Why rethinking your thinking about thinking is so important.

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Coaching is an overhead you can do without right?  Especially when cash is tight.  Surely you can just work it out yourself.

Well, you maybe right.  Or, maybe, just maybe, you should rethink.

Thinking business

Wherever you are on your business journey, from start-up to steady state, your thinking has got your there.  If you’ve been lucky, you’ve had lots of challenges along the way and have grown as a result.  If you haven’t been so lucky then it’s been an easier ride, and you really haven’t had to challenge your thinking too much.

Whichever is the case, it’s almost certain that you have habitual ways of thinking that you aren’t even aware of.  And as volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the world continue to accelerate, it’s those habitual ways of thinking that can trip you up.

Business go through stages from existence to survival, from survival to growth, and from growth to steady state.  But these stages aren’t always linear, or even progressive.  Recently a lot of businesses have suffered a short, sharp regression from steady state, or even growth, to survival.  Many are fighting for their very existence.

These changes, these transitions, whether planned or unplanned, quick or slow, progressive or regressive, all require changes in the thinking behind them.  The quicker the transition, the quicker the change in thinking needs to be.  Even bigger businesses that can distribute their thinking across their leadership team struggle with this.  For smaller business, with just one or a small number of leaders, the ability to quickly recognise the need to switch thinking and then be able to do so has never been so important.

Illustrative changes in thinking preferences required across business stages 
Surviva I 
Growth 
Ta ke- Off 
Maturity 
Surviva I

What the owners and leader in these businesses need is improved Dynamic Intelligence™.  

What is Dynamic Intelligence™?

Dynamic Intelligence™ is about flexibility in your thought processes.  It’s about being aware of the biases in your thinking, and being able to choose to think differently from situation to situation based on your intended outcome.  It’s about how you construct your thinking in the moment.

And this is where coaching comes in.  Specifically, Constructed Development Coaching.

Many, perhaps most, coaches use some form of goal oriented process.  You go to them with a specific problem you want to solve, or outcome you want to achieve.  And, they help you (maybe) by shepherding your thinking using a model like GROW.  Help you until the next time that is, when, because the way you think hasn’t really changed, you experience the same, or similar, challenges.  They haven’t helped you to systemically improve the way you think.  They haven’t helped you to improve your level of Dynamic Intelligence™.

Constructed Development Coaches work differently.  You go to them with a specific problem you want to solve, or outcome you want to achieve.  Instead of focussing on this, they help you to understand what thinking habits are contributing to your challenge, reframing it in a wider thinking context.  Then they work with you to develop your thinking across this wider context, to improve your Dynamic Intelligence™.  The result of this is not only to help with the current challenge, but future challenges as well.

Can it be measured?

If you’re reading this and thinking “that all sounds well and good, but can you prove it?” then, happily, the answer is yes.  Recent research by Dr Darren Stevens of Coventry University has shown that your level of Dynamic Intelligence™ can be measured on a scale he calls the Thinking Quotient™1.

This means that a Constructed Development Coach can measure your level of Dynamic Intelligence™ on the Thinking Quotient™ scale at the beginning of your coaching engagement and again at intervals so you can see how it changes over time.

This quite possibly represents the first time that developmental coaching outcomes can be scientifically and quantitatively measured!

The tool used for this measurement is called the Identity Compass®.  It measures your balance of Cognitive Intentions (thinking preferences) across sets of thinking structures.  This also allows the Constructed Development Coach to focus on addressing the specific imbalances in your Cognitive Intentions which have been shown from Dr Stevens’ research to have the biggest impact.

In Summary

The conditions for accelerating change like advances in information technology, human inter connectivity, automation and artificial intelligence have been building for years.  These conditions are only going to continue making the world ever more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

Because of this, it’s never been so important to develop flexibility in how you construct your thinking from moment to moment.  Developing your Dynamic Intelligence™ is critical for business success.

A Constructed Development Coach can help you to do this, and measure the outcome.

If you are now thinking that perhaps coaching is an overhead that you can’t do without then please get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation discovery session.

1 https://pureportal.coventry.ac.uk/en/studentTheses/does-constructed-development-exist-as-a-conceptual-measure-of-sel

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