Generic thinking strategies can contribute to business success

Posted 7/7/2016

When you use thinking strategies, you can be more effective in assessing issues, determining what is important, and focussing your efforts. Your goal is to work effectively in ways that contribute to job and organizational performance. LO-PEMEO is a powerful strategy to identify what is important for your work, the job, and the organization. Associated thinking strategies can also contribute to exemplary performance including using:

         the business model

         corporate objectives/goals


         the input-process-output model

         cognitive-based safety thinking strategies

These strategies have been explained in previous post.

While LO-PEMEO and associated thinking strategies are powerful strategies for exemplary performance, exemplary workers can also use other thinking strategies. One such strategy is to apply a basic business process.

The business process has three major steps, discover, decide, deliver. The process is very useful for many jobs, when working with internal and external customers, and when determining relevant content for training. The process can be applied to tasks, job assignments, and larger projects. The strategy can also provide the basis for more sophisticated communication processes tailored to different occupations such as:

         sales personnel



         team leaders


          trades people

The discover step involves exploring with the customer to determine what is important to the customer (internal or external). Options are narrowed down for easier decision-making. Continually confirming the customerís goals, expectations, and options reduces the potential of a misunderstanding.

The decide step establishes criteria for decision-making. Criteria can be divided into must have and valued categories. Often it is important to confirm the goals, processes, resources, deliverables, and downsides of a decision to minimize misunderstandings when delivering the service or product.

It is assumed that the organization has the resources to deliver on the promises/goals made during the decide step:

         plan, control, and track production and services

         work efficiently

         minimize rework

         maintain quality assurance (the organizationís and the customerís expectations)

         communicate effectively with the customer

If you have doubts about the customerís expectations (your customer could be your boss) it is important to confirm the expectations. To keep long-term customers, you must know your customerís expectations and keep the customer informed.  This communication is especially important when you canít deliver the products or services promised.

Confirm your customerís expectations throughout the business process to minimize misunderstandings. Confirm your customerís satisfaction during the business process and after the product and service has been delivered. Customers take for granted that the services and products will be good because thatís what they were promised and thatís what they are paying for. Customers seldom complain about a service or product unless they are very dissatisfied. At that point, your and/or your organizationís reputation could be damaged.

In addition to your efforts, your organization may have a formal process to assess customer satisfaction and to find way to continually improve.

The above description of a useful business process is at a basic level. For details of the business process, refer to the book MetaThink. MetaThink also address other topics including:

         Using a structured method for asking What if . . . ? questions
to identify what could go wrong

         Using the input-process-output model for work and technical
processes and to communicate effectively

         using reasons, causes, effects, and consequences to
understand the workplace for what it is, identify what can go
wrong and why, and determine the consequences
(i.e., LO-PEMEO) 

Do you use a similar business process in your everyday work? Do you think this basic business process could be useful when working with internal customers?

Gordon Shand is President of HDC Human Development Consultants Ltd. He has 35 years of experience designing and developing educational and training programs that have excellent practical value and contribute to the customerís business success.