Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Thinkx, also known as the "Productive Thinking" model, is a step by step process used to produce creative ideas or to solve problems. I've always been interested in "thinking models", used some of them for a while, but never been disciplined enough to find out how effective they might be.

There are six steps to Thinkx, which was developed by Tim Hurson, a Canadian speaker and author.

Step One: What's Going On? I think i find step one to be the most difficult. There are five mini-steps that you need to follow:

  1. What's the itch? Come up with a list of opportunities or problems, then look for commonality and patterns to determine one main issue.
  2. What's the impact? Take a closer look at the issue and determine how it affects me.
  3. What's the information? Look at all angles of the opportunity or problem.
  4. Who's involved? Me...and?
  5. What's the vision? What would change if the problem were solved or the opportunity realized?
Step Two: What's the Success? This second step is all about seeing the future with everything resolved, much like the first step, only in more depth. Think of using a tool called D.R.I.V.E.
  • Do - what do i want the solved problem or the realized opportunity, to do.
  • Restrictions - what don't i want the solved problem or the realized opportunity, to do.
  • Investment - what resources can be invested.
  • Values - what values do i need to live by.
  • Essential outcomes - what are they.
Step Three: What's the Question? Another challenging part of Thinkx...turn the challenge into a question. Come up with as many questions as possible about the opportunity or problem. Combine and group these questions and come up with one question, or a few, that are the most stimulating.

Step Four: Generate Answers by Brainstorming. Come up with a list of possible solutions to the problem or to make the opportunity a reality. Choose one of these solutions for further development, or a combine several.

Step Five: Forge the Solution. Once again a tool is used for this step...P.O.W.E.R.
  • Positives - list what's good about the answer.
  • Objections - what's bad about the answer.
  • What else? - think of things the solution reminds me of.
  • Enhancements - how can i make what's good about the answer, even better.
  • Remedies - take the list of what's bad and find ways to make things better.
Step Six: Align Resources. Here i take the thoughtout solution to my problem or opportunity and put it into a plan of action. I need to make "to-do lists".
  • Give myself timelines and milestones.
  • Make lists of people i need to involve i this.
  • Make lists of issues that will need more work.
Think it might work?

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