Honing Individual and Team Effectiveness through Enhanced Self-awareness

David Olney and Charles Vandepeer on “Applied Thinking”

DavidOlneyPhoto26August2014 David Olney charles.vandepeer Charles Vandepeer

In a world defined by complexity, uncertainty, and an abundance of information, possession of effective tools and techniques can make the difference between mastery of situations, or being overwhelmed by them. Having an understanding of how to contextualise success and failure can assist people to work more effectively as a contributor to a High Reliability Organisation.

Our training is designed to enable participants to identify and interrogate complex problems, and to gain familiarity with a suite of practical techniques. Ultimately resulting in participants employing lateral and critical thinking skills to decide: What is the problem? What response to a problem would you recommend? What evidence do you base this on? And, importantly, If you are wrong, why would it be?

Techniques covered include: backcasting; reference class forecasting; nominal group technique; Alexander’s question; and soft systems methodology. Aspects of philosophy, logic, operations research, behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience are employed to demonstrate that there are several different, effective ways to address complex problems.

People are the most valuable resource in any professional environment, and enabling them to work as effectively as possible is our priority. Leaders need the skills to think both strategically and tactically, the communications skills to ensure that their entire team are on the same page, and the practical skills to build robust levels of trust. Leaders undertaking our training will become familiar and conversant with concepts such as smart autonomy, shared consciousness, and the danger of training to fail. The ongoing significance of language, behaviour, and the impact of situations on people will be made clear in each component of our training.

Biography/ Background

David OLNEY has convened Approaches to Strategic Cultures and Unconventional Conflict at the Honours/Masters level since 2009. David supervises Honours theses on security, strategic culture and counter-terrorism.

Charles Vandepeer and David Olney run Applied Thinking for Complex Problems Course in Summer School (delivered in 2014). This course will be running again in January-February, 2015 with student numbers likely to be limited. http://www.adelaide.edu.au/course-outlines/107174/1/summer/

If you are interested in attending this course or the course content, please phone or email either David or Charles Vandepeer (charles.vandepeer@adelaide.edu.au).

VANDEPEER: I regularly present lectures and conference papers on philosophies of violence, group psychology, terrorism, strategic culture, and the clash of civilizations. I have taught comparative politics and international studies subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. My aim is to continue to increase my depth and breadth of knowledge, and to develop ways of making what I do relevant for government and NGOs. Specialties: Philosophies of violence, political implications of group psychology, civil-military relations, strategic culture, counter terrorism, and Existential and Anarchist philosophy.



Applied Thinking for Intelligence Analysis (With Publishers. Due for release August 2014)

Asking Good Questions: A Practical Guide (Due for release November 2014)

Selected articles available online

Charles Vandepeer, Terry Moon & Garth De Visser, Linking Missions to Scenarios for Analysis of Military Macro-Systems, OR Insight, April 2012,  http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ori/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ori20122a.html

Charles Vandepeer, Intelligence Analysis and Threat Assessment, Conference Proceedings, Australian Security & Intelligence Conference, 2011. http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context


Question from Roberts: “How is it that people who espouse a moral position in addressing or investigating a knotty political issue focus only or mostly on one corpus of empirical data and ignore other evidence?”

Olney’s Answer:Unless people train to do otherwise, it is normal to seek an answer that fits with preconceived beliefs. It is far too easy to ask a narrowly defined, closed question, which limits the scope of any answer.”





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