What is the shelf life of our skills?

Which skills are the ones that organizations need the most and are they sustainable?

Do those types of skills actually exist and how accurately can we ever predict which skills are needed in the future? Kepner and Tregoe, who founded KT in 1958, believed that critical thinking skills are what matter the most, regardless of the organization and prevailing conditions. After 57 years, I am wondering is this still a valid statement?

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When you get lost

What happens if you get lost? Or better, what happend just before you got lost? I think you didn’t pay attention and forgot to focus on the right path.

One of my participants told me last week that Decision Analysis was a great tool, especially the objectives setting part of it. “It kept me really focused on my decision”  she said whilst she noticed she was derailing during the alternatives evaluation stage (“because my boss wanted to argue with me around his preferred altenative” ). She also knew she had to back on track, back to the framework they had agreed upon. This was also noticed by her boss, which complimented her in managing the meeting so professionally.

Sentiere Rapallo

Lots of alternatives

This insight brought me back to my own decision making during a hiking tour in Italy, on my last holiday. During that tour I acknowledged that having a clear decision statement and objectives, helped me to stay on track. Although detours are sometimes nice and adventurous, my main concern was to get back to the hotel, safe and sound, especially because I was walking on my own (and because Giuseppe said it was a “dirty road”).During my many years of hiking experience on prepared routes, one of the most important things to keep in mind is: keep focus and pay attention…to the marks in the scenery. How long ago was it you saw the mark for the last time? And if you hesitate: go back where it felt right. Continue reading


Sherlock Holmes – the power of his thinking


Last Sunday, the BBC broadcasted the final episode of series 3 of Sherlock Holmes. Whilst Sherlock had fallen of a roof in the last episode of series 2, he suddenly revived and 3 new episodes were given to us.  All the fans were really thrilled by his masters’ return. Visual TV effects made it possible to make the thinking of Sherlock more visible to us watching television. What he is seeing, observing or maybe even was thinking, was made known to us, in a fast pace in small letters or other animations. And by doing that, we got a powerful insight in the brain of a great problem solver. Is it nature or could it be nurture? Three key lessons I took from watching Holmes: 

The devil is in the detail
Whilst Watson is jumping often jumping to conclusions, Sherlock is paying attention to every detail he notices. He is using all his senses to find remarkable information. For example, when studying a letter from the so-called killer, he not only looks at the handwriting, he also smells at the letter (and notices a womans perfume, what does that mean?). At KT, in order to get the deviation description right, we ask the question: what can we see, hear, feel, taste, smell, that tells us there is a deviation. Use all our senses and be specific as possible. Continue reading


16 keer stuk? Maar het is gerepareerd hoor!

Hoe het aan Clear Thinking bij politici en luchtvaart experts nog ontbreekt
in samenwerking met Berrie Schuurhuis Consultant bij Kepner-Tregoe (@bschuurhuis)

Op 25 februari 2009 crasht een Boeing 737-800 (vlucht KL1951) van Turkish Airlines net voor de landing op de Polderbaan van luchthaven Schiphol. Uit analyse blijkt dat het toestel op dat moment een defecte hoogtemeter had. Op 14 januari 2013 beantwoordt Wilma Mansveld, Staatssecretaris van Infrastructuur en Milieu een aantal kamervragen:Kamervragen Continue reading