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HeadScratcher Post - Title

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Think Smarter
by Michael Kallet
The HeadScratcher Post Thinking Tips Archive
The HeadScratcher Post
A thought provoking free monthly post highlighting a successful Technique used in problem solving, creativity and decision making.

Description

Make your To-Do list a better and more dynamic list.
Thinking outside-the-box first requires you to understand what the box is, then you can ask these questions.
It doesn't take a lot of time to ask a few questions as you call a meeting or get invited to one.
Classify Discoveries; Measure Frequency and Set Thresholds.
Procrastination has a serious downside, but you can implement a strategy to minimize it.
Highly effective Problem Solving starts with an unwavering belief that a satisfactory solution exists
How Deductive and Inductive reasoning play a role in decision making
Invention requires; Need, Knowledge, Association and Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking ... a way of "Thinking Smarter" and how it's done.
Fast Cycle leads to Out Cycling your competition
So What?; gets people thinking about what data they are collecting and what it means
"Thought" experiments save a lot of time and money
Key metrics should give you the time to change an outcome they predict.
A way to find a solution with indirect measurements and predictions
Thinking through to "Done"
Analyzing the data
A fatal phenomena that occurs in nearly every software company or IT department
Changing the equation is when breakthroughs occur.
Waiting for requirements? Go out and get them instead.
Thinking about a broader problems are when solutions that make a huge difference are created
Finding the "Because!!" frees you to start solution building
How to improve on the accuracy of this answer
Anticipating what's next changes how think about the present.
When is better not good enough?
It's the return on the investment that's important
Predicting an outcome based on an understanding
Make sure your critical thinking is not conducted in your fragmented schedule
Sampling can answer which way to go, or what the issue might be, or what might be wrong.
Knowing when you're "Ready" is critical when you want consistent quality.
You have an amazing ability to Trend. Tap into it.
Decisions and Conclusions are related to assumptions and beliefs. These vary from person to person.
Thinking Outside "The Box" means that there is something that bounds a Box. What is that?
Selected Quotations about Thinking
There is another component of logic beyond Deduction and Induction.  This one is the foundation for Creativity.
Your mind has an ability to fill in blanks and make things fit into what makes sense.  This isn't always good.
Is it possible that listening to music can help your creativity?
A few tips about Inductive Reasoning to get you started
Leading people to "think" and not just "do" can make a huge difference in performance and quality
When in a crisis, critical thinking is important.  A few tips to use for a strategy during this time.
The "who", "what" and "when" about making decisions.
Fuzzy thinking and how to deal with it using Critical Thinking
Priority lists .. Are yours a gate or a tool for managing change?
Strategies for maintenance on equipment or your own health are also useful for customer retention.
Random events are not common.  If it's not random, it's predictable.  Can you predict your business outcomes?
Learning how to learn is a skill more valuable than anything in particular you can learn. 
With the current economy, there has never been a more important time to innovate ... and to Think!
Lots of changes coming in 2009.  Are you preparing for them?  Ask these 4 questions.
Load up with facts, opinions and ideas and then let it "stew" for awhile for that background thinking to work.
Like your heart and the rest of your body, your brain needs exercise ... But a different kind.
A critical thinking perspective on change with two ideas to help you cope and manage change.
We like to "DO". Here are 3 reasons why we don't like to Think even though the benefits are huge.
What is Risk and how do we take that into account when we are making decisions?
Here are 5 suggestions to think about the impossible and maybe even to make it possible.
Sometimes only having 5 minutes to come up with a solution can really deliver some exciting results
Some situations can't be described by just language.  Use some of your "standard" and cerebral senses.
Asking "What else?" can lead to new ideas and prevent just picking the first one that comes along.
Critical Thinking can be used beyond business.  Try these simple tips with your kids.
When creating solutions, and perhaps a "one-off", consider the repeatability of the problem
A few simple ideas to remember when you're tasked with a goal without a clear path to get ther
You think about the future and make predictions automatically.  Now try this with Manual Thinking
We present two ideas about the thinking of changing quickly
When you create a goal or challenge that is so outrageous, new ideas are generated.
Just because you have a good Plan A, maybe have a Plan B that will prepare you if A doesn't work.
After a project is complete, don't just look back at what went right or wrong, but how the thinking was done.
Only fix things that are broken?   ... we think not.  
Thinking can be inefficient, especially when you are thinking about the same thing more than once
Decisions are made and employees react, and sometimes there is a great Disconnect
This doesn't come from thinking too much, but because of  not thinking about the right thing
Emotions are a part of all decisions.  Critical Thinking enables you to be aware of how they influence you
Seek out knowledge .. go Prowling
Track metrics that not only tell you about the future but give you the time to change it.
Are you looking to validate your belief, or are you open to information you may not want to hear?
Sometimes ideas and solutions just pop up.  When this happens reverse the critical thinking process
There are "v-Thinkers" and "^-Thinkers".  There's a time and each, and a bad time for each
Balance isn't about how to balance things, it's about dealing with the imbalance of things
Are your Facts really Facts or just "facts"
Critical Thinking includes Critical Listening
Being a Thinking Coach helps others generate ideas and solve problems.  Here are 10 rules
GET - one of the most common HeadScratchers.  How do you "get" them to do do this.  
Asking why? can help distinguish the real problem from the one that might just be only the starting point
Massive productivity gains can be obtained by just using a little Critical Thinking in these two areas
You can't always know when something will be done, or for that matter, which option to choose.  Here is a tip.
Speed up and increase the quality of Decisions by understanding the Assumptions being used
It's not just Thinking that's important, but Communicating the result. 
Plans sometime go bad, or better.  Set Threshold conditions to monitor and make adjustments
"Need" is important in Critical Thinking.  Look for the Need to create a great team and quality thinking.
Use Discovery to find out what you don't know and need to.
We use "we" but do the people in "we" know they are part of "we", what to do, etc?
How do we know what we are observing (being told, read, etc.) is information we can rely on?
Like the memory of Twinkies, your memories of past projects can play a crucial role in the current projects.
If you don't put energy into your business, then entropy will take over.  Things will become disorganized
We take a look at what common sense is and how we can better utilize it.
Two questions to always ask when "strategic thinking" comes up.
How do you teach someone to be able to Abstract from a specific situation to another?
"Not Thinking" isn't about not thinking, but thinking with the operator "Not".  Includes process of elimination
Wasting Time ... not what you think.
There is a reason, an explanation for everything that happens. Sometimes finding it takes time.
Solving and Resolving are different.  Know when to use them.
Persistence is an important step in Critical Thinking
Knowledge comes from being formally taught or teaching yourself, and experience.  These differ
Having a checklist, a criteria for making a decision will go a long way towards faster decision making.
Root Cause is the cause of a problem.  Ask Why? What Else? and "Possible" to find it.
Concrete and Abstract Thinking.  Very different ways to look at things.  Teaching
Critical Thinking is all about asking questions.  Here's 100 of my favorite ones to celebrate this 100th Edition !
Knowledge is Power and gives you choices.  It's important to identify what you don't have and how to get it.
Time machines ... impossible?  Check out these that can be used at work.
Distinguish between being Finished with something and being Done with it.
A  bridge between other people who collectively can solve a problem.
I Care, My Considerations, Thinking Process and Check-in are four factors people use for Delegating.
Understand your to-do's and if they are a Need or a Want
We have emotions, driven by our values.  Critical Thinking includes these too.
Aha moments are reserved for those giant leaps but for everyday learning
Empowerment is more than just giving permission.
Ask So What?, the two most powerful words.
Excite, Educate , Support and Sustain
Are you both socially and intellectually aware of the situation and the consequences of your actions?
Critically Thinking about doing something over
Even with critical thinking, you can sometimes be wrong.  Ask the question.
What happens when you get "I don't know" when you ask why?  Now what?
There's setting priorities and managing them.  Here are some thoughts about both
When you don't have a lot of time, there are two questions that are still critical to ask.
Sustainment thinking is all about thinking about how to maintain the value you originally obtained.
Confidence in decision making is all about the Premise
Critical Thinking plays a role beyond just coming up with a good idea.  You have to "sell it"
When opportunity knocks you have to be ready
Your context switch interval affects both your time and the quality of your thinking.
Are you constraining your thinking right from the start?
Transitioning from Individual to Manager requires a transition from Content to Context
While it may be impossible, ask these five questions before you declare it's impossible.
T.O.P. -- Thinking, Organization and People skills are required for managers and leaders
There are steps you can take to avoid "worry"
Many surprises are avoidable, but you have to ask the right question to avoid them.
One is a tool, the other is an activity.
When you want to innovate, ask these questions.
Facts can be both true and false !
Understanding a Tolerance Level allows you to implement a plan of action when it is reached.
Critical Thinking Questions to make your To-Do list a better list.
10 critical thinking questions to think outside-the-box
5 critical thinking questions to improve meetings

Three steps to avoid analysis paralysis ... when to stop.
The serious downside of Procrastination and a strategy to address it.
The #1 Thing
Deductive and Inductive Thinking
Elements of Invention
What is Critical Thinking anyway?
Fast Cycle Time
Asking So What?
Gedanken Experiments
Key Metrics
Triangular Thinking
The Definition of Done
The Numbers Talk
The 3rd Version Syndrome
Beating the Odds - Changing the Equation
The Infamous Requirements Document

180 Seconds of Headscratching
Because !!
How long will it take?
Anticipatory Thinking
The Better MouseTrap
Everything is Throw-Away
Hypothesis
Defragmented Thinking
Sampling
Readiness and Quality
Trending

When logic is illogical
Thinking outside "The Box"
Famous Thoughts
Abductive Thinking and Creativity
Can your mind be too helpful?
Creativity and Music
Tips to Think Critically In 2008
Leading People to Think
Crisis Thinking
Making Decisions
Fuzzy Thinking
Priorities
Maintenance and Customer Retention
Surprise vs Predictability
Learning to Learn
Innovation - Now more than ever
The Moon Shot - May 25, 1961
Stewing Thoughts
Exercising your Brain
Two ideas about Change
3 reasons why we don't like to Think
The Thinking Behind Risk
Five ideas for Impossible Thinking
Instant Thinking
Critical Thinking without Words
Ask "What else?"
3 Critical Thinking Tools for Parents
None, One, Two, Many
When you can't see the path
Thinking about the Future w/Critical Thinking
Turning on a Dime (The Physics of Change)
Radical Thinking
Parallel Thinking
Retrospective Thinking
If it ain't broke ....
Rehash Thinking and more ...
The Great Employee-Manager Disconnect
Analysis Paralysis
Emotions
Prowling for Ideas
Preeminent Metrics
Lessons from the Tooth Fairy
Reverse Critical Thinking
"v-Thinking"
Thinking about Balance
Facts vs "facts"
Critical Listenining
10 Rules of a Thinking Coach
Thinking about "Get"
Ask Why? to distinguish "this" from "that"
Two ideas for Massive Productivity Gains
Thinking about "When?"
Assumptions and Decisions
Critical Communications
Thresholds
Great Teams, Need and Critical Thinking
Discovery
Who is "We"
Observations - 5 Pass-Fail Tests
Twinkies and Creativity
Combating Entropy in Business
Common Sense
Strategic Thinking - Two must have conversations
Abtract Thinking
"Not Thinking"
Wasting Time
There are no mysteries
Solve vs. Resolve
Persistence and Critical Thinking
Two kinds of knowledge
Criteria and faster decisions
Root Cause
Teaching Abstract Thinking
100 Questions to Ask
Ask, "What knowledge don't I have?"
Workplace Time Machines
"Finished" vs. "Done"
Be a "Thinking Bridge"
Four Factors for Delegation
A Want vs. Need Color Matrix
Critical Thinking and Emotions
Aha Moments
Two Requirements for Empowerment
So What?
Four steps to become a critical thinking organization
Do you know where your feet are?
Mulligan Thinking
What if I'm wrong?
Questions to ask when you don't know.
Thinking about Priorities
Two most important questions to ask
Sustainment Thinking
Thinking about Confidence
Critical Thinking and Innovation
Open the door and let'em in
What's your CSI ?
Are you thinking with handcuffs?
Decision Making - from Content to Context
Five questions to ask before you say "Impossible"
T.O.P. skills of great managers and leaders
Worry Gene, Wait Threshold and Matamanoa Thinking
Avoid Surprises by asking one question
Strategic vs. Critical Thinking
Innovation Thinking
The Truth about the Tooth Fairy
Tolerance Level