naturally dotting about

Published: 6th April, 2015

The ability to make connections with varied information in a way that makes natural connections. As a result support rich conversations in the business to reach a well-understood and rationale outcome which all relevant parties sign-up to.

Things are changing but not where you expect them to on your timeline. So what to do? Let’s see how you can benefit from the roller-coaster delivery of complex information coming your way ..

3 problems non-linear thinking will solve:

– Disruptive and challenging stakeholder groups- roll with the punches, take the best bits from each dialogue and land them on the page if they can improve where you are. See Clash Thinking;
– A time critical challenged time line- natural prioritising and ordering, survival of the fittest (ideas);
a lack of new ideas- re framing a problem is a sure fire way to encourage new ways of coming up with new opportunities. See Lateral thinking;
– A lack of engagement- people like to see others making the same connections that they are, so making them better communicators and getting them from where they are to where they need to be quicker.

3 people it will help:

– A project manager- as cover for the plan a map of thoughts and ideas, mind-map or something similar, will provide a playground for more creative debates in and around the plan. As a complementary activity open sessions and dialogues will help connect the project into the business;
– A Senior Responsible Owner- to see how the whole thing fits together. Encourage rich conversations with different areas of change;
– At board level- a place to rationalise and respect the each board members view of the world. The business is not single threaded so a non-linear view encourages this rich mix of differing priorities. Helpful place to consider the purpose and key measures in the business and root cause and effect explorations.

In each case you are seeking to benefit from what might appear as randomness in the way people are thinking. With too many variables and agendas to plot I’ve had most success in harnessing this energy rather than trying to control. See Antifragile.

There are many ways to encourage and support your quest to be creative in your thinking processes. The framework is less important than the mandate you provide your community to go down this route. Happy exploring!

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