Think of a business issue you are wrestling with and use this template on it Does it help

Having hunches is like working in three rather than two dimensions. You are no longer so bound by the demands of time and place. You can see the problem from different perspectives.

By concentrating on the idea of the hunch, something very interesting happens to you and your relationship to time. You begin to dwell on an idea over a period, letting it roll around your head. People who have a hunch often tell you so and seek your involvement in thinking it through. As you mull something over, so you start to look at it from all sorts of different angles.

In a world increasingly dominated by deadlines and short-term performance regimes, we need to listen to our hunches and intuitions more, not less.

Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom encapsulate this belief with a powerful metaphor: "We have to turn the workplace into a gas station for our brains, not only a racetrack."

Guy Claxton has explored the idea of "soft thinking" extensively in his writing. In his book, Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less, he makes a compelling case for letting your mind work at different speeds. The book offers a wealth of insights into the complex process of learning to learn, for example, that the apparently contradictory sayings "Look before you leap" and "He who hesitates is lost" can both be true.

At various stages in this book, I have included practical suggestions for how you can seek to move from the stressful, time-dominated present into the fuzzier, but somehow more creatively focused world I am describing.

Creative organizations make time for people to find their creativity. In some consultancies it is, for example, becoming commonplace for senior staff to be given time off after challenging assignments to recharge their batteries and to reflect on what they have learned.

One practical way of creating time at work is consciously to seek to undertake fewer projects in smaller teams. The larger the team, the more it is necessary to meet. The more functional meetings you have, the less time there is for fuzzier, more productive thinking and learning.

When Richard Branson creates a new business he does not subsume it within Virgin. While it benefits from the Virgin name, Branson has shown how much more creative it can be to keep teams small and focused and leave them space to create.

Interestingly, research has shown that you tend to come up with more creative ideas after the initial burst of ideas that you produce. This truth, linked to the idea that the world is becoming much more complex, explains why a fuzzier approach is increasingly helpful to have as part of your own toolkit of skills.

This is partly why I think that brainstorming is an overrated pastime. Edward de Bono stressed that the key element of the tech-

nique was the deferring of judgment. It is this important ingredient that allows the necessary space for creativity. Unfortunately, brain-storming has come to be used so routinely and with such time pressures that, in my experience, it can all too often simply be the pooling of the most banal and obvious ideas. It has been embraced by some organizations as a means of suggesting that they are creative and open to new ideas, when in fact it has become an example of rather uncreative communication. If you are brain-storming, then it is worth building in some quiet pauses for those who are not extraverts and giving individuals the chance to "speak" to themselves at a different speed.

So, while brainstorming can be extremely helpful, it needs time and the ideas it generates need to be subjected to some of the creative techniques you have been exploring in this section.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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