporate clients by researching the effectiveness of ad campaigns and finding out who watches certain TV shows. But it was the polls that made him famous, and controversial.

In 1948, Gallup blew it. His surveys consistently showed President Harry S. Truman behind challenger Thomas Dewey, so Gallup announced the result was a foregone conclusion and stopped polling two weeks before the election.

Truman won. The day after the election, the president laughingly waved a Chicago Tribune headline that mistakenly said “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” — taunting all the wise guys who thought he would lose.

Glum after his ’48 debacle, Gallup announced: “We are continually experimenting and continually learning.” Lesson No. 1 was to keep polling, right up to Election Day, and the Gallup Poll has never gotten a presidential election wrong since.

In 1984, George Gallup died of a heart attack while staying in his summer home in Switzerland.

More:

Gallup’s Top World Findings for 2019

Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center

NEW: Coaching ‘At Home’ for SMEs

• By appointment, one-2-one consultations are 30 minutes for AUD$250.

• Each bespoke consultation is specific to your particular problem or opportunity.

• The light fee is designed to assist some SMEs and small business owners during the lockdown. Numbers may be limited.

• All consultations are conducted – ‘At Home’ or office – by smartphone, Skype or Zoom.

Francesco Caso is Founder and Principal of Positive Business consultancy. Francesco holds a Positive Psychology master’s degree from the University of Melbourne, and a graduate law degree from the University of Naples Federico II. His current work in designing innovations for the food-delivery service industry (UberEATS, Deliveroo etc) has led to both business survival and growth results during the severe pandemic business downturn.

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is Australia’s recognised authority on lateral thinking. The Visiting Fellow in Innovation, Latrobe University, he holds a PhD degree in Cognitive Science from International College, Los Angeles with a research association with New York University and Greater New York Hospitals. Dr Hewitt-Gleeson is Australia’s best-selling author of Software For Your Brain and NewSell. He is currently advising leadership strategy and innovation in Australian property investment and has designed a new online pandemic education experience, Learn Lateral Thinking ‘At Home’ in Ten Days.

How do you get most value from an ‘At Home’ Consultation?   Perhaps on any decision involving $10,000 dollars or more.   Certainly, any $100,000 dollar decision that is taken without an independent second opinion may be an unnecessary and extravagant risk!

How can I get started? If you’d like Francesco or Michael to contact you personally (to discuss your decision strategy) click ‘Please Contact Me’ here with your preferred email address.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0059.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 10a464dd-3352-442b-9b84-7ce05000b346-1377-00000162e0a30292_file.jpg

• Click to start watching … https://youtu.be/7rB5qGKGUBQ


Great Lateral Thinkers

I’m sometimes asked ‘Is lateral thinking something new or can I find it in the history books?’

Lateral thinking has always been a potential of the human brain and has been so described since the beginning of literature. Eve’s own thinking about the famous apple tree showed her ability to think outside the box.

Here are some great lateral thinkers who are quite worthy of your curiosity and attention.

Napoleon and Henry VIII. They were great men but they were not lateral thinkers. But they were savvy enough to employ two great men who were. Prince Talleyrand was a consummate lateral thinker and so was Lord Cromwell (Thomas not Oliver).

Joseph of Nazareth was a lateral thinker and so was Yeshua, his son.

Voltaire could think outside the box and his lover, Emilie, the Marquise du Châtelet, could match his talent, too.

Ayn Rand was a fearless lateral thinker and so was her lover and protégé, Nathaniel Branden.

Let’s not forget the Viscountess Anne Conway, the great Enlightenment lateral thinker, as was the (in)famous Mary Wollstonecraft.

The learned Pope Benedict XVI was not a lateral thinker but he moved aside for one who was.

Your own awakening starts today …

Adapted from ‘The Awakening’ … (Author Unknown)

A time comes in your life when you finally get it… when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening. You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change… or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that neither of you is Prince Charming or Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you… and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself… and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself… and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties… and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, whom you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with … and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely. You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK…and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less. And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect.

You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve… and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone… and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that the gods aren’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart YOU take a stand.

You take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.

Start by making today count … right now …

Antidote! The Booklet.

All the world’s governments are devoting mega-resources to fight the coronavirus and rightly so because the threat to all humans is serious. But, at the same time, they are not yet solving the problem of the costly coronavirus meme pandemic.

There are lots of information viruses–memes–spreading around which are plain wrong, causing panic, sucking up precious resources, damaging businesses and infecting brains in unhelpful ways.

This is my new booklet, Antidote!, to help people deal with the raging Covid-19 memes. (Click to read … )

Knowledge about memes and how they infect your brain is real protection. Brains that have this knowledge have greater protection than brains that are still ignorant about memes.

CLICK TO READ:
https://schoolofthinking.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Antidote-2.pdf

Vale Jack Welch of GE.

Champion of x10 Thinking

Jack was an x10 thinker. He also knew the paradox of thinking outside the box. He told me, “I had to hide on the way up the GE ladder all the thinking skills I needed when I became CEO otherwise I would never have been promoted.”

Historically, School of Thinking owes much of its success to three distinguished thinkers: Edward de Bono, George Gallup and Jack Welch. Today we remember Jack Welch.

In New York in 1985 Jack Welch of GE introduced x10 thinking to all GE senior executives and middle managers. Jack read my book NewSell (Boardroom Books, NY 1984) and personally authorised the teaching of ‘x10 Thinking’ (the universal brain software cvs2bvs) across the GE enterprise. He wrote, “I wish I had a management team that really understood Michael’s x10 Thinking because it’s the value-creation skill in the management process”. In subsequent years GE executives have been sought out by Fortune 500 companies because they were considered the ‘creme de la creme’ of the US leadership crop.

With regard to School of Thinking in the corporate sector it started in 1984 when IBM became the first of the Fortune 500 companies to introduce the cvs2bvs lateral thinking skill to senior executives. Then Jack Welch made a corporate mission three-year commitment to training all GE senior executives. The investment for this project was $50,000 and I was retained for top fees to design a 30 x slide projector multi-media training experience to teach – cvs2bvs – the universal brain software and we flew this unit around the GE world from New York to Crotonville to Acapulco training GE executives in ‘x10 Thinking’ from 1985-1987. At that time it was the biggest investment any US company had ever made in teaching lateral thinking skills. Looking back since then it’s worth noting the following facts:

• Jack Welch of GE was himself a master of x10 Thinking. He nicknamed it ‘boundaryless thinking” and also “boundarylessness’.

• By the time he left Jack had grown the world famous General Electric Company from a market value of $14 billion to a market value of $410 billion – an increase of more than 2,700%making it the most valuable company in the history of the world. Thinking way outside the box he had transformed it from not only a century-old manufacturer but also a national broadcaster and a global bank!

• “Our dream for the 1990s,” Welch wrote in GE’s 1990 annual report, “is a boundaryless company where we knock down the walls that separate us from each other on the inside and from our key constituencies on the outside.”

• In his book about his time at GE Jack: Straight From the Gut (2001) he wrote about cvs2bvs: “It would make each of us wake up with the goal of “Finding a Better Way Every Day”. It was a phrase that became a slogan, put up on the walls of GE factories and offices around the world. It was the essence of boundaryless behaviour, and it defined our expectations”.

• Famous for the little handwritten notes he would send to people, Jack sent me several and the one I prized most said simply: “Michael, you are a friend of our company”.

• In 1999, Fortune magazine named him “Manager of the Century”. • Since then, thousands of companies in the US and around the world have used ideas from the GE Model. Scores of Fortune 500 companies emulated the leadership example and transformation model set by Jack Welch at GE.

• Many business volumes, Harvard Business Review articles and other media have been written about Jack’s value-driven transformation of his company.

• Using his cutting-edge strategies like Work Out, Boundarylessness and Six Sigma, Jack has developed more leaders than any other CEO in business history.

• That I know of, the Jack Welch era at GE produced CEOs for Honeywell, 3M, Boeing, Intuit, Symantec, Home Depot, Chrysler, Siemans and Merck. According to USA Today the top three companies for producing CEOs of other Fortune 500 companies are GE (26), IBM (18) and McKinsey (16).

Today, Larry Page of Google is the best proponent of x10 thinking and today Google is the most valuable company in the world. In emulating Jack Welch Larry Page says he “lives by the gospel of x10″. (WIRED, Feb 2013, Cover). Like Jack Welch, Larry Page has also nicknamed x10 thinking. He calls it … ‘moonshot thinking’.

The Female Brain?

Leading British neuroscientist, Professor Gina Rippon, has research which has been used to dismantle the idea that there are distinct differences in male and female brains.

Her work has shown that early research fuelled the myth that female biology is inferior. She presents cutting edge neuroscience to detail how our brains are highly plastic, individualised, adaptable and full of potential. And the politics and prejudice behind it.

Watch Professor Rippon briefly introduce her ideas about the female and male brain …

.

Teaching the World to Think – 1979 to 2019

The New Idea of ‘Thinking Instructors’

As an innovator in the new field of cognitive science, my own original idea was ‘thinking instructors’. My specific idea was: ‘Anyone can learn to think if they have a thinking instructor.’ Today there are over 6 million thinking instructors worldwide.

This innovation all started at HBO studios in New York in 1977 when I produced a 3-part video training series called ‘Train the Trainer’ for Equitable Life. Copies were made and sent to all 185 branches. It was the first nationwide corporate video training product in America. The train-the-trainer techniques were based on my previous decade of experiences in and out of the military especially principles from the Australian Army’s clever ‘Scheyville Method’ for thinking way outside the box. Later, in 1979, I researched and adapted ‘Train the Trainer’ for training ‘thinking instructors’ and designed the ‘Learn-To-Think Project’: to train 300,000 thinking instructors in America for teaching lateral thinking skills in schools, in businesses and in communities.


In November 1979, I presented the Learn-to-Think Project to Cambridge Professor of Investigative Medicine, Edward de Bono, on one of his visits to NYC. Edward was very animated by the idea of ‘thinking instructors’. He said it was ‘brilliant because of the multiplier effect’ and offered to contribute his 60-lesson version of CoRT Thinking as content for the thinking lessons to be used by the thinking instructors. Although the CoRT content was indeed excellent to get us started the instructors soon found that 60 lessons were impractical – being far too many skills to train and disseminate widely – and so we worked to replace these 60 with 6. We then published our detailed plan for implementing the ambitious national project in a comprehensive train-the-trainer’s manual entitled ‘Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructor’s Manual’ (Capra New 1982).

I got going in New York without government funding, grants or corporate sponsorship. The ‘teaching thinking’ idea was resisted for some time but I self-funded and persevered with training instructors in school districts in New York, Dallas and San Francisco and eventually the idea of ‘thinking instructors’ got real traction.

With the help of a small but talented and mission-devoted team of senior instructors whom I personally trained the big breakthrough came in April 1983 when we collaborated with the Readers Digest (#1 audited magazine in the world) in an initiative to publish our coursebook’s thinking lessons in a cover story across all international editions. Anticipating the internet, this media Big Bang went viral and totalled a distribution of nearly half a billion thinking lessons in a major international publishing event. It was a part of a cascading media phenomenon which was launched on January 9th, 1983 in our special 2-page supplement in the New York Times called Teaching Thinking: The new trend in education. The emphasis was on the importance of having thinking instructors in schools because “… without specific efforts there is no assurance that students will learn to think laterally”.

Dr Eric Bienstock was the first thinking instructor who I trained in New York in January 1980. Today there are more than 6.6 million thinking instructors in the world. Over 3 million in primary schools and over 3.5 million in secondary schools. Many are still teaching the ‘Six Thinking Hats Method’ originally developed by the School of Thinking in 1983.


So, on this day (17 November 2019) which is the 40th Anniversary of the School of Thinking, after 40 years of focus and energy and on this occasion of my retirement, I believe I can safely say: Mission accomplished!

But, the question is: do the efforts of thinking instructors really have a significant impact on schools, businesses and communities? Yes they do and the evidence is both positive and plentiful. Like the flap of a butterfly’s wings or a pebble in a pond the sudden intervention of the ‘teaching of thinking skills’ in schools and businesses can trigger a concatenation of consequences that go on and on over long sequels of time.

SFUSD

For example teaching thinking (metacognition) disrupted the standard curriculum in schools in the Bay Area in the mid-80s with very valuable consequences not only for graduate students but also for their employers. The sudden introduction of lateral thinking skills to the SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) in 1984 was signed off by Superintendent Robert Alioto. I was personally invited to train all the primary school principals. By 1985, all public primary schools began the special lessons for teaching metacognition (thinking about thinking) to students across the Bay Area. In the 90s and 2000s a significant explosion of cognitive surplus took off in the valley. The majority of all male and female paid thinkers on the Silicon Valley payrolls were products of the SFUSD system, and among the first in the US to be taught by thinking instructors. The return on payroll for Bay Area employers was exponential far outpacing both the state and the nation in patents issued. Many scholars have pointed out this overlap of education and economy in the Bay Area. Today, it is said that If the Bay Area was a country like Switzerland or Saudi Arabia its own GDP of $790+ billion (which outstrips them both) would be one of the highest GDPs in the world.

GE

In New York in 1985 Jack Welch of GE introduced teaching thinking to all GE senior executives and middle managers. Jack read my book NewSell (Boardroom Books, NY 1984) and personally authorised the teaching of ‘x10 Thinking’ (cvs2bvs: software for the brain) across the GE enterprise. He wrote, “I wish I had a management team that really understood Michael’s x10 Thinking because it’s the value-creation skill in the management process”. In subsequent years GE executive have been sought out by Fortune 500 companies because they were considered the ‘creme de la creme’ of the US leadership crop. For over 30 years cvs2bvs has been used by princes, presidents and prime-ministers around the world. By Olympic champions, scientists, soldiers, salesmen, parents, teenagers and kids.

In particular with the under-25s, because of their PFC Deficit, the teaching of thinking skills adds a big and lasting benefit to lives of teenagers and young people (see my book The 4th Brain (2019).

Why? Because one of the biggest discoveries of cognitive neuroscience is the inchoate teenage brain. It is now a significant fact that the PFC, Pre-Frontal Cortex, does not mature in the human brain until the mid-twenties!

The PFC is the critical decider, it’s where the executive decisions are made. It’s where you game your life. Life choices. Career decisions. Lateral thinking. Those who get the training have a big advantage over those who do not.

With regard to the corporate sector it started in 1984 when IBM became the first of the Fortune 500 companies to introduce the cvs2bvs lateral thinking skill to senior executives. Then Jack Welch made a corporate mission three-year commitment to training all GE senior executives. The investment for this project was $50,000 and I was retained for top fees to design a 30 x slide projector multi-media training experience to teach – cvs2bvs – the universal brain software and we flew this unit around the GE world from New York to Crotonville to Acapulco training GE executives in ‘x10 Thinking’ from 1985-1987. At that time it was the biggest investment any US company had ever made in teaching lateral thinking skills. Looking back since then it’s worth noting the following facts:

• Jack Welch of GE was himself a master of x10 Thinking. He nicknamed it ‘boundaryless thinking” and also “boundarylessness’.

• By the time he left Jack had grown the world famous General Electric Company from a market value of $14 billion to a market value of $410 billion – an increase of more than 2,700%making it the most valuable company in the history of the world. Thinking way outside the box he had transformed it from not only a century-old manufacturer but also a national broadcaster and a global bank!

• “Our dream for the 1990s,” Welch wrote in GE’s 1990 annual report, “is a boundaryless company where we knock down the walls that separate us from each other on the inside and from our key constituencies on the outside.”

• In his book about his time at GE Jack: Straight From the Gut (2001) he wrote about cvs2bvs: “It would make each of us wake up with the goal of “Finding a Better Way Every Day”. It was a phrase that became a slogan, put up on the walls of GE factories and offices around the world. It was the essence of boundaryless behaviour, and it defined our expectations”.

• Famous for the little handwritten notes he would send to people, Jack sent me several and the one I prized most said simply: “Michael, you are a friend of our company”.

• In 1999, Fortune magazine named him “Manager of the Century”. • Since then, thousands of companies in the US and around the world have used ideas from the GE Model. Scores of Fortune 500 companies emulated the leadership example and transformation model set by Jack Welch at GE.

• Many business volumes, Harvard Business Review articles and other media have been written about Jack’s value-driven transformation of his company.

• Using his cutting-edge strategies like Work Out, Boundarylessness and Six Sigma, Jack has developed more leaders than any other CEO in business history.

• That I know of, the Jack Welch era at GE produced CEOs for Honeywell, 3M, Boeing, Intuit, Symantec, Home Depot, Chrysler, Siemans and Merck. According to USA Today the top three companies for producing CEOs of other Fortune 500 companies are GE (26), IBM (18) and McKinsey (16). Today, Larry Page of Google is the best proponent of x10 thinking and today Google is the most valuable company in the world. Page says he “lives by the gospel of x10″. (WIRED, Feb 2013, Cover). Like Jack Welch, Larry Page has also nicknamed x10 thinking. He calls it … ‘moonshot thinking’.

These two case studies – SFUSD and GE – show the compounding value and return on payroll of using thinking instructors for the direct teaching of metacognition – of lateral thinking and critical thinking skills.


There have been many other case studies, like The Clever Country in Australia, and thousands of other experiments in business and education still going on around the world today. Going forward and in a Darwinian world where human intelligence is now being seriously threatened by artificial intelligence (AI) we may need the idea of ‘thinking instructors’ more and more than ever before.

Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Emeritus Principal, School of Thinking, 17 November 2019


SOT COPYRIGHT NOTICES

COPYRIGHT © • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED • 2019

TERMS OF USE OF OUR WEBSITES