How to consult your own virtual boardroom

How to consult your own virtual boardroom

As an individual you are prone to similar patterns of thinking.

Unsurprisingly, you don’t often think like other people do.

You think how you do.

However, when you're faced with a challenge that requires you to get resourceful, this can leave you a bit hamstrung.

The reason is because in order to be an effective problem solver you need to think differently.

This is the role performed by a board of trusted advisors with years of varied experience. They would each look at the problem from a different perspective giving you the chance to dream up solutions that you, as an individual, would not have thought of.

Here's the rub. Unless you’re a powerful CEO, such a board does not exist. So you need to get creative. Quite literally, you need to create your own board.

How so?

It’s easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Imagine yourself sitting at the head of a boardroom table. There's some fancy artwork on the walls and you’re in charge kiddo.

2. Picture six different board members seated around you. They can be anybody. Famous or not. Dead or alive. Try to make them as diverse as possible. Remember they are here to help you. 

3. Write down the problem or challenge you’re facing as succinctly as possible.

4. Underneath write the words ‘What would X do if faced with this exact problem?’ 

5. Next, go to the first of your virtual board members (e.g Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Sheryl Sandberg) and imagine yourself answering this question from their perspective. 

6. Ask the same question of your remaining members (e.g. Elvis, Maya Angelou or Clint Eastwood) and write down what you think they would have said in response.  

That's it.

What you’ll find at the end of this exercise is that you’ve magically created a whole new list of possible approaches or solutions to your original problem - you've learned to think differently.  

This technique is a variation on the Six Thinking Hats method devised by the brilliant thinker Edward De Bono who is recognised as the father of lateral thinking.

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