Book review – Speed Thinking – How to Thrive in a time-poor world

How long do you need to take to solve challenging and strategic problems?  Two minutes? Two hours? Two weeks? In his book “Speed Thinking – How to Thrive in a time-poor World”, Dr Ken Hudson believes that senior managers often produce outstanding work when placed under significant time pressure. I agree. I know this works.

I am a big fan of Ken Hudson and Speed Thinking. I have used, and continue to use, his techniques with great success. Indeed, in many of the workshops that I run, I can get a room of senior executives to learn some new tools, apply the tools to a specific problem, build the solution, and present the framework, all in half a day! And I maintain that had they had 4 weeks the outcome may only have been 5% better – perhaps a little more polished – but the core material would have been much the same.

Speed Thinking is a concept that has been significantly made real by Dr Ken Hudson. Ken has just released his latest book aimed at anyone who is looking for a new way to solve everyone’s biggest dilemma – how to do more and more with less and less.

In this book Ken outlines the nine forces that are rapidly accelerating the pace of change today, and then proceeds to detail the basic mechanics of Speed Thinking, which has as its basis the process of creating nine possibilities in two minutes. While this might seem easy, Ken provides a set of tools he calls Speed Links – a unique visual mechanism that makes it easy to capture initial thoughts and then transform these into more powerful concepts as well as connecting those thoughts and concepts into an almost endless array of possibilities.

One of the biggest challenges for all of is the ability to take a problem, decompose it into discrete components, develop a strategy to address those components, and articulate an execution plan. Often this cycle in a corporate takes months – months of “socialisation”, months of haggling, and months where all participants feel they need to put in their two-cents worth. The techniques developed by Ken Hudson cuts through this process, significantly shortening the time period for idea development and build out from months to minutes.

I was a skeptic too. But I am not now. It works. Try it for yourself.

Speed Thinking – How to Thrive in a Time-Poor World is published by Allen & Unwin.

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