Just Thinking

Group Partners

In Just Thinking. More on Medium.

A Primer For The Third Decade Of The 21st Century

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Photo by Upal Patel on Unsplash

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” — Sir Winston Churchill

Under Pressure

Whatever size, type or age of your business right now the pressures are the same — increase performance at the lowest cost and without risk. Do that while ensuring investment (or revenue) and avoid being disrupted, outspent or dismissed.

And That’s Not All

You will be answering a bunch of irritating questions on top.

  • Where are we headed?
  • What is the result we want?
  • What are the challenges we must solve?
  • What are the opportunities we must exploit?
  • How do we get there? — When?
  • What needs to change? — Why?
  • How do I take my people with me?
  • Do I have the capability to get it done? …

Head Of Crayons At Group Partners

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As a recovering corporate advertising person (WPP Group plc.) I’ve now been clean for 17 years. I advise, cajole and facilitate leadership thinking. I literally help people see the future of their business. By ‘literally see’ I mean draw new strategies visually. I do that by using the tools of our age — oh, and drawing on walls sometimes.

“Visually translating/simplifying what people say. It is the only way I’ve found to bust the myths and bullshit of the age. Deconstructing the lazy narrative we’ve been infected by in business over the decades…”

My passion and purpose is to apply my talents to achieving something really valuable during my lifetime. We’ve invented Structured Visual Thinking™ — an approach and mentality to accelerating value and making rapid progress in the realm of business and society.* …

Because We Tend To

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It Sounds A Sensible Idea Right?

It’s amazing how many times we’re asked to solve the wrong problem. We get given a challenge that isn’t really the challenge. We get asked to fix the effect and not the cause.

There’s some simple fixes.

Avoiding this issue requires a degree of objectivity, careful observation and above all asking the right questions. And then, by putting a framework around the situation, you can expect to figure out what’s really going on.

Click To Read A Recent Article On Observation:

How To Solve Real Problems

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Creativity* In Action

* For the context of this article I’m defining creativity as follows. ‘The act of using our passion and our brains to connect with ideas, build value and solve problems.’

In business and in life there are two reasons why we need creativity. Given the world as it now is we need it more than ever and we will have to think much harder if we are to make life better.

Creativity — The 8 Things To Do If We Want Anything To Change

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Observe More — React Less.

If only — It’s taken me a lifetime to understand the power of this insight. Everything we’ve ever done well as a society — anything of lasting value has sprung from that single idea. The results are clear to see.

We Know This Because Of The Absence Of It.

We Observe

“The absence of OM;RL shows up in every stupid decision and knee jerk reaction by the majority — to the majority of things. It’s so bad we’ve perfected a new method of engaging with other people. We call it cynical scepticism…”

Important Note: We’ve been found guilty, as a society, of culturally cultivated ignorance. A possibly deliberate and worrying mechanism that we need to do all in our power to overcome. …

A Biography Of Sorts

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Creating — A Life Of Mischief

The word ‘filter’ entered the vocabulary in 2016 — with force. It’s been around a long time. We describe the concept of the ‘filter’ as the bias through which we see life. It’s definitely a mainstream idea now. Echo chambers and filter bubbles, fake news and all the rest makes us realise how much we don’t know.

Far more than ever before.

What Do We Want Strategy For?

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There’s many a strange assumption made and much bullshit talked when it comes to strategy. The idea causes peculiar random phenomena in how people think — they can become irrational.

There’s those who luxuriate in the intellectual and philosophical case and others who sneer with baying derision at the value of the exercise. The former will argue that without a plan then who knows where we will end up and the latter will ask you how confident you are in your tea leaves.

With the speed of change the uncertainty of any decision and the increasing number of good scenarios possible — either side has valid arguments. The winner is the one who becomes the most prepared for eventualities. …

To Thinking & Working

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Ideas, Concepts, Notions — Visions, Strategies, Models, Opportunities, Business Outcomes.

You know — the stuff of every enterprise.

Without critical thinking it’s unlikely we’ll be that successful in achieving our dreams. It will be very hard to get from our concepts to the vision, strategy or plan. It won’t be that easy to turn our ideas into the scalable valuable opportunities or outcomes we crave.

It’s almost impossible to share our complex concepts with others without making them feel real. That’s why we do things visually.

We think visually — which means quite literally thinking in terms of pictures. …

Structured Visualisation — Changing The Fortunes Of Business & The Enterprise

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We’ve recently updated the website:

We’ve spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of co-creation, structured analysis of the situation — getting inside the mountains of available information— leveraging the passion and energy of collaborating visually.

Thankfully the idea has gained traction with busy leadership teams who understand the impact it has. However, there always remains questions so we’ve answered as many as we can here.

Mostly visually of course.

The Classic Question — “How is a workshop conducted and what is the expected outcome?”

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Creating Value Isn’t Simply ‘A Meeting’

For us the workshop (the session) part of what we do is a part of a sequence of things not the thing.

While we recognise that it’s a vitally important component in creating the right outcome and getting everyone involved it’s vital to us to set the right expectation from the get go.


Just Thinking

Observations Good, Bad & Disruptive

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