COURSE CONTENTS

Training is based on the Natural Stages of Complex Problem Solving™. This framework is more cognitively ergonomic than standard problem-solving models. It builds support for insight into each stage of problem solving.

 

This framework is optimized for developing creative insight. It's the way that brilliant and successful people naturally approach complex problems.

This isn't a waterfall method. Especially in complex problems, focus moves back and forth between stages. 

The natural stages of complex problem solving

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© 2020 Advanced Applied Thinking

CURRICULUM

TRAINING TIME

28 hours of training
14 weeks x 2 hours per week

FRAMEWORK OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION

Goal:  Explain underlying concepts

Roadmaps

  • Creative capacity roadmap

  • The natural stage of complex problem solving

  • Highly multivariate problem solving

Concepts

  • Creativity

  • Creative insight

  • Complexity

  • Entropy

 

Thinking skills

  • Connected Thinking

1. IGNORANCE STAGE

Goal:  Develop sensitivity and proactive stance

Concepts

  • Problem subtlety

  • Problem blindness

  • Lack of ownership

  • Tunneling of attention

Thinking skills - examples

  • Presence

  • Focusing

Personal and career development

  • Self-definition

2. TURBULENT CONFUSION STAGE

Goal:  Manage emotions, stay grounded

Thinking skills - examples

  • Embracing confusion

  • Grounding

3. DEFINING THE PROBLEM FOR CREATIVE INSIGHT

Goal:  Dissolve mental structures about the the problem; create better and looser structures

Concepts and roadmaps

  • Natural stages of complex problem solving


Thinking skills - examples​

  • Starting with why

  • First principles thinking

  • Identifying limiting assumptions


Meta-thinking skills:  Focused on dissolving and changing structure in the mind - examples​

  • Defining the problem frame

  • Expanding the problem frame

  • Beginner’s mind


Mindsets

  • Growth mindset

4. EXPLORATION AND LEARNING

Goal:  Expand relevant domain knowledge and skills; strategize

Techniques:​

  • Curiosity

  • Reconnecting with the joy of exploration and learning

  • Discovering and learning new domains for the problem​

  • Strategizing about methodology

5.  DISCOVERY:  COLLECTING INFORMATION FOR CREATIVE INSIGHT

Goal:  Cast a wide net to collect information that could be a source for creative insight

Thinking and action skills - examples

  • Collecting rich information

  • Triangulation

Meta-thinking skills

  • Managing confusion

  • Managing overwhelm

6. FINDING THE CORE:  INTERPRETING INFORMATION FOR CREATIVE INSIGHT

Goal:  Think about information effectively and divergently so as to generate creative insights

​Concepts and roadmaps

  • Team creativity

  • Systems thinking

 

Thinking skills 

  • Organizing information for insight

  • Abstracting information for insight

    • The abstraction ladder​

  • Connecting information for insight

  • Synthesizing and presenting the results of insight for easy comprehension

    • Writing for clarity and insight

 

Meta-thinking skills - examples

  • Breadth

    • Multiple points of view

    • Tradeoff awareness

  • Subtlety

    • Non-dualistic thinking

    • Embracing opposite truths

  • Flexibility and discovery​

    • Figure and ground

    • Far analogy

  • Preciseness and rigor

    • Defining terms

  • Openness

    • Suspending judgment

    • Sensitivity to weak signals

  • Balance

    • Complex and simple

    • Top-down and bottom-up

    • Analytic and holistic

  • Process awareness​

    • Strategic thinking

    • Timing

    • Adapting to context

Personal and emotional skills

  • Perseverance​

  • Optimism

7. ACHIEVING INSIGHT

Goal:  Achieve insight and clarity about the problem and its solutions

Principles​

  • Second- and third-order interpretations

  • Connecting with gut feelings

  • Trust and optimism

  • Simplification

  • False insight 

  • Stepping away

  • Reframing and pivoting

  • Celebrating success

8. RESOLVING THE CORE:  APPLYING INSIGHTS TO SOLUTIONS

Goal:  Apply insights to solve problems effectively and sustainably

Principles​

  • Key levers

  • Side-effects

  • Sustainability


Mindsets

  • Warrior mindset​

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