Three Modes of Thinking

There are three primary ways of approaching an issue or problem:

  1. RESULTS THINKING: This is the 'create what you want' approach. Use it to create something that doesn't exist. This kind of thinking usually motivates and energizes the people who are doing it.
    1. Picture specifically what you want (outcome or vision)
    2. Formulate a positive present tense statement of it (affirmation)
    3. Keep the statement and the picture in your day to day awareness.
    4. Clearly identify what you have now (current reality)
    5. Create different notions of how you might get to where you want to go. Think outside the box.
    6. Develop an action plan to take you from current reality to the outcome you want.
    7. Chunk the action plan down until you identify specifically what you need to do next to initiate movement toward the outcome.
    8. Set a time line - who'll do what by when; when and how will the rest of the team learn that it has been done.
    9. Repeat and modify steps 5, 6, and 7 until the outcome is reached.

  2. PROCESS THINKING: This is the 'increase the efficiency, but don't change the outcome' approach. Used to fine tune how we are doing what we do, to move toward total quality. Keep on doing what we are doing, but change a few things about how we do it so we can do it better or faster or cheaper or with fewer people.

  3. PROBLEM FOCUSED THINKING: This 'squeaky wheel' approach. Used to maintain what you now have and keep it working. This kind of thinking, however, usually drains the energy of the people who are doing it because they are primarily paying attention to what they don't want rather than what they do want.

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