Business Thinking

Martin Luther King once wrote:

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

A persons reluctance to expand the way they think significantly limits their ability to make great decisions in our complex world. This ultimately becomes a real constraint to their business and people leadership effectiveness and capacity to deal with the dynamic and changing business environment we find ourselves in.

Having the right combination of perspective and thinking styles allows persons and leaders to consider and deal with a full range of issues, opportunities and problems — operational or strategic, day to day problems or game changing issues – presented to them regardless of their particular role or level of seniority.

Leaders and managers business thinking must be challenged and their capacity to undertake ‘hard, solid thinking’ must be developed as a platform for achieving high impact business leadership and decision making and in changing and enhancing people leadership behaviours. Having the right business perspective and business thinking tools is a must as a platform for high impact leadership behaviours!

leadership behaviors

In a dynamic and complex business world having the right combination of perspective and thinking styles allows managers and leaders to consider and deal with a full range of issues, opportunities and problems – operational or strategic, day to day problems or game changing issues – presented to them regardless of their particular role or level of seniority.

Thinking is a behaviour and anybody can choose how they behave, but it is also true that people have their own preferred thinking styles, and preferred perspectives that they are most comfortable with. The first step in managing this is to have a clear self awareness of preferred styles, and then to learn the tools of how to work in the different thinking zones as circumstances demand it.

 But how do you go about it? How do you engage leaders to understand there are other ways of seeing the world and processing inputs? Other ways that give new insights and enhance the capacity to deal with complexities, make better business decisions, and communicate in a powerful and engaging way?

Before answering this, let’s have a look at some different thinking styles, and how they may apply in a business sense. The chart below – The PT Matrix ™ – has been developed to help leaders and managers understand how a combination of perspective and thinking styles allows them to consider and deal with a full range of issues, opportunities and problems presented to them regardless of their level of seniority.
The PT Matrix - Management Partners Alliance
In helping leaders and managers develop their thinking capacity and flexibility of thinking we pick apart The PT Matrix to explore the Perspectives Continuum, the Thinking Styles Continuum and the Green, Blue, Purple and Orange zones to drive their self awareness and arm them with the understanding of the need to and tools to be able to move around the zones as situations demand.

The PT Matrix™ in Action

The PT Matrix forms a major platform for our work in
Leadership and Business Thinking. We have Define, Measure, Develop, Achieve - Summary
developed a suite of products and services that leverage The PT Matrix to provide an offering to our clients that helps drive excellence in the individual and in the organisation.
These form part of our Define, Measure, Develop (Close the Gap) and Achieve methodology.

Define

  • Profiling. This involves a web based (or face to face for senior staff) analysis that profiles the thinking needs and general levels of thinking capability of the organisation. This provides a platform for measurement of individual capabilities and also provides very valuable organisational information to inform learning and development activities including coaching, formal training, etc.

Measure

  • The PT Matrix Self Evaluation survey. This web based survey contains 100 forced choice questions and provides a detailed report to the participant on their preferred thinking styles and perspectives, the implications of these and also opportunities for personal growth.
  • The PT Matrix 360° Survey. This web based survey contains a range of questions to allow respondents to report on their observations of the participants preferred thinking styles and perspectives, and the requirements of the role. The detailed report provides the participant with an objective assessment of their preferred thinking styles and perspectives, the implications of these and also opportunities for personal growth. The survey also provides very valuable organisational information to inform learning and development activities including coaching, formal training, etc.

Close the Gap

  • Executive Coaching. We have developed executive coaching practices and methodologies that focus on business thinking and which drive a desire to change and develop, provide the tools for personal growth and ensure the new skills stick! Our executive coaches are business leaders who have a strong depth of business skills and experience, strong facilitation and communication skills and a deep understanding of the theories and practices of thinking and business perspective that underpin The PT Matrix.
  • Learning Programs. We have developed a range of business skills development programs that have a primary purpose of job and career related skills development. The programs include:
    • Visionary Leadership.
    • Developing Strategic Plans.
    • Developing Business and Operational Plans.
    • Business Decision Making.
    • Business and Financial Acumen.
    • Change and Innovation.
  • The PT Matrix also supports programs around Project Management, Leading and Coaching, Change Leadership and Performance Management.
    The programs drive strong learning, job relevance and learning retention by:

    • Delivering up to date content and management theories and practices underpinned by The PT Matrix.
    • Senior level facilitation to challenge participants and create positive learning tension.
    • Where appropriate to the subject matter, creating a competitive environment through gamifying the applied learning elements.
    • Challenging participants to undertake a whole of business approach to their learning.
    • Utilising blended learning including classroom based education components, web based gaming case studies, peer work groups, and culminating in executive level presentations.

The target cohort is at manager, middle manager and general manager level, although the quality of the program, style of delivery and gamified case study activities can be positioned right through to executive and board level.

The programs are intended to create real competitive and learning tensions, as it is important to really stretch participants and to prepare them for the real challenges of leadership at senior levels. This also ensures that there is a real and tangible benefits to our clients.