Trams, jams and bypassing gridlock
06/11/2007 - "Trams, jams and bypassing gridlock" by Donal Carroll
Transformative techniques: some more promising practice from learndontlearn


  1. What international sport begins with a T?

  2. Ant and Dec are lying dead on the floor surrounded by a large puddle of water. There is lots of broken glass lying around. What happened?

If you immediately think of tennis or trampolining (for 1) and they drowned (for 2) don't worry. Most people do. After all, the statements are set up to encourage this. However both answers are 'wrong'. When asked again, most people repeat their original efforts seeing T as the letter 't' (table tennis, tobogganing) and seeing Ant and Dec as the tv hosts. Pushed further, they increasingly find it difficult to get beyond this predictable pattern. More effort produces less insight, only more of the same. Their thinking is now well and truly tramlined. Trapped and stuck. And the answers are still wrong.

Tramlining does not only happen with quizzes and games. It happens to managers too. Imagine an organisational problem. Most managers use methods which they have used before, their standard responses. When these don't work they try more of the same with probably more effort and muscle. This at best makes only marginal difference. Remember that if you are on a tram it leads to a terminus and this one is called 'not solved'. Only now it is more fully armed. And much harder to pronounce, like disengagement, falling market share and so on...

Critical Difference specializes in i2i: translating ideas into impact. We recognise that when stuck, the first revolution is a new idea. This involves learning (the hard stuff) and enlarging both manager and organisation repertoire of responses.

We know how hard this can be. Apparently when scientists send rockets into space, a huge proportion of fuel is used in the first part of the journey simply to break free of the earth's gravity. Similarly when organisations are stuck in tramlines - they need ferocious energy to break free of their own habity.
We will help you get to the first change, an idea, then help you develop the rest, to apply new ideas to old organisational problems.

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24 Dec 2019 - Caught in the fact?: How to recognise Trump cardsFact attack, truth-decay and critical thinking Click here to read Donal Carroll 's latest blog post: Caught in the afacta™?: How to recognise Trump cards

23 May 2016 - Disrupting Business PlanningAnticipating and responding to 'failure' from the very startClick here to read Donal Carroll's latest blog post: Disrupting Business Planning



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