The Phoenix Checklist

During an assignment to develop a session on critical and creative thinking I’ve found inspiration.

the first is the problem-solution model


  which enables us to think about the right questions on the right order.

then there’s the Phoenix checklist from the CIA‘s (I’ve always wanted to link to the CIA) Problem Definition Checklist provoked precisely this kind of approach; rounded, many-faceted, flexible.Read more

Blistering barrage of buy-backs

Goldman Sachs asked a nerve-racking question and came up with an equally nerve-racking answer: What would happen to stocks “in a world without buybacks.” Because buybacks are a huge deal.

In the fourth quarter 2018, share repurchases soared 62.8% from a year earlier to a record $223 billion, beating the prior quarterly record set in the third quarter last year, of $204 billion, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices on March 25.… Read more

If framing is the most important step of problem solving …

… how can I frame a problem better.

Once upon a time building Occupants began complaining about the poor elevator service provided in their building. Waiting times for elevators at peak hours, they said, were excessively long and lift rides were indignantly slow. Several of the tenants threatened to break their leases and move out of the building because of this…

Management authorized a study to determine what would be the best solution.… Read more

The demise of productivity led growth

When I was younger, growth was easy to achieve. We had a number of tail winds that helped the economy grow as a matter of course. We didn’t need to do much, just stay in business and the economy grew around us.

Now… not so much.

The tail-winds which aided us in the past have turned into headwinds.  How so?

Here are five critical reasons why productivity growth continues to be lacklustre despite all the benefits we reap every day from the digital revolution:

1.… Read more

… sell me this pen

What is the real answer to the Wolf of Wall Street challenge: Sell me this pen?

Anyone who’s seen Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street knows the scene. In the last few moments of the film, Leonardo DiCaprio, portraying Jordan Belfort  asks a room full of salesmen at a seminar to sell him a pen.  DiCaprio hands a pen to one salesman, who begins describing it: “It’s an amazing pen…” Not satisfied, Mr.… Read more