Clear Thinking - The Business Experience



The Business Experience
Business Performance Improvement Services
for individuals, teams, and organisations

Clear Thinking

The NEED for Thinking Intelligence® 



Clear Thinking♦  Our research into Why plans go wrong; How people think

♦  Why people and Teams make costly thinking mistakes

♦  How Thinking Intelligence® evolved – a need waiting to be discovered

♦  Classic Cases in Unclear Thinking – avoidable thinking errors

Our research into:
Why plans go wrong,


How people think


We could see where thinking mistakes were made,
and why

The Business Experience has conducted extensive research into:

  • “Why Strategies, Plans, Projects, Innovations, Decisions, and Communications go Wrong” 
  • How people, especially teams, THINK

Key finding: even highly intelligent and experienced people and teams are prone to costly thinking mistakes when they fail to:

  1. follow a structured thinking process, and
  2. check how they are thinking (their Thinking Style), and
  3. flex their brain to think in the right ways at key stages, and
  4. check for unconscious thinking traps.

We have an extensive library of Classic Cases going back to the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic (a litany of Thinking Errors – see below).

In one Case Study (of a £1 billion loss) we identified more than 20 avoidable thinking errors made by senior management.

See our Case Studies

Four reasons why people and Teams make costly thinking errors

... which are usually obvious in hindsight


You, your Teams, and Leaders, can avoid mistakes by developing Thinking Intelligence®

  1. There are no tests for clear thinking.
    You can never be sure that you are thinking absolutely clearly. You may only find out that you haven’t been thinking clearly after the damage.

  2. Everybody (mistakenly) believes that they are clear thinkers.
    At a Learning & Development exhibition we asked over 100 visitors if they believed themselves to be ‘clear thinkers’. Every person said “Yes, I like to think so”. So we challenged them to define a few common words that people use every day.
    Virtually every ‘contestant’ struggled. They were all sure they knew what the words meant, but they were unable to articulate clear descriptions. They used vague language such as “Well, it’s about …” or “It involves …”

  3. Most people, especially teams or groups, don’t consciously think about HOW they are thinking, or how they SHOULD be thinking.
    They don’t structure their thoughts by working through a logical process of thinking steps. They don’t focus by deliberately engaging the right Thinking Styles at each stage. People just think in their natural (preferred) Thinking Styles, eg Analytical or Creative, and trust their instincts.

  4. People don’t deliberately check their thinking against the dozens of unconscious Thinking Traps. Groupthink, in particular, can be deadly.

How Thinking Intelligence®


… the need you didn’t know you had.


Most Sales & Marketing people suffer the delusion that they can see and hear their selling communications from the customer’s viewpoint.


Michael Barrett developed the concept of Thinking Intelligence® after studying Whole Brain thinking and analysing why plans go wrong. He realised that his work experiences had encouraged a wider range of Thinking Styles than the average person, including polar-opposite ways of thinking.

For example, Michael had initially worked in sales and marketing but switched careers to purchasing; two completely opposite Thinking Styles (Business Thinking v Customer Thinking). He can switch easily between these two Styles.

Experience in Process Design Engineering on major multi-discipline projects developed Michael’s Process Thinking, Concept, Design, Overview, Detailed, Planning, Safety and Risk Thinking skills, amongst others.

So when he researched why strategies, plans, and ideas etc went wrong he found that he could identify exactly where mistakes in these Thinking Processes had occurred, and which Thinking Styles were missed or rushed.

From trials he found that the stages in all types of Thinking Processes, and the Whole-Brained Thinking Styles required, can be learnt. So can Thinking Traps.

Classic Cases in Unclear Thinking from our library


What were they thinking?

A gap in Detailed Thinking

The 2008 Financial Crisis – massive groupthink. Due to the collective delusion that property prices would continue rising few finance experts saw the ‘obvious’ risks in 120% mortgages and lending to sub-prime borrowers.

David Cameron’s EU referendum decision – failed to evaluate the risks of an OUT result; failed to see voters’ concerns (Customer Thinking).

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – woeful Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Consequence Thinking. Not very SMART objective setting.

Bay of Pigs – President Kennedy’s disastrous meeting which made the decision to invade Cuba – his ‘experts’ got carried away with a wild idea.

The Titanic – the ‘unsinkable’ ship wasn’t designed to withstand a sideways collision; captain sailed at full speed in poor visibility in a known iceberg area; etc ...

… and the Costa Concordia disaster – another wayward captain!

God help America: how on earth did Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton become the main presidential candidates? Flawed electoral system design?


See What is Thinking Intelligence®?

See Thinking Intelligenceâ Training and Applications Workshops

See The benefits of Thinking Intelligence®

Have a Demo Email us for an introductory discussion on Thinking Intelligence® and a demonstration applied to any aspect of your business.