By Randy Pherson, CEO Globalytica
Spring is (finally) in the air – have you dusted the cobwebs off your analytic skills? To boost your mental spring cleaning, this month I’m sharing my fifth and final Habit of a Master Thinker: Understand the Context.
Analysts often get so engaged in collecting and sorting data that they risk missing the forest for the trees. Learning to stop and reflect on the overarching context for the analysis is the last, and the most critical of the five habits.
Most analysis is done under considerable time pressure. The tendency is to plunge in as soon as a task is assigned. If the analyst does not take time to reflect on the customer’s needs, the resulting
analysis could prove inadequate, and much of the research done a waste of time. You are better off learning how to “think above your pay grade” by putting yourself in the shoes of management or the individual requesting the analysis at the start.
Ask yourself: “What do they need from me?” “How can I help them frame the issue?” and “Do I need to place their question in a broader context?” Failing to do this at the outset can easily result in the analyst going down blind alleys. Or worse, the analyst may have to reconceptualize an entire paper if a key assumption is found to be incorrect during coordination or editing.
Freeware and proprietary software have been developed to help analysts apply these techniques with rigor while saving time. The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) developed a freeware version of Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) under my and Richards J. Heuer’s guidance. Globalytica offers a collaborative, web-based version of ACH called Te@mACH®, which when combined with the Multiple Hypotheses Generator® and the Indicators Validator®, comprise TH!NK Suite®.
Globalytica is also developing two other tools, the Te@m Assumptions Check™ and Quadrant Crunching™, that guide analysts through the process of challenging their key assumptions and generating alternative scenarios. For more information about the software described above, click here.
Space is Limited – Register Now
Early bird discount is available!
Anticipate the future! Globalytica is launching its newest professional
certificate program, Foresight Structured Analytic Techniques (FSAT),
designed for professional analysts seeking to improve the quality and
impact of their analysis in forecasting future events, using indicators
to track emerging trends, and developing strategic plans.
Dates: June 2, 9 & 16 ( total of three 3½ hour sessions)
Location: Online (TH!NK Live™-Globalytica’s avatar-based virtual training platform)
A 30% early bird discount is available to our members who register before April 17. Promo code – GLOBAL30
About the FSAT Course
This course introduces students to the Strategic Foresight Decision Tool, which includes five Structured Analytic Techniques (Foresight Quadrant Crunching™, Indicators, Indicators Validator®, Outside-In Brainstorming, and Opportunities Incubator), for developing alternative scenarios of how events will unfold. Students work through case studies and hands-on exercises to learn how best to apply the techniques and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Students will use the Indicators Validator® software. Students who pass a final exam receive a Professional Certificate in Foresight Structured Analytic Techniques.
Our certificate courses are designed to improve the quality of analytic and critical thinking skills.
Enhance the Impact of Your Analysis.
Our collaborative webbased tools help analysts employ Structured Analytic Techniques effectively. They can be used routinely making the analysis more rigorous while saving time.