Thinking Dimensions Association Blog

Welcome to Problem Solvers’ Association blog, where you will be delighted to find articles and blog entries about how members from our association solve global and local problems.

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The Story Behind Thinking Dimensions Association

The Story Behind Thinking Dimensions Association

I don’t know about you, but I know that when I’m in the presence of someone who is renowned in his or her field, I hang on every word that person says. But part of my mind is also racing. I think that’s natural, and inevitable. While you want to pay rapt attention to everything that individual has to say, other thoughts begin to circle in your head. A brilliant mind often plants seeds of brilliance in the minds of those they come into contact with. And if you’re one of those lucky ones like me – and you don’t screw it up – you can come up with something really special.

That realization came to me during and after my recent interview with the great Charles Kepner. It had been a long-time goal of mine to sit with Chuck and listen to him tell stories about his life and his career, and especially to get his thoughts on critical and strategic thinking. Chuck is one of the most prominent figures ever in the field of decision-making and problem-solving. I was eager to savor every syllable that came out of his mouth.

But while I listened intently to what he had to say, my mind drifted a bit, albeit in a positive direction. I thought about all the people who have been influenced by Chuck over the years. I thought about the vast community of those trained by Chuck, all those Kepner-Fourie descendants who are out there applying their skills in a wide variety of important roles in business and government.

While Chuck spoke to me and my recorder took it all in, I began to ponder: Why aren’t all these people connected? If there is indeed strength in numbers, why aren’t all those Kepner believers united in one mighty family?

So I set out to create the Thinking Dimensions Association. Yes, technically it came out of my brain, but really, it came out of Chuck’s. I wouldn’t have thought of it if I hadn’t been sitting there marveling at the career and the accomplishments of this incredibly smart innovator.

What I’d like all of the Association members to do now is to imagine yourselves in a similar situation. Think back to the time when you were talking to Charles Kepner, or Matt Fourie, or someone else of prominence at Kepner-Fourie. Remember another time in your working life when you were in the presence of a Kepner follower or student and you heard something really brilliant.

Remember how your mind raced with possibilities, like mine did? I’d like you to gather up some of those thoughts and send them to me. I want to hear your stories. I want to see pictures. I want to receive your letters. I want anecdotes. I want anything in your personal experience that was created as the direct or indirect result of Charles Kepner.

I realize not everybody is as lucky as I was. Not everyone gets a sit-down with Charles Kepner. But I believe all Association members have had their minds shifted into a higher gear because of Chuck. I want to hear more about your journey from that point on.

Announcing the Charles Kepner Tribute

A tribute to Charles Kepner

Subscribe to the Kepner Tribute Mailing List to stay up-to-date on the latest Kepner Reunion information! One of the most gratifying and rewarding ways in which you can apply the decision-making prowess you have developed as the result of the training you received from Charles Kepner is to make the decision to attend the Charles Kepner Tribute. In March 2015, Thinking Dimensions Alumni Association will host its first-ever Charles Kepner Tribute (exact dates and times and the site to be announced soon). While there may be similar events in the future, this inaugural Tribute will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime affair. After decades of sharing his expertise in strategic thinking with legions of followers, this represents a rare and unique opportunity for those who have benefitted from Kepner training to give back. The Charles Kepner Tribute will be fun. It will be chock full of accomplished professionals brought together in a relaxed atmosphere to meet each other, swap stories, exchange advice, offer suggestions and network. It will also be a chance for men and women to engage in non-Kepner activities – family talk, golf tales, current events, favorite water-cooler television shows, selfies, etc. In short, it’s an opportunity to make friends and establish business associations. But the overarching purpose of the Kepner Tribute is to present a unified “Thank You” to Chuck. While age and health may prevent him from attending, his wife Sue will be there, as well as his business partner Matt Fourie and other luminaries from the world of business and government. It will be one of those nights that will strain social media from the sheer volume of excited posts emanating from it.

The Kepner Tribute will represent the natural next step in the process of gathering the family together – an occasion with a specific theme and purpose. Imagine all that brainpower in one room. Now imagine it directed with gratitude toward the man who helped develop it. The Kepner Tribute promises to create one of the more electrifying experiences you’ll ever have, and one of the most indelible memories of your life. Subscribe to the Kepner Tribute Mailing List to stay up-to-date on the latest Kepner Reunion information!

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Kepner History

For More Details on the Kepner Tribute Click Here

In the 1950s, Charles Kepner was a researcher at the Rand Corporation. It was there that he began to ponder new ideas in the areas of decision-making and problem-solving. Soon after, he embarked on his own professional journey in management consulting and training services that spanned more than half a century and touched a multitude of lives all across the globe.

In the late 1990s, Kepner teamed with another like-minded visionary, Dr. Matthys Fourie, to form Kepner-Fourie. What this partnership did was take many of the concepts originated by Kepner to another level, involving even more intuitive and time-saving approaches. Kepner-Fourie excelled at teaching a more effective method of problem-solving that involved thinking through a problem to resolve it quickly, efficiently, and permanently. The Kepner-Fourie thinking model is based on the natural thinking patterns of Divergent and Convergent thinking.

Kepner’s methods have been applied by NASA, the CIA and other government agencies as well as many of the top corporations in the world. Fourie’s experience spans 26 years over various industries from Services to Manufacturing in global markets such as the Americas, EMEA, APAC and India.

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Fourie History

Learn about the Fourie History

Dr. Mat-thys Fourie is currently Chairman of Thinking Dimensions Global and Managing Director of Thinking Dimensions USA and Thinking Dimensions Singapore and still works selectively with some of his clients. He is also co-author of the KEPNERandFOURIE® methodologies. Dr. Matthys Fourie is a Professional Problem Solver as accredited by the Institute of Professional Problem Solvers (IPPS). He is an author of several books on problem solving and decision making and is co-designer of the KEPNERandFOURIE® Thinking methodologies.

He has over 29 years of Problem Solving and Decision Making experience helping organizations across the world solve some of their most vexing and seemingly unsolvable problems. His expertise has had a significant impact on the bottom line of these businesses. He has worked across a wide spectrum of industries from Automotive, Financial, Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Nuclear, Insurance, Airline, Technology and Telecommunications.

He has worked with companies such as Macquarie Group, SASOL, Unisys, SITA, Barclays, RBS, NCS, Singapore Stock Exchange, BMW, VW, Cadbury Schweppes, Westpac, National Australia Bank, Kimberly Clark, Hollister, Stihl Inc. and the U.S. Navy. He is a well-recognized and sought after speaker with various global institutes on topics such as Root Cause Analysis, Decision Making, Innovation and Project Management.

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History of Critical Thinking

Thinking Dimensions | Critical Thinking

Throughout the previous centuries, man has continually pondered the existence of man — his behavior, his beliefs, his hopes and dreams, his analytical processes, his political theories, his ways of processing stimuli, his educational methods, his use of language, and his ability to assess and solve problems.

The road toward progress in critical thinking is lined with some of the most brilliant minds that ever existed. In most if not all cases, their work impacts how we think, how we act, and what we do today. They comprise the pantheon of advanced intellectual explorers.

Here is a timeline containing some of the most important and influential critical thinkers throughout history:

NAME:                                            DATES:  

SOCRATES                                   469-399 BC

One of the founders of Western philosophy. Established method of drawing truth from the minds of others through strong and precise questioning.

PLATO                                         424-348 BC

Disciple of Socrates. Believed that the human mind could and should be trained to sift out distortions and discover truth.

ARISTOTLE                                  384-322 BC

Studied under Plato. One of the most influential scientists in history. Believed in empiricism, that all knowledge comes from experience and evidence, and that perceptions are critical in the shaping of thought processes.

THOMAS AQUINAS                      1225-1274

Believed in the process of self-criticism, and the anticipation of the reaction to his ideas beforehand, in order to gain knowledge and achieve understanding.

FRANCIS BACON                         1561-1626

Proponent of empiricism. Believed in the need for evidence, and that observations based on experience represented the foundation of all reasoning.

RENE DESCARTES                        1596-1650

French philosopher and mathematician known as “The Great Doubter” because he questioned the findings of his predecessors. Believed in rationalism, that reason is the basis of knowledge.

SIR THOMAS MORE                     1478-1535

Renaissance philosopher who wrote “Utopia,” about an ideal political system based on reason. Another doubter who believed intense questioning of established beliefs led to change.

MACHIAVELLI                              1469-1527

Renaissance-era thinker whose book “The Prince” illustrated the often unscrupulous behavior of politicians. Pioneer in political science and political ethics.

ROBERT BOYLE                            1627-1691

Philosopher and scientist, he challenged accepted practices in chemistry and physics and experimented with scientific methodology.

SIR ISAAC NEWTON                     1643-1727

Questioned scientific conclusions that came before him and believed in evidence and sound reasoning. Established laws of motion and universal gravitation.

BAYLE                                           1647-1706

Key figure in the French Enlightenment who believed man gains knowledge and understanding through self-reflection, and advocated the separation of faith and reason.

MONTESQUIEU                             1689-1755

French political philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment who established the concept of “separation of powers.”

VOLTAIRE                                     1694-1778

French Enlightenment philosopher and social critic who believed in freedom of religion and freedom of expression in order to achieve a better understanding of the social and political world.

DIDEROT                                      1713-1784

French philosopher and writer during the Enlightenment whose massive project “Encyclopedie” was partly his effort to strike at forces of church and state through the power of knowledge.

KARL MARX                                  1818-1883

German philosopher, socialist and economist who believed capitalism would be doomed by class warfare and would be replaced by socialism. Wrote

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Find a Mentor

Find a Thinking Dimensions Mentor

If you’re a professional on the rise and wish you could connect with a more experienced executive who could guide and advise and lead you toward a more enriching career, there’s no better place to add your name than the Thinking Dimensions Association.

As someone seeking a mentor, you can gain an incredible advantage in your career through the aid of an accomplished professional.

Thinking Dimensions Association Launching Fall 2014!
Click here for more information!


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Be a Mentor

Be a Thinking Dimensions Mentor

If you are an experienced executive – a man or woman who has worked extremely hard to gain access to the upper echelons of business and government – then surely you’ve been helped yourself along the way by someone above you on the career ladder who was generous with their time and attention.

As a mentor, you will be sharing your ability with someone who reminds you of yourself a few years ago. Every mentor understands how important it was in his or her own career when somebody with a larger degree of experience came along and offered advice and assistance. Now you can pay back that favor by doing the same. You can also help candidates for awards with coaching.

Thinking Dimensions Association Launching Fall 2014!
Click here for more information!


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Turn in your stories

Turn in your stories about Charles Kepner

We know you have stories. We also know that you’re a good person who likes to share. Therefore, we want to hear your stories. All of them. Any story you might have about your association with Charles Kepner and his training would be greatly appreciated.

And we want you to leave them here.

What we want to do is establish a central resource where those trained by Charles Kepner and Kepner-Fourie can go to read about the experiences of others. We believe this will develop into an extremely valuable resource.

There are all kinds of professionals in private business and government at various stages of their careers throughout the world who have benefitted from Kepner training. Each of these individuals has followed his or her own unique path. Each has had experiences unlike anyone else’s. Each has a perspective that is special.

We think reading about each other’s experiences can be a tremendous learning opportunity for anyone, ranging from relative novice to expert.

So that’s why we’d like you to share.

You can tell us anything, from a minor application of a Kepner strategy that helped deal with a problem in everyday life to a massive corporate challenge that was assessed and solved with the help of Kepner’s techniques.

We want to hear it from you.

There is a link below to a form. Just fill in your name, email address and company affiliation. Then in the space below that, write down your stories.

We also know that you’re busy. So if you don’t have time to write, let us know. We’ll arrange to call you and you can tell us your story over the phone. We’ll handle the writing part.

One more thing: This is not just a fun exercise for the moment. These stories will be stored for posterity. It will be like a lending library, with no late fees. Years from now, Association Alumni will still be benefitting from the recounting of your experiences. When you make time to tell us your stories, you’ll also be making history.

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