Switch Thinking – A 3 Month Review

Yes it’s been 3 months since I officially launched the new Switch Thinking website.

In that time I have formed a partnership with the Australian Institute of Management and developed a 1 day course which is now offered as a public and in-house program both face to face and online.

I have also given a number of keynotes and workshops on Switch Thinking.

As well as developing a new canvas, a set of switch thinking cards and a dice.

I thought it might be a good idea to review what I have learned over these past 3 months:

So here goes – a 3 Month Summary of Switch Thinking:

– Switch Thinking is seen by the people attending a Switch Thinking course as primarily a group or team tool.

– They often enrolled in the course because it (i.e. the name Switch Thinking) sounded interesting and different.

– My insight on how I developed Switch Thinking from watching bilingual people works really well ‘that’s clever, insightful’.

– Participants love the 6 Switches and the prompts – they are quick, easy, simple; it’s a checklist and stimulus, they suggest why not prompts on cards or an app; they could customise the prompts; 3 prompts on the canvas is seen as plenty, they can use immediately

– The canvas design also works well – colourful, has space, not linear or filled with boxes

– The Paper A3 Canvas size is seen as fun and playful; ‘my laptop is seen as work.’

– ‘Switch’ is seen as a powerful word particularly the idea that you can switch to a different way of thinking and still be able to switch back again. ‘You can switch back and forth’;

– This connecting aspect of switch thinking for most people is a real ‘aha’ moment. It provides safety, permission to explore, take risks etc.

– People easily get the idea of switching (e.g. from details to big picture; switching perspective) they are doing this already, it’s familiar they are doing this intuitively; I have labelled it as a skill which can be developed via practice etc

– The 6 Switches have a dynamic, interconnected, fluid aspect – you could switch perspective which might then suggest a switch in problem etc. This helps people clarify what the real problem is

– The switch of metaphor from boxes to balls is another ‘aha’ moment

– Working in groups using switch thinking is fun and highly energizing (face to face)

– Participants like the semi-structure of switch thinking – ‘it gives me a starting point, I am not lost, it’s not a blank page, it gives me a way to think differently.’

– They describe Switch Thinking as being able to complement some of their existing Innovation, Design Thinking, Problem Solving processes

– Participants see an immediate benefit when running brainstorming type sessions and in asking or clarifying questions

– The public and in-house Switch Thinking courses have attracted middle to senior leaders in profit and not-for profit organisations

– Participants will talk about feeling more creatively confident when they finish the course; ‘I am more creative than I thought.’

– When asked for a problem to work on they have used Switch Thinking for a variety of challenges from business to personal, big and small e.g. should I buy this new coat?

– Switch Thinking is seen as a way to open your mind; as a skill that can be developed

– Participants see a strong application in any leadership coaching moments

– Some of the prompts have had a big impact on people e.g. from Possible to Impossible (a prompt from the Outcome Switch) ‘I never considered impossible this has changed my worldview’

– Switching to emotional language for many people is an ‘aha’ moment – ‘I simply have not considered it.’ Switching to emotions is kind of a collective blind spot.

– Another motivation for doing switch thinking was a fear of becoming too rigid, rules based; people recognise a need for greater flexibility e.g. Members of Qld. Police attendees

– The Switch Think – Feel – Do Model also had a strong impact i.e. a small change in thinking can have a big impact on what you do and feel.

That’s it.

It’s not perfect and I still have a long way to go to bring Switch Thinking to the world.

Check out the 6 Switches Canvas. It’s simple, practical and free.