The HeadScratcher Post
A thought provoking free monthly post highlighting a successful Technique used in problem solving, creativity and decision making.
HeadScratcher Post - Title
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The HeadScratcher Post Thinking Tips Archive
The #1 Thing Highly effective Problem Solving starts with an unwavering belief that a satisfactory solution exists
Deductive and Inductive Thinking How Deductive and Inductive reasoning play a role in decision making
Elements of Invention Invention requires; Need, Knowledge, Association and Critical Thinking
What is Critical Thinking anyway? Critical Thinking ... a way of "Thinking Smarter" and how it's done.
Fast Cycle Time Fast Cycle leads to Out Cycling your competition
Asking So What? So What?; gets people thinking about what data they are collecting and what it means
Gedanken Experiments "Thought" experiments save a lot of time and money
Key Metrics Key metrics should give you the time to change an outcome they predict.
Triangular Thinking A way to find a solution with indirect measurements and predictions
The Definition of Done Thinking through to "Done"
The Numbers Talk Analyzing the data
The 3rd Version Syndrome A fatal phenomena that occurs in nearly every software company or IT department
Beating the Odds - Changing the Equation Changing the equation is when breakthroughs occur.
The Infamous Requirements Document Waiting for requirements? Go out and get them instead.
180 Seconds of Headscratching Thinking about a broader problems are when solutions that make a huge difference are created
Because !! Finding the "Because!!" frees you to start solution building
How long will it take? How to improve on the accuracy of this answer
Anticipatory Thinking Anticipating what's next changes how think about the present.
The Better MouseTrap When is better not good enough?
Everything is Throw-Away It's the return on the investment that's important
Hypothesis Predicting an outcome based on an understanding
Defragmented Thinking Make sure your critical thinking is not conducted in your fragmented schedule
Sampling Sampling can answer which way to go, or what the issue might be, or what might be wrong.
Readiness and Quality Knowing when you're "Ready" is critical when you want consistent quality.
Trending You have an amazing ability to Trend. Tap into it.
When logic is illogical Decisions and Conclusions are related to assumptions and beliefs. These vary from person to person.
Thinking outside "The Box" Thinking Outside "The Box" means that there is something that bounds a Box. What is that?
Famous Thoughts Selected Quotations about Thinking
Abductive Thinking and Creativity There is another component of logic beyond Deduction and Induction.  This one is the foundation for Creativity.
Can your mind be too helpful? Your mind has an ability to fill in blanks and make things fit into what makes sense.  This isn't always good.
Creativity and Music Is it possible that listening to music can help your creativity?
Tips to Think Critically In 2008 A few tips about Inductive Reasoning to get you started
Leading People to Think Leading people to "think" and not just "do" can make a huge difference in performance and quality
Crisis Thinking When in a crisis, critical thinking is important.  A few tips to use for a strategy during this time.
Making Decisions The "who", "what" and "when" about making decisions.
Fuzzy Thinking Fuzzy thinking and how to deal with it using Critical Thinking
Thinking about Priorities Priority lists .. Are yours a gate or a tool for managing change?
Maintenance and Customer Retention Strategies for maintenance on equipment or your own health are also useful for customer retention.
Surprise vs Predictability Random events are not common.  If it's not random, it's predictable.  Can you predict your business outcomes?
Learning to Learn Learning how to learn is a skill more valuable than anything in particular you can learn. 
Innovation - Now more than ever With the current economy, there has never been a more important time to innovate ... and to Think!
The Moon Shot - May 25, 1961 Lots of changes coming in 2009.  Are you preparing for them?  Ask these 4 questions.
Stewing Thoughts Load up with facts, opinions and ideas and then let it "stew" for awhile for that background thinking to work.
Exercising your Brain Like your heart and the rest of your body, your brain needs exercise ... But a different kind.
Two ideas about Change A critical thinking perspective on change with two ideas to help you cope and manage change.
3 reasons why we don't like to Think We like to "DO". Here are 3 reasons why we don't like to Think even though the benefits are huge.
The Thinking Behind Risk What is Risk and how do we take that into account when we are making decisions?
Five ideas for Impossible Thinking Here are 5 suggestions to think about the impossible and maybe even to make it possible.
Instant Thinking Sometimes only having 5 minutes to come up with a solution can really deliver some exciting results
Critical Thinking without Words Some situations can't be described by just language.  Use some of your "standard" and cerebral senses.
Ask "What else?" Asking "What else?" can lead to new ideas and prevent just picking the first one that comes along.
3 Critical Thinking Tools for Parents Critical Thinking can be used beyond business.  Try these simple tips with your kids.
None, One, Two, Many When creating solutions, and perhaps a "one-off", consider the repeatability of the problem
When you can't see the path A few simple ideas to remember when you're tasked with a goal without a clear path to get ther
Thinking about the Future w/Critical Thinking You think about the future and make predictions automatically.  Now try this with Manual Thinking
Turning on a Dime (The Physics of Change) We present two ideas about the thinking of changing quickly
Radical Thinking When you create a goal or challenge that is so outrageous, new ideas are generated.
Parallel Thinking Just because you have a good Plan A, maybe just a quick look at Plan B will help, and prepare you if A doesn't work.
Retrospective Thinking After a project is complete, don't just look back at what went right or wrong, but how the thinking was done.
If it ain't broke .... Only fix things that are broken?   ... we think not.  
Rehash Thinking and more ... Thinking can be inefficient, especially when you are thinking about the same thing more than once
The Great Employee-Manager Disconnect Decisions are made and employees react, and sometimes there is a great Disconnect
Analysis Paralysis This doesn't come from thinking too much, but because of  not thinking about the right thing
Critical Thinking and Emotions Emotions are a part of all decisions.  Critical Thinking enables you to be aware of how they influence you
Prowling for Ideas Seek out knowledge .. go Prowling
Preeminent Metrics Track metrics that not only tell you about the future but give you the time to change it.
Lessons from the Tooth Fairy Are you looking to validate your belief, or are you open to information you may not want to hear?
Reverse Critical Thinking Sometimes ideas and solutions just pop up.  When this happens reverse the critical thinking process
"v-Thinking" There are "v-Thinkers" and "^-Thinkers".  There's a time and each, and a bad time for each
Thinking about Balance Balance isn't about how to balance things, it's about dealing with the imbalance of things
Facts vs "facts" Are your Facts really Facts or just "facts"
Critical Listenining Critical Thinking includes Critical Listening
10 Rules of a Thinking Coach Being a Thinking Coach helps others generate ideas and solve problems.  Here are 10 rules
Thinking about "Get" GET - one of the most common HeadScratchers.  How do you "get" them to do do this.  
Ask Why? to distinguish "this" from "that" Asking why? can help distinguish the real problem from the one that might just be only the starting point
Two ideas for Massive Productivity Gains Massive productivity gains can be obtained by just using a little Critical Thinking in these two areas
Thinking about "When?" You can't always know when something will be done, or for that matter, which option to choose.  Here is a tip.
Assumptions and Decisions Speed up and increase the quality of Decisions by understanding the Assumptions being used
Critical Communications It's not just Thinking that's important, but Communicating the result. 
Thresholds Plans sometime go bad, or better.  Set Threshold conditions to monitor and make adjustments
Great Teams, Need and Critical Thinking Need surfaces in many places in Critical Thinking.  Look for the Need to create a great team and quality thinking.
Discovery Use Discovery to find out what you don't know and need to.
Who is "We" We use "we" but do the people in "we" know they are part of "we", what to do, etc?
Observations - 5 Pass-Fail Tests How do we know what we are observing (being told, read, etc.) is information we can rely on?
Twinkies and Creativity Like the memory of Twinkies, your memories of past projects can play a crucial role in the current projects.
Combating Entropy in Business If you don't put energy into your business, then entropy will take over.  Things will become disorganized
Common Sense We take a look at what common sense is and how we can better utilize it.
Strategic Thinking - Two must have conversations Two questions to always ask when "strategic thinking" comes up.
Abtract Thinking How do you teach someone to be able to Abstract from a specific situation to another?
"Not Thinking" "Not Thinking" isn't about not thinking, but thinking with the operator "Not".  Includes process of elimination
Wasting Time Wasting Time ... not what you think.
There are no mysteries There is a reason, an explanation for everything that happens. Sometimes finding it takes time.
Solve vs. Resolve Solving and Resolving are different.  Know when to use them.
Persistence and Critical Thinking Persistence is an important step in Critical Thinking
Two kinds of knowledge Knowledge comes from being formally taught or teaching yourself, and experience.  These differ
Criteria and faster decisions Having a checklist, a criteria for making a decision will go a long way towards faster decision making.
Root Cause Root Cause is the cause of a problem.  Ask Why? What Else? and "Possible" to find it.
Teaching Abstract Thinking Concrete and Abstract Thinking.  Very different ways to look at things.  Teaching Abstract Thinking is important.
100 Questions to Ask Critical Thinking is all about asking questions.  Here's 100 of my favorite ones to celebrate this 100th Edition !
Ask, "What knowledge don't I have?" Knowledge is Power and gives you choices.  It's important to identify what you don't have and how to get it.
Workplace Time Machines ! Time machines ... impossible?  Check out these that can be used at work.
"Finished" vs. "Done" Distinguish between being Finished with something and being Done with it.
Be a "Thinking Bridge" A  bridge between other people who collectively can solve a problem.
Four Factors for Delegation I Care, My Considerations, Thinking Process and Check-in are four factors people use for Delegating.
A Want vs. Need Color Matrix
Understand your to-do's and if they are a Need or a Want
Critical Thinking and Emotions We have emotions, driven by our values.  Critical Thinking includes these too.
Aha Moments Aha moments are reserved for those giant leaps but for everyday learning
Two Requirements for Empowerment Empowerment is more than just giving permission.
So What? Ask So What?, the two most powerful words.
Four steps to become a critical thinking organization Excite, Educate , Support and Sustain
Do you know where your feet are? Are you both socially and intellectually aware of the situation and the consequences of your actions?
Mulligan Thinking Critically Thinking about doing something over
What if I'm wrong? Even with critical thinking, you can sometimes be wrong.  Ask the question.
Questions to ask when you don't know. What happens when you get "I don't know" when you ask why?  Now what?
Thinking about Priorities There's setting priorities and managing them.  Here are some thoughts about both
Two most important questions to ask When you don't have a lot of time, there are two questions that are still critical to ask.
Sustainment Thinking Sustainment thinking is all about thinking about how to maintain the value you originally obtained.
Thinking about Confidence Confidence in decision making is all about the Premise
Critical Thinking and Innovation Critical Thinking plays a role beyond just coming up with a good idea.  You have to "sell it"
Open the door and let'em in When opportunity knocks you have to be ready
What's your CSI ? Your context switch interval affects both your time and the quality of your thinking.
Are you thinking with handcuffs? Are you constraining your thinking right from the start?
Decision Making - from Content to Context Transitioning from Individual to Manager requires a transition from Content to Context
Five questions to ask before you say "Impossible" While it may be impossible, ask these five questions before you declare it's impossible.
T.O.P. skills of great managers and leaders T.O.P. -- Thinking, Organization and People skills are required for managers and leaders
“Worry Gene”, “Wait Threshold” and “Matamanoa Thinking” There are steps you can take to avoid "worry"
Avoid Surprises by asking one question Many surprises are avoidable, but you have to ask the right question to avoid them.
Strategic vs. Critical Thinking One is a tool, the other is an activity.
Innovation Thinking When you want to innovate, ask these questions.
The Truth about the Tooth Fairy Facts can be both true and false !
Tolerance Level Understanding a Tolerance Level allows you to implement a plan of action when it is reached in an organized fashion.
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by Michael Kallet
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