There has been a lot of discussion lately around different thinking strategies we can employ when preparing our communication.

This topic has led to a slew of emails with people in the Clarity First community who have shared their experiences with me.

Some have discussed their experience with leaders who have excelled at getting the right balance between top-down thinking and bottom-up reality.

One person said to me they loved working with two well known CEOs who were able to think strategically while also being savvy enough to get on the shop floor to see if their ideas would really work from the bottom up.

They also shared experiences where they worked for someone else who did not have that balance right. Their ideas sounded terrific in theory, but were difficult to implement because they would not ‘roll their sleeves up' to understand what was needed to make them operational.

Getting this top-down, bottom-up balance right is part of the art of our work.

So, today I am taking this conversation further by interviewing Pete Mockaitis from Awesome at Your Job.

Pete has an impressive record, having recorded almost 600 podcasts, which have been downloaded more than 10 million podcast times over the past few years.

In this interview Pete shares thinking strategies that may help you in your problem solving work, in particular:

  1. Two essential questions to ask if you want to be sure an idea is worth exploring
  2. Practical examples of how this has played out in his own work, both when he was a consultant at Bain & Co, and in his own business
  3. Ways to identify when to use, and when NOT to use hypothesis-based problem solving strategies

Click here to register for our free Clarity First Base Program where you can listen to the full interview.



This post was prepared by Davina Stanley, founder of The Clarity First Program and author of The So What Strategy.

Davina has been helping experts communicate complex ideas since joining McKinsey as a communication specialist 20+ years ago. 

She helps experts clarify their thinking so they can prepare powerful and strategic communication in any format. It might mean preparing for a difficult meeting, getting ready for a project steering committee, putting forward a business case or writing a board paper.

She bases her approach on The Minto Pyramid PrincipleⓇ combined with other powerful techniques to help experts of all kinds globally strengthen their communication skills.