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Skill 4: Meta Thinking & Structuring

Meta Thinking & Structuring

In today’s article of our blog series on Consulting Skills, we will introduce you to the fourth level, Meta Thinking & Structuring. It is about questioning your own thinking and understanding existing relationships between categories in order to drive your business forward in the long term.

4. Meta Thinking & Structuring

In order to achieve the best possible result, as a consultant you should always question and analyse all situations. It is important to correctly assess topics and interrelationships that are “above the surface”. However, you should also know and understand what is going on “below the surface”.

What do we mean by Meta Thinking & Structuring?

Meta thinking means thinking about one’s own thinking and constantly questioning it. The aim is to understand existing structures within your company and to discover and visualise new structures. This procedure will help you to derive predictions on a sound basis and to initialise actions based on them.

How can Meta Thinking & Structuring be approached?

Meta thinking can be trained with the help of the following steps:

Establish connections & visualise:

It is important that you learn how to make connections and then visualise them.
Here is an example: You have different words and now you try to put them together in logical groupings. Brainstorm the different words with post-its and then put them in a logical order. This process is also called boxing.

Making predictions

After you have successfully grouped them, you can now make predictions about the individual groups by assigning them to a super category that you have previously defined.

Ask questions, summarise & clarify: 

Now ask the right questions so that a solution can be summarised and the result clarified. In this way you can get the greatest possible and most goal-oriented output.
Possible questions are:

  • Which category is the most profitable?
  • Which category has the highest customer loyalty?
  • What is our goal? Is the goal to gain more customers?
  • What are our main goals that can be derived from this?

Why is Meta Thinking & Structuring important, especially for consultants?

Meta Thinking & Structuring is essential, especially for agencies, in order to be able to tailor and communicate their own service offers clearly and in a structured way to the needs of their customers. The own approach should be constantly reviewed in order to identify and implement optimisation possibilities.

How can Meta Thinking & Structuring be trained?

In order to take your own thinking and structuring to the next level, you need to practice continuously. You will find out how to do this in the following:

A: Understanding

Assess your current strength of meta thinking
Define a training plan on how the skills are to be developed
Install a 1:1 Routine Senior-Junior to develop the “Meta Thinking Skills

B: Practice

Possess the ability of meta-thinking and structuring

  • Train the C & B level to be able to derive ontology relationships (recommended with a trainer / coach).
  • Learn to build ontology relationships with real cases

Development of meta thinking on a 1:1 basis

  • Development of meta thinking on a 1:1 basis with real cases
  • Give frequent feedback to get better
  • Reflect in group sessions on the personal ability of meta thinking development

If you want to get to know more about us or about what we do and what we offer or if you have any questions on this topic or on our insights, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Furthermore, you can watch the video from our Community Call here: Video of the call. Moreover we have provided the slides of the call for you here.
Next week we will continue with the fifth part of the Consulting Skills: Value Case & Conception.
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