No App For That

I came to realize, as I sat at the airport waiting for my flight home, that most everyone around me were busy thumb driving their smartphones. A whole crowd of flowing hair and bald spots. All lacking any eye contact with the person next to them or the person they just bumped into without stopping. Focused on bringing up an App to do this or that, call he or she, remind themselves of who, what or when they need to do something or just digitally connect with another digital entity.

And here is my dilemma. Smart phones today are not really phones as they are extensions of our thinking. There are Apps for telling where you are, what to eat, how to shop, when to answer questions, or even find information you once learned in school but now have cleared space for task management on your GREY (Graphically Recall Enhancement of You) Matter. As I was once told, ‘Augmented reality frees up unneeded mental space for trivial processes.’ Some of these smartphones are even engineered to interact through speech as if they were the only person you needed to talk to. Heck, these GREY Matter devices even type and correct your words to be proper. Why even study at school on grammar.

Yes, these GREY devices have an APP for almost anything, but one. Thinking! Pure logic processing. The same ability that differs us from plants and most animals on our planet.

It may seem like these devices do a lot and this may be true, but these devices are creating a whole race of Think Zombies. Unable or unwilling to think on their own. Some people will argue with me that these devices are not in control, that they are tools to enhance our lives. These are the same people who constantly are distracted by a deep and buzz while attempting to hold a conversation.

Human Petrovich Pavlov’s experiments. Like the dog the was given a treat every time the bell rang only to salivate with each consecutive ring, humans rapidly, uncontrollably and unknowingly respond in a like manner. Buzzzzz and the hands draw their GREY devices faster than a hired gunslinger in the middle of a dusty street at high noon. We are programmed not to think, only to react.

Here is where I scream STOP!

I ask you, when was the last time you sat and had a serious conversation for at least 30 minutes without sneaking a peek, reacting to a vibration or touch for your device in subconscious fear you left home without it? Like most, rarely since getting your devices. We have become more than addicted, we have become one with our device. We are attached at the strongest level, at the subconscious mind.

It is this whole device, App and unconscious attachment that I fear, nay warn others about. All too often and in increasingly growing numbers, I spot Think Zombies rising among the living, feeding on self-awareness and digital importance only to avoid the necessity and burden of thinking on their own. “There is an App for that” comment has become the mantra of a new generation which spans from 7 – 70. Why think when your device can do the thinking for you.

I say we need a new App “Off” or “Be Human Again”. An App that turns off your smart phones or digital leashes to free you to think and communicate one-on-one with other humans. It could even respond for you when you get a message, call or social media content, by telling the sender you are off-line being human. again.

So I say to you, my fellow thinkers, spread the message “To Be Inspired, Get Unwired”

Cave Walling, 40,000 Years Later

Folks, I am happy to present a concept that has churned around in my head for a few years now. Since chatting with a good friend, Renee Malone of Kick the Moon about the image you see below.

The concept is called Cave Walling, an experience in visual thinking beyond that of graphic facilitation or visual scribing. It’s a thINKing experience.¬† An experience where groups of people can create, resolve or refocus ideas with visual clarity in a collaborative space.

Why do I think it is a powerful method, because “Cave Walling” taps into the earliest and most powerful of communication languages, visual imagery or graphic story telling. Combined with the written and the verbal language, Cave Walling presents an environment of communication that touches all levels of language as well as accessing and utilizing all the experiences and knowledge each participant brings to the wall. The blending of all three aspects of communication and the human resources of groups, delivers an exponentially higher level of creativity and idea development.

I hope to bring this event of Cave Walling to the masses, if not, to those seeking a better, more dynamic way of collaborating on ideas.

Rethink POV

Have you ever had an idea that a product or service could be improved, but no one seemed to get it? Maybe the reason is you had trouble seeing it from a different POV (point of view) or you were possibly speaking to the wrong audience. When the concept did not click, you became hesitant to invest any more time or resources into the idea. Eventually it went to the back burner only to fade from memory, but not quite…

Somewhere deep in your mind it still rolls around bumping into other thoughts. Like a haunting jingle from a television show, it just won’t fade. The reason is that it still maybe a great idea, but needs a new approach or it needs to be resolved completely.


Two, what seemed to be, unrelated events were drawn together in a moment of distraction. The first was the discovery of an unusual lawn decoration of a goofy bird in early spring. The second was a quote that was sent to me by a friend a few weeks ago. Spanned by months, these two items would refresh the use of classic practice.

This unusual character bend backwards and under was seeing the same thing it saw before, but only from a different point of view. Combined with Mary Engelbreit’s quote, I am reminded that even what may seem to be a bad idea from one view-point, may in fact, be a great idea when we change our POV or discover that change is not even needed at all.

So here’s my thinking tip: take an old idea and view it from three different perspectives. If it’s a new or enhanced product, look at it from three different types of customers. If you are changing a product or service, look from three different managers eyes. And finally, before you act, look at it from three different processes to decide if it really needs to be change at all.

Don’t be afraid to change your POV, but always keep an open mind, you may just be surprised of the answers you see. Not all change is needed, sometimes the original deal is still the best.

Until next time, keep thINKing Visual.

Visual Cognition

The growing adaptation of visual facilitation, graphic recording, visual scribing and visual thinking has become quite apparent in the mainstream of business development and change. If you’re not familiar or confused by these terms or processes, it probably would be wise time to research these unique practices.

As the thINKologist, even I, myself, find these terms sometimes confusing or misaligned¬† to the given task at hand. Practitioners in this field who utilize these dynamic skills are often adjusting the language or description depending on the application or the client’s perception. It can be quite confusing for the uneducated who may hear one term then another when the same function is being performed. There is a need for clarity and unifying terminology or categorization of these collective offerings.

As a solution to this slight dilemma, I have come to use a term I call “Visual Cognition”. The mental process to conceptualize, learn or problem-solve (cognition) through the use of visual tools. In my preference the key visual tool is the use of the thINKing Canvas. A visual media that employes the combination of text and images to increase clarity, uncover opportunities or define possibilities of a given issue.

Visual Cognition is not the creation of yet another new process or an adaptations of any given current format, but merely trying to identify the collective processes which now exist and employed for conceptualization, problem-solving, learning and strategic thinking. The fact is when we employ visual tools to assist ourselves or others in the process of thinking we are then practitioners of visual cognition. By any other term, name or moniker this is the process we are performing.

So when the next time you want to drop an intellectual bomb in a group, just inform them when asked, that you’re a facilitation specialist in the field of visual cognition allowing yourself the opportunity to take center stage to describe your skill set.

Imagine and envision your future.

The thINKologoist.