THINKING FOUNDATIONS

The Course

Five modules. Five weeks.

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The Black Belt in Thinking is a five-week, five-module course designed to train your brain.

Each module introduces a different logical thinking approach. Each week’s lessons build on what you’ve already learned to let you develop a comprehensive problem-solving toolkit that you can apply in business — and everyday life.

All the way you’ll have the support of a pair of highly experienced facilitators and a weekly group call where you’re able to share your learnings with your group.

You’ll need to set aside about an hour each day for the course.

This course is a mandatory pre-requisite that you must complete before moving forward to the others.

Module 1

Critical Thinking

Think more clearly

What you’ll learn this week

Increasing your critical thinking skill is the most effective way to increase your performance in almost every other area of life. We think through (or don’t) our actions for everything we do.

Key takeaways

  • See situations clearly by distilling the relevant information from the noise surrounding and obscuring the issue.
  • Uncover how unconscious biases drive our behaviour when we simply treat something as given.
  • Understand how other people can see the same situation differently and why their understanding differs.
  • Learn to map cause and effect logic in simple logical diagrams to verify that arguments make logical sense.

Module 2

Clouds

Make faster decisions

What you’ll learn this week

Learn how to take a mental step back from decisions and disagreements to understand the true drivers of your problems, clarifying the situation and clearing the way for fast, but effective, decisions.

Key takeaways

  • Identify the key elements of any conflicting situation to properly understand the conflict at hand.
  • Make your own decisions more clearly without wondering if you made the right choice.
  • Become natural at seeking to understand other people’s perspectives.
  • Easily refocus on the conflict drivers to access win-win solutions

Module 3

Druids

Understand problems effectively

What you’ll learn this week

Discover a process of analysis to dig into any situation or problem and identify a cause-and-effect loop of conflicting pressures that cause us to shift back and forth between different approaches.

Key takeaways

  • Recurring problems are always stuck in a loop that cannot be fixed with band-aid solutions or by doubling down.
  • Business or personal drivers can lead us to actions that cause problems for others.
  • Good decisions can have negative side effects that drive us back to where we started.
  • In an attempt to fight these negatives, we oscillate between mutually exclusive courses of action that force us to compromise in ways that inevitably cause frustration.
  • Documenting these chains of cause and effect helps us analyse why we do what we do.

Module 4

Injections

Solve problems creatively

What you’ll learn this week

Learn a repeatable method to leverage your knowledge of the biases that are perpetuating a situation or conflict and identify a case where the problem is solved in a lasting way.

Key takeaways

  • Effective problem solving does not rely on guesswork and hoping an idea will be successful.
  • It’s possible to use a logical process to generate creative ideas and solutions.
  • Effective solutions are designed as effects to achieve, not actions to execute.
  • Mental blockages that inhibit new, creative ideas can be overcome with a process-led solution design.

Module 5

Prerequisite Analysis

Overcome obstacles to goals

What you’ll learn this week

Learn a system to structure a “master change plan” and “pre-verify” that proposed solutions will work before moving ahead.

Key takeaways

  • Know how to break down a goal into a series of rapidly achievable intermediate objectives.
  • See how to uncover pitfalls that could result from any proposed change initiative and determine what you should do to "navigate" around them.
  • Learn how to use obstacles to create a path (knowing obstacles tells us what we must overcome).
  • Sequence our objectives logically to make the simplest plan forward.