Use the 25 Thinking Tools
Your learners and workers are your best problem solvers. But if you train them to merely memorize instead of understanding and thinking through work issues, they will fail to solve problems and apply ideas. At Situation Expert, we use the 25 Thinking Tools to inspire learners to think, solve problems, create solutions, and impact work, while also learning along the way.
Why You Want Learners and Workers to Think
Most learners and workers aspire to be the best performer at work. But their conditions put a constraint on their capacities to improvise and discover answers to solutions.
"Thinking is a new skill urgently needed."
Mckinsey, Deloitte, and The Economic Global Forum suggest that thinking is a new skill urgently needed for employees and workers. With rapid change, technology disruptions, and unknown events given the new normal, workers and employees need the capacities to contribute.
“We don’t teach thinking.”
Dave Epstein (Range) says, “Unfortunately, we don’t teach thinking in today’s world.
“Workers must improvise.”
Mike Rose (The Mind at Work) says we are now in the “neck up” economy, versus the “neck down” economy of the old. Workers must be allowed to “improvise” at their jobs.
“Capacities to think and deal with uncertainties.”
John Hagel III (The Journey Beyond Fear), summarizes our challenge: “We train our workers for tasks and roles. But we fail to expand their capacities to think and deal with the unknown and unexpected. They lose their drive, creativity, and passion.”
The 25 Thinking Tools are thinking frameworks that help transform your training and learning efforts go beyond memorization, compliance, and practice and drill.
- The 25 Thinking Tools help learners and workers translate knowledge and ideas into applications in real work situations.
- They guide learners and workers in their thinking analysis, finding solutions, generating insights, and capturing impacts.
- The tools also accelerate experience sharing, collaboration, and building a repository of smart answers from everyone’s contributions.
Every form of training and learning should have a thinking tool. 25 Thinking Tools is part of Situation Expert. It is a SAAS technology (Software as a Service.)
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These are the 9 reasons:
1. Immediate Application
Learners focus on applying ideas and solving problems, not just memorizing for a test. The key is to start with a real challenge to apply to solving problems. Instead of long, boring lectures or webinars elaborate and costly multimedia and eLearning, the Thinking situations use light -media (PDF, HTML, etc.) content presentations as references and tips.
2. Highly Relevant
Learners and workers face real-life and real-work issues. The peer-to-peer conversations, exchange of ideas, and experiences are very relevant. They discuss issues that matter to them, now and today!
3. Work Impacts
Thinking about finding answers and solutions leads to work impacts. The learners and workers answer the question, “did my solutions impact the outcomes for the better?” Thinking of impacts raises awareness of the value of their skills in finding answers and solving problems.
4. Useful Answers
In Thinking Through with peers, experts, and leaders in the Thinking Process, smart answers are discovered and presented as part of the repository of reliable answers. Learners and workers have a quick go-to place for useful answers.
Since workers share their own work situations, the topics and concerns are their concerns and not theoretical or hypothetical. They are practical issues that affect their personal and work well-being. Consequently, the Thinking Process is very relevant.
6. Faster and Easier While at Work
The Thinking Process happens at work and while at work. Since work issues are current and calling attention, learners and workers have a strong motivation to immerse in the issues while at work. While they are solving problems, they are also learning. Thinking makes it faster and easier means to learn.
7. Cost Less
Most training programs, eLearning, and virtual training are costly investments. The costs go up because of the “myth” that high-quality videos, exercises, games, etc. are needed to teach content.
In the Thinking Process, the focus is on thinking, exploring, discovering, and finding answers and solutions. It is less instruction-driven but rather experience-driven. The costs of set-up and delivery are far lower.
8. Deep Learning
Studies have shown that the more learners and workers solve problems, the better they are able to have a deeper understanding of the subject. The Thinking Process leads to deeper reflections, creating new knowledge and skills, and agile capacities to deal with unexpected or unknown work issues.
9. Lasting Learning
Like the old adage “teach people to fish”, adding a Thinking Process in training and learning programs helps learners and workers transfer and apply their skills and knowledge to other work issues and problems. They become life-long and self-sufficient learners. The Thinking Process makes learning long-lasting.
- Focus on work situations
- Think of problems and solutions
- Report impacts at work
- Learn along the way
Situation Expert is a service provided by Vignettes Learning. Vignettes Learning is a leader in workshops, consulting and systems development covering Workflow Learning, Microlearning, Scenario-Based Learning, Story-Based eLearning, Virtual Learning, Expertise Development and Learning Platforms. These forward-thinking organizations use Vignettes Learning for learning and development solutions.
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