Critical thinking and problem solving course

Five modules. Five weeks.


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.

Module 1


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 other people’s drivers and perspectives.
  • Make your own decisions more clearly without the uncertainty of wondering if you made the right choice.
  • Become natural at seeking to understand others' perspectives.
  • Navigate policies to do the things you need to do without breaching policies.

Module 2


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 3


Challenge self-limiting assumptions

What you’ll learn this week

Discover how to identify and challenge the validity of your assumptions and beliefs about how a situation or the world operates or must be.

Key takeaways

  • Uncover the assumptions we make as individuals, in our team, or in our company and how they become roadblocks to change.
  • See how unconscious biases drive our behaviour when we simply treat something as given.
  • Understand how different beliefs also limit what you see as possible legitimate actions.
  • See how unearthing your assumptions can open the way to different ways of thinking.

Module 4


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.
  • Process thinking more quickly overcomes mental blockages that inhibit new, creative ideas than scattershot, “hit and hope” approaches.

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 change you might consider making 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.