Management Professionals
Personal Message from Anne Warfield

Outcome Thinking® requires you to think differently. Once you start using it you can't help but wonder about things and stay in curiosity in order to solve problems from a new angle whether it be solving leadership challenges at work- how to motivate others, how to get 100% on shipping or how to drive clarity on key initiatives— or sales challenges— how to make sure we can accurately forecast sales with our pipeline or how to get sales people to have strategic meetings where they build bigger concept pictures for clients—you need to open your mind to seeing things a whole new way in order to solve things in a unique way that gets to the root of the problem.

For example, my brain has been noodling around all the problems we have with gun shootings and then I thought how I would feel if I were a police person and I am chasing a felon and I don’t know whether they have a gun or not. My fear factor would be high and my instincts would be kicking in. At that same time I don’t know where the felon is going. Then I saw an article on how drones were used to capture a lion and I thought “What would happen if the police had access to drones? How could they be used to track and capture felons in chases so the cops could put people in strategic intersections rather than have a high speed chase?”

Then I moved to “How would we test it and get them in to the forces in massive ways? How could they be misused and how could we prevent that?”

I don’t know if it would work or not but imagine if a drone could be used to track a felon and the police could have a strategic person then give more accurate feedback on how to interact.

PS If you want to find out how to think and speak holistically and strategically join us for our upcoming Managing Your Strategic Message Session for Leaders. Learn More

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Outcome Thinking® Solution

How to Think Bigger

by Anne Warfield

Anne, I need my team to start thinking in a bigger way.

I find that they try to dissect problems from too low of a level and the solutions they bring forward have limitations to them. For example, if I ask them to fix the number of errors we are running in to, they only look at the errors from our department—not what is feeding in that is causing the errors? Or how we might get information in a different format?

Why don't they think of those types of things and how can I drive them to that?

Other Person's Perspective:
It isn’t that your team can’t think bigger, it is that their brain is naturally staying in their world as they know it. They want to perform well for you. They are also being “stuck” by the brain’s natural tendency to slap on restrictions as to what they can or cannot do.

Thinking it Through Using Outcome Thinking®:
This is a fun one. Getting your team to think bigger can be so rewarding. Remember they don’t have access to all the information your brain has access to so that in itself limits them. So your job is make the “box” they think in bigger.

Best Handled/Phrased:
When handing them off assignments the language you use will make a difference in how big they think. I often like to make the box big by saying things like, “Go beyond our team and imagine if you were the leader to solve this problem. Look at where it may be coming from, what patterns do you notice, what can you do to stop it from ever happening? As you think through this problem try and look at it from every department or person that may be linked to the problem. So for example, if we are having a difficult time accurately forecasting think of what might be blocking departments from getting their numbers which in turns impacts the accuracy of data we receive. If we can help them gather better numbers we will in turn be more accurate in our forecast.”

The steps I used above are:
1. Give their brain permission to think of it at a much higher level believing they could impact any change they want.
2. Give them the Roadmap of types of questions or ways to think of the scenario
3. Push them to think of all the departments/people/processes that rub against this problem EVEN if they are NOT in their own area or under their control
4. Then get them to look at the patterns they are seeing and the story they are telling you.


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Quotable Quotes

"How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself. So always think positively."

~ Norman Vincent Peale

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear…But Don't Make Him Your Communication

Do you remember that old school song- "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.  Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair." Well fuzzy in a bear might be cute but in communication it is  the death knell.  In order to be seen as more strategic you need to up the ante on your communication.

Here are some ways to make sure you move away from "fuzzy" language.

Read More >

Free HOT Tip

Here are 5 steps for speaking assertively

Follow these five quick steps to ensure that you get your point across without pain:

1. Know the outcome/result you want from this communication...

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"I wasn't prepared with my presentations in the past.

I had the information but not a goal or plan to accomplish the task. Now that I've learned about Outcome Thinking® I'm using more strategic thinking and a Roadmap so I am prepared and credible during meetings. I would recommend attending Managing Your Message."

Angie Liveringhouse, Sr. Director HRBP, Ameriprise Financial

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