Lance Armstrong’s Dilemma

We love our heroes. We hate to see them fall, but when they do, they fall twice as hard. Lance Armstrong’s achievements as a cancer survivor, competitive athlete and fundraiser place him in a rare class of his own. Revelations that he (may have) cheated to win, and pressured his teammates to do the same, are disconcerting. Graced with remarkable talents, it feels tragic to us that he would succumb to a desire to win at any cost. Dilemmas abound in this case, for Lance Armstrong himself, for the professional cycling world and the bodies that oversee it, for the charitable organization founded by him to raise money to fight cancer, and finally, for fans who find themselves torn, not knowing whether to criticize him for such a moral lapse or stand by him for his courage, accomplishments and contributions. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

Part 1: How he got into this mess
Why do people cheat? Dan Ariely’s latest book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, explores the slippery slope of rationalization that renders lying and cheating acceptable. Hardly a rational process, lying is strongly influenced by social and psychological forces. If we are surrounded by cheaters, if we feel justified to lie, it becomes easier to do so. Step by rationalizing step, Armstrong slid into the lie. He is torn between the desire to advance his own interest and win versus respecting common rules and honoring fair play. Recovering from life-threatening testicular cancer, he may have needed a boost. Most survivors of aggressive cancer treatment feel lucky just to return to a normal daily routine, let alone push their bodies to compete with the world’s top athletes! Where is the clear line between therapeutic drugs and performance-enhancing drugs? Does his health condition justify bending the rules? How much artificial assistance is defensible, and what is the likelihood of detection?

Lance Armstrong Dilemma

Figure 1. © Transcend Strategy Group 2012

Armstrong is not the first and won’t be the last to feel the intense draw of temptation; from the corrupting power of the dark side of the Force in Star Wars to the mythic tale of Robert Johnson selling his soul in exchange for mastery over the guitar, we are all too familiar with the archetype of  otherworldly ability-at-a-cost. What are some of the options Armstrong might have considered? Following the noble path of Selflessness (upper left quadrant), while admirable, is not an easy choice for fierce competitors, and clearly Armstrong is that! Shooting for the upper right box where Self Interest and Common Good intersect may be ideal, but perhaps not a real option here. The lower left quadrant, Foolishness, looks at first like a nonstarter, but a moment or two’s reflection shows that it happens all too often: remember Tiger Woods and Michael Vick? The final option, the one he appears to have chosen, is to do whatever it takes to win. Morality aside, outright pursuit of self-interest can be risky. Get caught, and the price you pay will be high. Armstrong got caught and is paying a hefty price for not managing this dilemma better.

Part 2: The outside-in perspective: cycling world and fans
How do we judge the choices and actions of others? Which is more important, intent or outcome; difficulty or result; style or substance? Is it ever OK to do bad things to achieve a greater good? Who decides when it is acceptable to reset conventional boundaries of right and wrong? If you could have killed Hitler in 1938 before the atrocities of the Holocaust occurred, would you have pulled the trigger? If you could hide the fact that you or someone else did something like this, would you, or is it more important that they be held accountable for the crime they committed? It took anti-doping agencies over a decade to finally render a stinging judgment against Armstrong, prompting a lifetime ban on any further competing and the retroactive loss of his seven Tour de France titles. Legal complexities and costs aside, this must have been a tough decision to take, given the predictable consequences to the man, the sport, the many fans, and the cancer cause for which his foundation has raised over $500 million.

Lance Armstrong Dilemma 2
Figure 2. © Transcend Strategy Group 2012

This matrix looks at the dilemma from the perspective of the leaders of the eponymous Lance Armstrong Foundation.  On the one hand, they will want to stand by the founder and through solidarity, preserve the integrity and value of the organization and its capacity to do good (the horizontal axis). But on the other hand, as evidence against Armstrong mounts, credibility and survival depend upon facing reality, and seeing that truth and justice prevail (the vertical axis). Where will they end up? The best outcome they can hope for at this point is a graceful exit and transfer of leadership (upper right quadrant). They have started down this path. Armstrong stepped down as head of Livestrong on October 17th. Time will tell if the organization and Armstrong can successfully transition allowing the great fund-raising and awareness-raising work to continue.

Part 3: How he deals with the mess he’s in
Lance Armstrong has announced he will not challenge or fight the charges. The emotional, reputational and financial costs are punishing (Forbes estimates his earnings in 2010 from endorsements and speeches were in excess of $17 million). While appearing to accept the verdict, he rejects its accuracy, stubbornly maintaining his innocence. He has just tired of trying to prove it. The operators of the Tour de France are so convinced of his guilt that they have decided not to pass along the title to any of the other top competitors from the seven years in question. Doping, they say, was rampant in the sport during those years.

Lance Armstrong Dilemma 3

Figure 3. © Transcend Strategy Group 2012

How then should we depict Armstrong’s current dilemma? He has a great deal at stake, and at 41, many productive years ahead of him. We could look at money versus reputation, or, personal needs versus those of his charitable foundation. Globe and Mail reporter Hayley Mick has an interesting take on it (Armstrong’s dilemma: Fess up or shut up), looking at whether or not he admits to his guilt, when and how. In her article published on October 23, she follows the fates a number of other high profile figures caught in similarly embarrassing transgressions, some of whom were forgiven while others were not. Bill Clinton famously abused the power of his presidential office, then admitted his guilt through a very public and painful process, and in time returned to great popularity and prominence. He found Redemption. Baseball’s Barry Bonds and sprinter Ben Johnson both were found guilty of doping, both denied wrong-doing, and consequently, remain Pariahs who have not been forgiven. While Armstrong may be looking for a Graceful Exit, his refusal to take any responsibility for the mess he finds himself in is causing him to Lose Credibility, and become a Pariah to his charitable foundation and the sport he loves. Simply denying guilt doesn’t make it disappear. When you have been caught red-handed, it’s too late to cover up; you need to acknowledge the facts, take responsibility for your part in how things turned out, and swallow your lumps. Admitting guilt is not the opposite of protecting your reputation. It turns out it is the route you must follow if you want to recover it.


Send Comments to

A Debatable Dilemma: Mitt 2.0 versus the President

Last week’s presidential debate exemplified a core dilemma for each of the presidential candidates (…we couldn’t help but notice). The GOP badly needed Romney to come across as presidential, human and credible, without abandoning his conservative values and position. Challengers must prove they belong in the office. Obama needed to hold onto the moral high ground of civility and respect while communicating strength and the ability to win battles. In this case, that meant exploiting conspicuous weaknesses in his opponent’s recent performance.

Put another way, Romney had to tone down some of the most conservative positions he took during the primaries, in order to effect a believable shift to the middle. This could be seen as crafty campaigning or craven pandering, what is referred to in a New York Times editorial this Saturday as The Moderate Mitt Myth and by John Cassidy in the Financial Times as Mitt 2.0. Obama needed to step out of his own shadow and take a few risky swings at the ball. In this contest, waiting for the other guy to mess up won’t be enough to win; you have to define and sell your platform.

How did the candidates do in the debate and in managing their respective dilemmas? And from a dialectical perspective, what do they need to do for the next debate?

There is little question about who won the debate – Romney came out roaring and Obama could not locate his mojo. What happened? As dangerous as analogies can sometimes be, try this one. It’s a boxing match, but only one fighter is throwing punches…Romney of course. The other guy has been trained in the higher martial art forms, and is waiting for his opponent to get reckless in his aggression so he can capture and turn his energy against him. He has done his homework and knows that the other guy always does this. Trouble is, in this fight, his adversary has done even better preparation than him. He lands blow after blow without losing his composure or creating any openings. The fight ends with one bruised fighter still waiting for his chance to throw a punch. Interestingly, this is how many Republican primary debates ended as well, with Romney’s enemies not really landing hard blows.



The Next Challenge

Entering the second debate there are new questions about the President and the challenger as well. Will Obama’s second round debate performance be enough to counter suspicions that he is at heart more a very smart theoretician than the man of action leader America desperately wants and needs? Can Mitt continue to hold conflicting positions without being forced to explain how x and not x can coexist?

From a dialectical point of view, what advice can we offer? Barack, your opponent is stretching the limits of personal credibility by wanting it all – keeping the Republican core happy while convincing significant numbers of women, Hispanics and other non-traditional voter groups that he really does care about them and that they should trust him. Force him to take a public stand on tough issues: that will prove difficult if not impossible.

Mitt, you have the momentum, and the Prez is limping. The nation is indeed in rough shape, and whatever the reasons for it (really, who cares at this point?), progress on key issues has been limited. Force Obama to choose between hiding in the high ground (and thereby convincing voters he is all promise and no action), and jumping into the muck of bare-knuckle fighting and name-calling (compromising his pristine image). Whatever you do, don’t allow him to successfully straddle the two positions.

Someone Will Pay

It is no secret why both candidates are somewhat mute on articulating sharp policy positions, and prefer to paint their opponent’s views as ineffectual or reckless. The US economy faces tough choices. Policy options like raising taxes, lowering deductions, cutting spending, tightening benefits, and pursuing various economic stimuli, all invoke fervent opposition. Someone will have to pay, and both candidates hope to persuade voters that future pain will be borne by someone else. But the debate about what really comes next is one Americans need to have.


How Do We Win?

So here’s another 2 x 2 take on what may happen in the upcoming debate. One candidate is on his game and the other is not. There is a clear winner, but perhaps, just possibly, the electorate has been manipulated into their beliefs, and their opinions will lack the balance that we hope shapes outcomes.

It is possible that both candidates get it terribly wrong, and we watch a messy exchange that does not enlighten or inform. And finally, maybe, if we are lucky, they will both come prepared, focused, able and willing to truly debate the issues in a way that lets voters know them and their respective positions. Perhaps we are being naive in believing a series of debates can sway opinions enough to matter, but history suggests it has happened before: remember Nixon and Kennedy in 1960! Informed democracy, it’s possible. Wouldn’t that be sweet!



October 17, 2012.  The phrasing attempts to put a light touch on a serious subject, which is refreshing, but the dilemma axes seem to me to miss the core dilemmas facing the candidates.

For Obama, ‘Maintain High Moral Ground’ versus ‘Project Strength’ do NOT pose a dilemma. Not projecting strength is not a real option in any political battle.

At the end of the piece ‘Romney On His Game’ vs ‘Obama On His Game’ do NOT pose two horns of a dilemma. They may pose alternative scenarios … also, the middle ground on both axes is a high possibility.

If you revise, here are some suggestions. The debates are about domestic policy on the one hand and foreign policy on the other. The real dilemmas for Obama might be… how to keep highlighting Romney’s weakness on foreign policy (where he is weak) even if the question is about domestic policy (where he is stronger), or, how to convince the electorate that they should care about foreign policy when they mostly care about jobs and the domestic economy.

These examples attempt to identify dilemmas involving content, not style …
Tom Emodi


October 17, 2012.  Tom, Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts; vigorous challenge is more than fine by me. In fact, it’s the hallmark sign of the dialectical process working!

Our goal with every 2 x 2 modeling exercise is to explore an essential aspect of a complex situation in a way that sheds new light and informs action. Last night’s debate reflected multiple points of tension between the candidates. The three we presented in this post certainly showed up. (So did the one you propose in your note). Speaking specifically to them,

1. Obama’s dilemma of Moral Ground versus Projecting Strength…much of the debate was about his ability to achieve this balancing act. Morning-after reports are giving the president high marks on exactly this – the Benghazi incident proved to be a pivotal flashpoint in the debate.

2. Romney’s dilemma of Reaching out to Non-traditional Voters versus Maintaining his Conservative Base…Obama pressed him on this throughout the debate, and post hoc assessments are that Romney lost some important ground with women voters.

3. On their Game or not…I’d say both candidates came ready to rumble, and the electorate witnessed an engaging and informative exchange.

What makes these dilemmas? You raise a good question here. It’s a dilemma when there is tension between forces and when there are meaningful costs and trade-offs involved in choosing one option over the other. So, does Obama put his presidential persona at risk by being aggressive? I believe so. Does Romney stand to lose one constituency by courting the other? Yah. Is there risk to each of the candidates coming ready to battle hard? Might they be tempted to  draw in their horns, risk less in the hopes of avoiding any irretrievable gaffes? Sure they would.
-Alex Lowy


October 16, 2012.  I agree with your assessment of the response. I agree most definitely with the writer that the redistributive, communitarian, liberalist model offered by Obama is not deeply in American DNA, but I also have to note that there have been periods of crisis and perceived crisis when Americans looked to the governance model of activist government to reorient the American trajectory. I cite three examples: Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR — the middle one being fodder for debate. A counter-model is Stevenson’s losses in ’52 & ’56. Social liberalism did not trump national security during the nervy years of the Cold War.

The question will turn for Obama on whether enough Americans still believe in his vision of government as an instrument of social cure (read: social liberalism). He cannot count on a second lightning strike; the hope’n’change election of 2008 will not be subject to redux. America is deeply divided and Obama still has many voters in his corner. But does he have enough?

Where I will beg to differ with the writer is re: Romney. I think he’s right to pan the absence of a unified worldview, although to be brutal about it, mainstream Americans are in no position to connect the dots of any grand theory. My disagreement stems from this observation:

“Romney’s fundamental problem Is that he really is the corporate CEO, who can afford to have no core values or beliefs whatsoever – just outstanding skills at reading the environment, developing an approach to accomplish goals and then solving problems as they arise. That is why he is hard to nail down and often seems contradictory.”

I think there’s virtue-of-necessity to be made here. A deep vein in the American political psyche that can always be mined to advantage is pragmatism. What works is good. Now let’s find someone who has a plan to make things work. Romney does not need an integrated, highbrow network of conceptually calibrated and integrated ideas. He needs “solutions” to problems. He needs to make thing work. And that’s where Mr. Hopey-Changey failed. All the big-brain atmospherics are as nothing with the American electorate without solutions. Back to Lincoln, TR & FDR…each was an active solver of problems. No deep ideological constructs or high-minded visions (Wilson & Carter). Romney can speak directly to the aching heart of America not by saying: “I feel your pain” but by saying: “I’m a pain-dissolver. Let’s get busy with practical, pragmatic solutions.”

In the VEEP debate, where Biden sabotaged himself with a parade a ghastly visuals, there were observable carrots in the test group response meter (CNN) every time certain words were thrown out. These spikes seem to me to be associated with words like “solution”, although “solution” is the one that I remember vividly. I thought: There it is. Americans are hurting. They’re not looking for ideological models. They don’t care of the cat is black or white. They need a cat that will mouse successfully. And this is where Romney can position himself as solutions guy — keeping in mind that solutionism can be hard, tough work. There are no packages with pretty pink ribbons. Hard decisions will have to be made but…”I’m the guy to make them”. Obama is very vulnerable to this presentation because he’s the incumbent and it appears that most Americans feel he’s had a lackluster 1st term. Therefore, the killing question is: Does President Obama merit a second term? Has he showed us enough of that sleeves-rolled-up American pragmatic get-it-done-ism to deserve re-election? Since the answer to that question is “no” or “hmmmm, not really”, then the next question is: “Why not give Mitt a chance? Why not vote Republican for president but vote Democrat is House & Senate races to hedge the bet?”

Obama and Biden may have already beaten themselves. Romney’s best chance now is to look presidential, look fresh and energetic, talk about solutions, hard work, the challenge ahead, challenge the American people to do what they’ve always done: rally, and not beat himself by tumbling into one of the many bear traps that will be laid out for him (abortion, war with Iran, intervention in Syria and a possible confrontation with Russia).
Stu Wooley


October 16, 2012 Just read your article on the dilemmas of the debate.  I see both candidates on exactly the same strategy  with the electorate – the Jack Nicholson Few Good Men strategy:  “The truth!  The truth!  Son, you can’t handle the truth!”  Unfortunately that is the only strategy that seems to work for anyone now running for office.

Your analysis was, I thought, both thoughtful and incisive.  My own sense is that each candidate also faces a larger issue.

Romney’s fundamental problem is that he really is the corporate CEO, who can afford to have no core values or beliefs whatsoever – just outstanding skills at reading the environment, developing an approach to accomplish goals and then solving problems as they arise.  That is why he is hard to nail down and often seems contradictory.  That is why the base has never trusted him.  Tom Friedman, on Charlie Rose the other night, made a good observation.  He said, “You could interview me for two hours on the Middle East and I would never contradict myself, because  I would answer each question on the basis of my overall unified view of the region, and not need to remember a long list of specific answers to specific questions.”  He heavily implied, and I think he’s about right, that since Romney has no unified worldview, he is taking each question as it comes and on its own terms.

Obama, on the other hand, faces the problem that, while in my judgment he does have a core view of an American future, if he laid it out clearly, he would make Dukakis look like “Landslide Mike.”  He has a very communitarian view – the government’s role is to level results despite differences in talent, work and virtue.  This is not what built America, it will not solve our problems, indeed it will worsen them, and in any case it is not remotely in synch with American voters, beyond the ethnic minorities, who believe in the government as benevolent redistributor based on their historical experience of civil rights legislation.

I know there are some who argue the opposite – that in fact Obama is exactly like Romney in the “no core beliefs” model, only instead of the CEO problem solving model, he is in the group facilitator model.  You may recall me talking about a distinguished psychiatrist who studied political personality and psychology.  His rule of thumb for understanding world leaders was “Understand their first professional success and their first professional failure, for they will spend the rest of their lives trying to duplicate that first success and avoid that first failure.”  In that regard, Obama’s first professional success was being elected editor of the Harvard Law Review.  What few people know is that he was elected on something like the seventeenth ballot, after being no one’s choice.  The leftist (critical legal studies) guys and the right (The Federalist Society) guys, who were warring armed camps but both without a majority, deadlocked the process for the first 16 votes.  Obama supposedly during this process established himself as without a strong view and thus the two sides finally gave up the fight for supremacy and elected him. They assumed they would at least get a hearing from Obama, which they would not if the “other side” was elected.  If that psychiatrist is right, perhaps we really do have two candidates without a core.

Oh yes, you are sunnier about the Nixon-Kennedy debates than I.  The only news from that debate is that visuals win every time regardless of substance.  In many ways, the visuals of the first debate killed Obama, and the visuals of Biden weren’t much better.  So of course the consultants are both coaching their guy, “ Don’t worry about what you say, just win the visuals!”

We’ll see.  Increasingly I think we won’t find a real leader until we hit the debt wall sometime in the next several years.  And worse, we then run the risk that the type of leader who arises in that situation is often not a very attractive proposition!
Rich Lauf


October 16, 2012 Rich, Loved your response. You remain my favourite cynic! Bar none. Why, because you are willing to get informed and you have a big heart.
Alex Lowy

Mad Mobs: Crowd Control In The Age Of Twitter And Flash Mobs

In August 2011 riots broke out in the Tottenham section of London, after protests against the police killing of a 29-year old man turned violent.

Over the ensuing days riots spread to other sections of London, spurred on by social media posts that encouraged looting and out-of-control behavior. The world was shocked by the scale of lawless activity and how small the initial spark had been.

Professor Clifford Stott [LINK] of the University of Liverpool has been studying crowd violence and public order for decades. In recent writings he suggests that the traditional view of riots—mindless mayhem—is completely wrong. Crowds, he states, frequently are not anonymous. They represent communities that have real grievances and need to be treated, as far as possible, as individuals.

In Stott’s view a crowd’s capacity for losing control hinges on two dimensions that we can make explicit and map. The first is legitimacy or the degree to which individuals view authority as having legitimacy. Legitimacy can range from total disrespect for police to absolute deference.
The other is power, defined as a crowd’s perception of its own power. As a crowd grows in size and becomes conscious of its ability to do whatever it wants, the capacity for mob actions grows. Power ranges from very low to very high.

The big new challenge for police, according to Stott, is that technology has altered how crowds perceive their power. This is key. In a pre-smartphone era police and crowd confrontations were defined by geography. You wouldn’t know a riot was starting unless you were there. The instant communications capability of tools such as Twitter and Facebook have expanded the geography of crowds. In the case of the London riots, Twitter instantly connected individuals in disparate neighborhoods, creating a ragged but effective communications structure that helped direct the looters to particular locales. As soon as police thought they had contained looting in one street, it would break out in a new area a few blocks away as crowd members tweeted new opportunities. Though police can physically contain a large crowd, they have a harder time preventing crowd members from communicating with one another. This was evident in various uprisings during the Arab spring as well, particularly that in Cairo.

There are exceptions. In 2011, San Francisco’s BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system was targeted by demonstrators, once again angered by a police shooting. The demonstrators were eager to shut down the ability of commuters to get to their trains, and used cellphone communications to elude police barriers within the terminals. The BART authorities responded by cutting all cellular communications within their stations, effectively shutting down the crowd’s ability to expand its geography beyond physical line of sight.

Legitimacy versus Power
Let’s examine the perceptual map of Legitimacy and Power and see how it affects policing options.

Upper Left: High Legitimacy, Low Power. Crowds comprised of people who are deferential to police authority and low in their perception of their own power are very unlikely to riot. Average citizens in impromptu groups—say shoppers in a store—fit this definition.

Lower Left: Low Legitimacy, Low Power. A crowd of people who have no respect for police may be dangerous, but unlikely to engage in mob action unless their perception of their own power increases. Police dealing with this sort of crowd are wise to defuse grievances and do nothing to spark increased anger.

Lower right: Low Legitimacy, High power. Danger zone. This is the kind of group spawned in London last summer. The images of police arrests, tweeted among friends, reduced the legitimacy of authority. As the size of the crowds grew, violent action was easy to spark.

Upper right: High legitimacy, High power. This type of crowd may be more amenable to taking orders. They feel powerful but also respect authority. Think of a typical crowd at a concert, park, or other public event where there is a powerful shared group experience occurring. There is a potential for violence but it’s low and most people will follow the rules.

Professor Stott has written a book called Mad Mobs And Englishmen, Myths and Realities of the 2011 riots.

Apple’s Strategy Evolution 2011

Draw a cloud on a whiteboard. Now draw four boxes inside the cloud and label them “Facebook,” “Apple,” “Google,” and “Amazon.” Increasingly this is the picture of the world. The internet cloud is still there, but all the action takes place inside the walled gardens that control access to our communications, our documents, our apps, our friends, and our commercial transactions. Put another way, for these four companies, the old internet cloud doesn’t work. Too much of the content is free, customers interact while shielding their identity from those who supply them with information and applications, and there are not enough social rules to create a safe-enough environment for commerce.

The Big Four, and some others, are strategically focused on Walled Gardens, Internets-within-the Internet. Each Walled Garden comes with its own proprietary advertising, media, commerce, and individual rights. Of the four (which we’ll cover in later posts), Apple is the one most on its game. And, the most feared. You can tell a company is at the pinnacle of its power when it is accused of extracting monopoly rents. People then start calling you “the evil empire,” the successor to IBM and Microsoft in their respective heydays. And, like those firms, Apple follows an archetypal strategic pattern, one that it didn’t exactly invent, but has perfected as well as anyone before.

In an earlier post we discussed how Apple’s iPod, more than any product including the original Macintosh, put the company on a new strategy arc. The iPod was the company’s first successful product extension. And, it also created the need for iTunes software, which simplified digital music playback and drew in the hordes of Windows users who wanted iPod functionality for themselves. This was the company’s first successful market extension into the Windows customer base. Finally, these two innovations paved the way for a diversification via the iTunes store. The store put Apple in the content and cloud businesses, areas which have since become the company’s main focus.

Ansoff’s Product/Market Matrix, now around for nearly 50 years, is still useful for thinking about this issue. Apple perfected this computer industry model in which a product extension gains new revenue and leads to market extensions. Once internet services and software are added (diversification), the virtuous cycle is complete.

The current strategy is a higher octave, an echo, of what has come before. The iPad is a wild success with current users (product extension) and is starting to draw in new users (market extension). As new content and features flow into the app store (diversification), customer satisfaction and Apple profits grow. The cloud, which increasingly represents all types of information, apps, music, and movies, is now the key focus of Apple’s strategy. And, they’re letting the great things they’ve learned in selling apps to trickle back to computer platforms as well, improving customer experience.

Many have predicted that by now Apple’s dominance in musicplayers, smartphones, and pads, should be cracking. The strategy, they insist, must break down, and to prove their point, they point to the case of the Wintel duopoloy of the ‘90s, which nearly destroyed Apple. But this is faulty reasoning. “Open” platforms—those in which anyone is free to develop and run software—don’t always triumph over closed systems. In fact, precisely because of its proprietary hardware, Apple was the only company capable of this strategy. We’ll explore questions about that in our next post.

TSG Announces New Critical Thinking Two-Day Workshop Design

Alex Lowy and Transcend Strategy Group have announced a new two-day critical thinking workshop offering. More than ever successful leaders are called upon to combine critical thinking with experience to identify meaningful alternatives, make the best choices and achieve optimum outcomes. However, workplace dynamics and distractions often undermine their effectiveness as problem solvers. Expedience replaces thoughtfulness and agility.

This latest offering is based upon solutions that were researched and published in The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix (2004) and No Problem (2007). Issues are separated into three logical types: decisions, problems and dilemmas. We have developed powerful and elegant tools to deal with each type in the most effective way. Integrating the research and the toolset with unsolved problems creates an Action-Learning framework that improves critical thinking and ensures deeper understanding, retention and behaviour change. The resulting programs have been taught to countless managers and executives around the world, improving their performance.

“We have used these tools successfully with large and small companies, both in strategy planning and in group training in critical thinking,” says Lowy. “With the recent expansion of our team of seasoned facilitators, we are able to go deeper into training our clients.”

Alex Lowy, Phil Hood and Alan Hutton combine their talents to deliver these applied critical thinking programs using their Action-Learning framework for in-house leadership development.