Clear Thinking - The Business Experience



The Business Experience
Ideas Consultancy in Improving Organisation
and Team Performance

Clear Thinking

The NEED for Thinking Intelligence® 

 Thinking "What could go wrong?"
is preferable to asking 
"What went wrong?"

Clear Thinking♦  Our research into Clear Thinking and Why plans go wrong shows that even experienced, smart people and Teams make costly thinking mistakes

… errors that could have been avoided had they been thinking in the right ways at crucial stages.

♦  We see examples of avoidable thinking errors reported in the media every single day. For example, the CEO of a major global corporation could be barred from being a Director because of one 'stupid' announcement mistake.

♦  Most people mistakenly believe that they are clear thinkers. Our tests show that this is not realistic - it's a delusion, one of the many Thinking Traps we have identified. You may only find out if you've been thinking clearly, or not, after the event.

♦  So-called 'execution' failures are mostly due to Thinking Errors at the planning stages.

Contact us to ask for our White Paper on "Why Strategies, Plans etc go wrong - 10 causes of costly Thinking Errors." 

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Our research into:
Why plans go wrong,
How people think


The Business Experience has conducted extensive research into:

  • “Why Strategies, Plans, Projects, Innovations, Decisions, and Communications go Wrong” 
  • How people, especially teams, THINK ... and how Whole-Brained Thinking maximises success and minimises the risk of costly mistakes

Key finding: even highly intelligent and experienced leaders and teams are prone to costly thinking mistakes which may only emerge after the damage is done. 

In every case of failure or under-performance we examined we could see exactly where thinking mistakes were made ... and how they could have been avoided.

Two Examples of the Ten Reasons why people and Teams make costly thinking errors

... often blindingly 'obvious'
- in hindsight



♦ Everybody suffers the delusion that they are 'clear thinkers'.

At a major 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. One of the words was actually in the title of the exhibition.

Virtually every ‘contestant’ struggled to articulate clear, concise descriptions. They were all sure they knew what the words meant, but they used vague language such as “Well, it’s about …” or “It involves …” or "Well, it depends …"
In our White Paper we describe why this happens.

♦ People don’t check their thinking against unconscious Thinking Traps.

There are dozens of them. Groupthink in groups/teams can be deadly (eg Bay of pigs). The various types of Bias can have major business performance consequences.

How Thinking Intelligence®


… the need you didn’t know you had.

An Example of an unconscious Thinking Trap:

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

The Business Experience's founder Michael Barrett developed the concept of Thinking Intelligence after studying Whole Brain thinking and analysing why plans go wrong.

He realised that his broad experiences working on multiple teams on £multi-million projects had developed a wider range of 'ways of thinking' (Thinking Styles) than the average person deploys, including polar-opposite ways of thinking.

For example, Michael had initially worked in sales and marketing but switched careers to design and purchasing. These 'opposite' job roles require two polar-opposite Thinking Styles (Business Thinking v Customer Thinking). Michael can switch easily between these two Styles, two opposite perspectives on the same transaction.

So when he researched why strategies, plans, decisions, and ideas etc went wrong he found that he could see the reasons why. He could identify exactly where mistakes in these Thinking Processes had occurred, which Thinking Styles were missed or rushed, or which of the dozens of Thinking Traps people had 'fallen into'.

From trials he found that other people can learn the key types of Thinking Processes used in business, the range of Whole-Brained Thinking Styles required, and all the major Thinking Traps to check for. 
See Thinking Intelligence® Training and Applications Workshops

Classic Cases in Unclear Thinking from our library


What were they thinking?

Mind the gap, in Thinking

We have an extensive library of Classic Cases across all types and sizes of organisations that we draw upon in our Training Courses in Thinking Intelligence. We also show current/recent examples in our Case Studies tag.

Gerald Ratner famously lost his entire business due to one simple speech mistake at the Institute of Directors. The media crucified him.

♦ A TV company£1 billion loss. We identified 20 thinking errors made by senior management. 

♦ The St Helena airport debacle: £285 million 'wasted' building an airport that even now can only be used with great caution. Cause: Dangerous wind shear at that mountain site had been known for decades. "There are known knowns …"

♦ 2008 Financial Crisis: Causes: many, eg several basic thinking errors (admitted by the Bank of England) many caused by two types of Thinking Trap - GroupThink on a massive scale, and Delusion: "It'll never happen" and "I can deal with it if it does go wrong".


See What is Thinking Intelligence®?

See Thinking Intelligence® Training and Applications Workshops

See The benefits of Thinking Intelligence®

See more classic examples Contact us to ask for our White Paper on "Why Strategies, Plans, etc go wrong - 10 root causes of costly Thinking Errors" and details of our Training Courses and Applications workshops in Thinking Intelligence®.