My simple, effective and reliable planning tools – including a circle, a triangle and a straight line: Step 1
The purpose of this article is to introduce my very simple, very effective, very reliable and proven planning tools.
These are some that have been my constant companions through 40+ years of working with people to identify possible causes or contributors in such experiences as:
- difficulties in communication,
- relationship breakdowns,
- lapses in performance by individuals, groups or teams at all levels of business or organisational activity.
Further articles through the next two months will introduce different tools, and provide greater detail with concrete examples. Here and now, I’ll just introduce them briefly.
Demonstrates continuity, movement, progress, direction: it infers that ‘what goes around, comes around’. It can be broken at one point to lead into a spiral, which then demonstrates an improved or considered direction based on earlier experience, analysis or assessment. It can also provide the framework to plan changes in attitude, behaviour or interpretation.
The three sides and angles demonstrates the certain relationship between three ‘units’ - and different types of triangles allow different interpretations. It shows that any three ‘units’ – be they key factors, components of factors, or elements of components – have a definite relationship, each with the other two. And any triangle can ‘spawn’ more triangles or other shapes, enabling deeper or broader analysis, interpretation and understanding.
Place a positive value at the beginning of a straight line and the opposite or negative value at the end of a straight line – and there you have a ‘continuum’. Between these two extremes, there are points along the straight line that will indicate key stages between the two extremes: you can also identify the neutral point at which there is neither positive nor negative activity or influence. There’s no end of uses with a continuum.
Conventional use of a square is to indicate constraint, completeness or even a closed environment. However, another use of a square is to isolate obvious or known facts or factors within the square, and be able to differentiate these from ‘external’ facts or factors that are seen to lay outside the square.
Demonstrates direction, connection, certainty, possibility, intention, movement ‘from’ or ’to’ and even ‘from and to’.
Table – rows and columns
Very simply, a table comprises of two or more rows integrated with two or more columns. It provides a means of separating facts and features to allow intensive or individual analysis - or simply the benefit of identifying individual or separate units or entities. It also creates the world of the matrix.
What is planning?
Planning is simply looking to the future and discovering alternative courses of action. There are many uses for planning – but I’d suggest, based on my experience and observation, that the best tools for planning are the simple ones.
More ideas and suggestion soon!