Thinking Improvement

ChangeSolutions


 


Home

 

Thinking Improvement

Can we improve how we think?  Of course we can.  Learning should not be restricted to knowledge acquisition or improving the outputs of our time.  Stepping back from our busy lives and improving how we think can have incredible benefit in making our lives easier.

Current Situation

Virtually all of us have gone through a traditional classroom based education.  I am not talking here about tertiary level education or even secondary level education.  I am talking about the basics - reading, writing and how we have been taught to think.  This happens in the early years of schooling and is driven by simple measurable objectives.  Literacy (can we read and write) and discipline (can we sit still while the teacher talks).

Our experience in these early years builds up our 'learning capability'.  This is not only how we learn new things, but also how we apply our mind to a problem or situation.  Most of us in knowledge-based roles spend our whole adult life doing exactly that.

Training that is delivered in the workplace, or that we attend as adults is typically focused on increasing productivity and improving the outputs of our job.  This might be through the acquisition of new knowledge or a new skill.  The assumption is that we already know how to think.

Paradigm Shift

We do all know how to think.  But are we thinking efficiently?  And by thinking, I mean applying our minds to a problem or a task.  Not necessarily the delivery of the output, but the thinking required achieving that output.

Have you ever had to write a report or prepare a presentation and spent hours (or what seemed like hours) looking at a blank PC screen?  This is the problem.  By going on a Business Writing course or a Presentation Skills course you will improve the output, but you will not improve speed of preparation or the quality of the content.

The shift involves questioning the methods that we learned in school and opening ourselves up to the idea that there is an easier and better way of doing things.

Solution

A day or two of training will help, but you will find it very easy to slip into some bad habits.  A longer-term integrated approach enables old habits to be broken and new habits to be formed.  None of the techniques are revolutionary, but they require changes to some simple activities that we do unconsciously everyday.

Step 1: Self and Time Management

You need to start with some basics around planning, goal setting and motivation.  Without these the rest of the programme will fail.

Step 2: Thinking Skills

Mind Mapping® has been around for nearly 30 years and has it's benefits, however for a modern business context, a technique like Index Diagrams® has a much higher rate of implementation.  These techniques cover the extracting of data - making notes and taking notes.  The next issue is Memory - that is, ensuring that you are able to retain and recall the thinking at a later stage.

Step 3: Reading Skills

With masses of incoming information we have to be both careful with our choice of reading and be able to get through the reading material at speed.   Strategic Reading focuses on building speed using some simple techniques as well as offering some simple strategies for how to get through the volume of reading material more efficiently.

Step 4: Creativity

We are all creative people!  In many cases that has been stifled by our education, upbringing or career choice.  With coaching, you are able to develop your creative side and the value of the ideas could be limitless.

Step 5: Problem Solving and Decision Making

The final step is to develop problem-solving skills.  Working in a team or individually, in a modern business context we have to analyse problems and work towards a solution. 

All of these pieces fit together to create a complete toolbox for the mind.  As with any toolbox, you may use some tools in the box more often.  But you will never do a good job if you haven't got the right tools.

Application

These techniques are universally applicable and should be taught in schools.  However the reality is that many of us went through school at least a couple of decades ago and we need to learn techniques to get ourselves through the remainder of our careers. 

The main application for this type of programme is in knowledge based jobs.  Someone performing a task-based job with repetitive activities would gain benefits from an efficiency point of view, but the major winners would be people who use their mind to earn their salary.

Benefits

For the individual, the benefits are significant.  Time savings, more focus and concentration, higher quality output and significantly less stress.

Imagine being able to sit down and quickly and easily get all of your ideas down on paper.  But it is not only extraction of the data.  Imagine that you could pick it up a week later (or much longer) and have perfect retention and recall of your ideas and could add to your notes as you thought of new things. 

For the organisation the potential benefits are huge.  What is the value of the ideas in your employee's heads right now?  Have you got any idea how to get them out?

As well as the high value of the opportunities, an organisation is more effectively utilising its intellectual capital.

Finally, we are all discussing the knowledge wave.  However, knowledge may not be the main factor in our success.  Applying our thinking capability to problems and opportunities is what will drive innovation.  A 21st century version of Kiwi ingenuity.

 

 

Home  Seminars  Training  Consulting  Products
Newsletter  Company Profile  Contact

Change Solutions Limited
PO Box 17137, Auckland New Zealand
323 Great South Rd, Greenlane, Auckland, New Zealand

Email info@changesolutions.co.nz

Copyright © 2013 Change Solutions Limited. All rights reserved. 

 


Seminars

 


Training

 


Consulting

 


Products

 


Newsletter

 


Company Profile

 


Job Opportunities

 


Contact