Thinking strategies

Language is a funny thing.  Labels are even funnier.  In the sense that I get stuck trying to find  the right language to communicate to a specific or even general audience — and I get even more stuck when I can’t seem to land on the right label.

There are two specific decisions that need to be made over the next little while (actually now would be good).  They are:

1.  What to call the new studio space that is moving towards completion in the newly renovated Henry Angus Building – the home of the UBC Sauder School of Business.


2.  What to call what I am doing at Sauder.

Last year when we were developing the web-site, we went through all the possible names for the Community of Practice which would also label the web-site and potentially the studio.  We decided on

But now I am wondering…is the right label?  Is it too confining or even off-putting in the business school — and beyond?  Should it be the — to signify the “business” thinking that will go on in the studio?  Or maybe it should be Studio 338 (the room number) — but that seems somehow too close to Studio 54.   Perhaps the simplest and most straightforward is the Sauder Studio.   The problem is with any branding (I guess) is that now people seem to know it and call it the  So perhaps we are stuck with that — not that it is a bad label.  Maybe I’ll always be thinking that any label for a space of such potential evolution and excitement won’t quite capture it properly.   The decision will have to be made when the sign goes up — until then I have time to ponder a bit more.

The second issue — what to call what I do goes to the heart of the conversation that has occurred on the LinkedIn groups and other blogs — is design thinking the right term?  Again — it is branded and quite successfully.  Do we all agree on what it means — no and that is probably not all that important.  Having the conversation about how we think is important.

So I have decided — I am calling what I do at Sauder Thinking Strategies. I want to make sure that design thinking is in the context of other modes of thinking and my real aim is to make time and space for thinking.  This is about taking the time to think about what process you are using to think through a problem or opportunity.

On September 1 which is the Orientation Day for the MBAs, I will be presenting them with a Thinking Strategies “map” in which I hope they can situate themselves as thinkers and begin to explore regions of the thinking map that might be new territory for them.  We’ll then do the Design Thinker simulation and it will be in the context of exploration of a Thinking Strategy.

Writing these blogs (have taken a holiday from it for awhile) is an amazingly creative activity.  I hadn’t actually thought about the info-graphic we are working on for Thinking Strategies as a map — until I wrote the paragraph above.  The other factor is that it is early in the morning — one of the only times when I really can truly think.


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