One of the books I revisit is Keith Cunningham’s The Road Less Stupid.
It usually reemerges when I’m stuck, have done something he’d refer to as stupid or as I’m pondering things not working. I always find great fodder for thinking within its covers.
One of the gems is right at the beginning, talking about the five disciplines of questions. Referencing these before diving in to ponder my thoughts is always helpful to ensure I’m directing my thinking where it needs to go.
When I do this work using these disciplines as a filter, my thought process is clearer and leads to better outcomes. Here it is:
The Five Disciplines of Thinking:
- Find the Unasked Question– Create a question that will result in clarity and generate better choices.
- Separate the Problem from the Symptom – Identify the real obstacle that is blocking progress.
- Check Assumptions – Differentiate the facts from the story I am spinning.
- Consider 2nd-Order Consequences – Clarify the risks and the possibility/cost of being wrong.
- Create the Machine – Create the executable plan and identify the resources (people and money) required to solve the real (core) problem and make forward progress.