Put up in a place where its easy to see. The cryptic admonishment TTT. When you feel how depressingly slow you climb. It’s well to remember that things take time.
Most third ideas are terrible but there is also a higher percentage of great ideas in the third idea.
Kaizen- A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
Quotes & Good Bits
- To create the future you have to be able to think it.
- Imagination is the foundation of making things.
- Information is everywhere – In the new age the winners are the people who can effectively use new information without distraction.
- It’s not what you don’t know its what you do know that hurts you. You have to be able to re-imagine things.
- Fossilised ideas - Old ideas that we take for granted.
- Computers are useless they only give you answers. - Picasso
- Uncertainty is pain.
- To have good ideas is to have lots of ideas and throw away the bad ones.
- Most third ideas are terrible but there is also a higher % of great ideas in the third idea.
- Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation. Oscar Whild.
- Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir man’s blood.
- Put up in a place where its easy to see. The cryptic admonishment TTT. When you feel how depressingly slow you climb. It’s well to remember that things take time.
- We can see the past but not influence it. We can influence the future but not see it.
- I make more mistakes than anyone, and sooner or later I patent them.
- Productive thinking - new insights - Re productive thinking - using ideas that are already known
- Kaizen- A Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
- Sometimes we make up things because we are uncomfortable with the unknown. Such as how we make up lyrics when we can't quite understand them.
Coming Up With The Best Option
1. What’s going on?
1. What’s the problem/problems?
2. What’s the impact of those problems?
3. What’s the information, Causes, hidden assumptions etc.
4. Who’s involved? Who might benefit?
5. What’s the vision/Goal you want to achieve?
List some and pick the most compelling.
2. What’s success?
Use the target future from stage 1 and Imagine how you live in your target future.
How would it be different?
What my people think?
How might competitors react?
Will the solution resolve issue?
Will it get us to target future?
What are the metrics we will use?
What must be accomplished?
What must be avoided?
What constraints will we have to work within?
3. What’s the question?
What must you ask to achieve the target future. Make a list of all the initial problems and turn them into questions.
Example - We haven’t got enough budget = How might we increase our budget?
4. Generate Answers
Make long lists of potential answers, to the questions you created in, section 3.
5. Forge the Solution
Evaluate the potential of the most promising Ideas, from step 4. Generate answers by comparing them to the success criteria from step 2.
Once you’ve chosen the idea, use stress tests, improve and refine to create a robust solution.
6. Align Resources (time consuming)
• List the action steps required to complete solutions.
• Survey Market to test interest.
• Design Prototype.
• Test prototype.
• List those who may help.
• List those who might be obstacles.
• Who do we need to align with?
• Work out how to defuse resistors.
• Contact any outside help required.
• Create development budget
• Action step allocation
• Put the steps in order
• Identify and record observable outcomes via report.
Stage 1: What's Going On?
What’s going on is a series of questions, designed to come to a comprehensive understanding of the issue, its impact, what we know and need to know about its dynamics and causes, who influences it and what it may effect. And what the future might be like if the issue were resolved.
Part 1 - What's Wrong?
•What could be better?
•What’s out of balance?
•What needs improvement?
•What would you like to change?
•What do you wish worked better?
Once you’ve listed all the different forms of itches. Then cluster them into different segments. Which cluster of itches do you feel strongly about? Which do you think would be most satisfying to resolve?
Part 2 - What’s the impact?
•What concerns you?
•What’s your gut feeling?
•What makes it important to you?
•How do they effect you?
Part 3. What’s the information?
- What you do you know about it already?
- What do you need to find out?
- List everything you know about the subject.
- What resources are involved?
- What might be causing the situation?
- Why does it exist?
- What might be perpetuating it?
- Do other people or companies experience the same issue? If So,Who?
- Is there people or organisations who don’t have those issues? Why?
- Have you attempted to resolve it before?
- What have you tried?
- What have others tried
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- What obstacles got in the way?
- What do you wonder about the problem?
Part 4. Who’s Involved?
Look at the different perspectives Who else is involved in or effected by the itch?
- What’s in it for them?
- How would they see it?
Part 5. What’s the vision? - Target Future
It would be great if: I wish: If only:
What id really like to see is..
What this place really needs is..
- Your goals should tick all of these to be big enough that it makes a big enough difference.
- Phrase your target future in a way that galvanises, and motivates you. It can be longer if it helps you get excited.
To create a vision of the target future that is so real, so compelling, so desirable, that people actually want to reach it. Create a compelling vision. Throwing a grappling hook into the future.
Stage 2: What's Success?
What’s your imagined future like?
- How does it look?
- How would it feel?
- How would work feel?
- How would relationships change?
- How would you feel about yourself?
- How would you spend your evenings?
- Who might you spend it with?
Drive. - Observable success criteria
Do: What do you want your solution to do?
Restrictions: What changes or impacts must I avoid?
Investments: What resources are you willing to allocate?
Values: What values must you live by to accomplish your outcome?
Essential Outcomes: What are the non negotiable outcomes for success? What measurable targets must be met?
What’s the question is about finding the right question to the problems. Using the three previous stages you can create problem questions that help you get towards your target future - These are called catalytic questions.
Step 3: What's The Question?
AIM: Advantages, Impediments, Maybes
1.List Advantages of target future, why is it desirable, why do you want to get there? What benefits might it produce.
2.List All impediments, what are the barriers, why isn’t a reality already, what’s stopping me?
3.List All the maybes, what might happen? Use these to create more problem questions?
Challenge yourself with probes. What question would I ask if...
- I knew I couldn’t fail?
- If money was no object?
- What questions might someone who knows nothing about my business ask?
- My competitors ask?
- Get me in trouble?
Don’t use answers that are designed as a question: I.e. how might I use Jamie’s Diet plan to loose weight?
The most serious mistakes are not being made of wrong answers, the most dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.
Review - questions and filter out any potential question answers.
Cluster - Start clustering similar questions.
Combine - Combine questions into single questions.
Clarify - Look at each cluster and name the theme it represents.
Choose- Which of your questions really gets to the heart of the matter If I answer this well, Is there a chance I will arrive at my target future?
Ideas, like many things, is a numbers game. You have to take risks and be prepared to loose a bit of pride. The more ideas you have though, the better chance you have of having an amazing one.
Stage 4: Generate Answers
- Stage 1
• Failing Ideas
How might X answer the questions?
- Best Friend
- Worst Enemy
- A Child
- Fictional character
- Favourite author
- How else might I.
What might you do if you...
- Only 10 mins
- Unlimited time
- Unlimited funds
- If you couldn’t fail
Use unusual methods
• Listen to music
• Look at paintings
• Or photographs
• Feel or Taste
• Take a break
• Review the ideas and see if you canmake connections.
With all this horse shit everywhere there’s got to be a pony somewhere.
Critical Thinking to discover catalytic questions.
Cul - Separate all the answers that are really wild into the what was I thinking pile.
Cluster - Start clustering similar questions.
Combine - Combine similar ideas into a single idea.
Clarify - Look at each cluster and name the theme it represents.
What’s, Up - What is the underlying principle to this idea from the what was I thinking pile.
Choose- Which of your ideas really gets to the heart of the matter. Which do you want to explore further.
Forge the solution is the step in which ideas are filtered and flaws ironed out.
Step 5: Forge The Solution
Evaluation Screen 1:
Forge the solution is the step in which ideas are filtered and flaws ironed out. Selecting Idea for development. 3-6 ideas that are worth exploring further. Your first task, is to evaluate the short list of ideas against the criteria from step two. Create a grid that has all your ideas along one side and all your success criteria from round two along the other. Going through each idea, ask yourself if it meets your success criteria.
Evaluation Screen 2:
Look over the grid and ask yourself how you might change any - to or + to a an idea to meet the criteria.
Decide the sheet into 5, Positives,
What do you like?
What do others like about it?
Why is it practical?
Why is it brilliant?
Why is it sexy?
Why will it succeed?
Why will it get me where I want it to go?
Why am I a genius for thinking of it?
Evaluation Screen 3: Powering up your solution
Positives - What’s good about the idea, Why might it succeed?
Objections - Why might it fail?
What else - What else might be in the idea that hasn’t been articulated yet?
Enhancements - How might the positives be made even stronger?
Remedies - How might the objections be overcome?
Evaluation Screen 4:
Large horizontal paper, Write down selected idea on sheet.
Evaluation Screen 5: Objections
Why wont it work?
What are the chinks?
What are the flaws?
Evaluation Screen 6: Forge The Solution
Why will it get me fired?
Why will friends dislike it?
Why will my enemies love it?
Why does the idea suck?
Evaluation Screen 7: What else? List all the things that are implied
What does it remind me off?
Is there something I can add to it?
What else might the idea allow me to accomplish?
Are there any other ideas that might extend its impact?
What else is in the idea?
How Else might it be expressed?
Who else might be involved?
Where else might it work?
When else might it be useful?
Evaluation Screen 8: Enhancement
Review the positives
Write list of all the ways they could be even better
More likely to succeed
Use resource better
How might it be more solid
Or longer lasting?
Who is their to learn from?
Evaluation Screen 9:Remedies
eview the negatives
Fix it’s flaws
Counter other peoples concerns
How can you bullet proof it
How might you fight for success.
Now, right the powered up solution in detail. What I see myself doing is. Using all the power elements to explain your idea.
Stage 6: Align Resources
The value of planning is that it makes you better at doing. What must you do to actualise your goals?
Defining the tasks.
- Create a list of all the action steps that will be required.
- Need to make sense of all action steps.
Cul - Review action steps.
Cluster -Move relating action steps into clusters.
Combine - Combine similar action steps into single action steps.
Clarify - Look at each action step and name the action it represents.
Make a separate category for steps that you might not understand.
Defining the most important resources.
Assister - Who will help
Resistors - Those who wont like it.
Who’s support can I rely on?
How will they help.
Contribution of resources
How might we engage those people to the project?
How might I persuade them to help me with the project?
This will likely add additional action steps to the plan.
Now list potential resistors,
•Who are they?
•How might their resistance manifest?
•Will they oppose me actively or passively?
•How might I persuade them to be less resistant?
•How might we convert them from resistance to assistants?
Add any of these additional action steps into the action step pile.
Ordering the action steps.
A task unclaimed is a task undone.
You can start placing the action steps in an order with estimated time dates as to when it will be complete. Along with who is assigned to it.
Energy - What levels will I need to complete each action step?
Long Hours, Electricity etc.
Funds - What financial resources will I need to complete each action step?
Free Time - How much time will you need to complete each action step.
Expertise - What type or levels of knowledge will you need. What skills do you need? How will you access it?
Conditions - What conditions will you need to complete each action step? Such as weather.
Things - What things such as material resources or equipment will you need to complete each action step? If you have them, note them.
Any new action step must be added to the list and effect tool used on that action step.
Identify, observable outcomes, that action step has been completed, any deliverables. You should now have a wall of lost of slips on it, each with an action step, all the resources required to accomplish it, how you’ll know its complete, and who’s responsible for completing it. Boil it down into an action document that can be amended as you go into the project..