Guest article – Andrew Hollo

My brilliant Melbourne colleague Andrew Hollo from Workwell Consulting helps leaders and public value agencies demonstrate their value in difficult-to-quantify areas. He helps boards and leaders to truly develop and implement their strategic outlook.

He is widely read, deeply curious, abundantly helpful, and has mastery in electronic interactions.

I have invited Andrew to make this guest contribution from his own thought-provoking weekly 5MSM, five-minute strategic mindset email. You can subscribe below.

Oblique strategies

Have you ever needed a nudge to get you out of a rut? When you find yourself going over the same variations of solutions?

The famed music producer Brian Eno (who worked with Bowie, and U2) came up with an ingenious solution to ‘stuckness’ in creative processes back in the 70s. With his recording partner Peter Schmidt, Eno developed a card deck with provocations, or tiny insights.

They called them ‘oblique strategies’ and each card contains a short aphorism that nudge you to solve problems tangentially, rather than head-on. Some examples:

•    Emphasise the flaws
•    Reverse
•    Use unqualified people
•    Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor
•    Don’t be frightened to display your talents

Now, I’m a consultant, not a music producer or artist, but I maintain that strategy, change and leadership are fundamentally creative acts. And, even if I wasn’t a huge Eno fan (he ‘invented’ the genre of ambient music which I listen to endlessly while working), I would enjoy having a simple tool to help me get unstuck, simply by prodding my mind in a different direction.

Question: What’s the smallest creative nudge you can make that has the biggest payoff?

© Andrew Hollo

Andrew’s free weekly 5-minute Strategic Mindset email contains thought-provoking content and perceptive questions. Take the opportunity to think generatively about your work, business and life. You can sign up here.

If you are in a public value agency and are thinking strategy, and implementation, download a free copy of Andrew’s excellent book From Impossible to Possible, Two Simple rules to assure exceptional public value here

© Diana Jones

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