Why "Second-Order Thinking"?

Not a team leader/builder but care about your own career? Here is a different version of this page for you.

If your team members have never heard about the mental model of second-order thinking they can drastically improve their decision making skills. This in turn will make your life much easier.

What difference would it make for you personally if your team could:

  • focus on what truly matters all the time
  • avoid wasting valuable time on things that don't matter
  • deliver projects on time and within budget
  • be very engaged and follow you as a role model

How would it impact your own career? Your personal life? Your family?

You wouldn't trust builders without appropriate equipment to build your dream house, would you? Then why build a high-performing team without the right tools?

You see, second-order thinking is a crucial mental model that makes your life as a team leader so much easier. Let's see how you can use this tool to hit your goals.

What Is Second-Order Thinking?

Second-Order Thinking is a mental model used by top achievers and their staff. Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk and other leaders teach their teams to use this invaluable decision making tool. Intrigued? Either explore a detailed explanation of how second order thinking works or review the summary infographic below:

How Can It Help Me?

Now, if you are asking "What's in it for me?" you are doing the right thing!

Because if you train your team to use this principle when making daily decisions it's guaranteed their performance and wellbeing will improve dramatically. And everybody will be grateful to you for doing so!

To prove this point let's look at a specific example. And guess what? Who said that training must be academic and boring? Let's make it fun & engaging so it's easy to remember and apply in the workplace.

Upskill Your Team In Minutes

Let's use the "Second-Order Thinking" module from our peak performance training for teams platform to demonstrate how any team can be upskilled in just 15 minutes or less without being bored and without being distracted from their main duties...

Is This Really Happening?
James will never forget the rainy night of Tuesday, 25 April 2023. He was just informed that the Z-37 mission will launch in exactly 12 months as planned despite his multiple requests to postpone the launch. He knows the crew stand no chance of surviving the whole flight without the shielding technology project completed.

How did they get there? What happened?

Let's rewind the story 12 months back...

As the head of the Human Performance Team James is completely overwhelmed. In addition to numerous (and often ineffective) meetings James has to handle approximately 950 emails a day. And quite a few of them are of critical importance for the success of the whole mission.

The truth is, approximately 97% of all emails he gets are completely unactionable long texts with multiple unrelated messages inside and without a clear purpose. He hasn't addressed this problem for a few months now as he never has time.

The fist-order consequence felt nice...
Can you see what's happening? James made a decision not to address the problem of ineffective emails in his team. What is the first order consequence here? A relief of not having to deal with the problem right now and "saved" time for "more important" priorities.

It's critical to understand that almost all bad long-term decisions have immediate positive consequence. But this way of thinking without taking into account long-term impact is completely flawed. Let's see what happens next...

Not using second-order thinking backfired badly
The busy manager has been ignoring poorly written emails for a long time now without realising the true cost of his ignorance. What he failed to notice is that Jasmine has felt unappreciated for quite a while now due to being constantly ignored.

See what's happening? The second order consequences kick in! Jasmine is disengaged. In addition, the hard working employee starts spreading her frustrations within the team like a virus. It's getting toxic by the minute. Can you see where it's going on? Big deal? Oh yeah. Let's see how it snowballs from here.

On a beautiful Christmas Eve Jasmine finally reaches the boiling point while observing her daughter unwrapping the gifts. "Enough is enough" she screams ferociously. "I quit!". And so she does.

Can you spot a few third-order consequences here?

  • unexpected expenses to replace Jasmine
  • low team morale
  • high staff turnover

And let's not forget about Jasmine because it's not just about business. She had to quit and now her career is derailed. What about her family?

But does it stop here? What about the 4-th order consequences? Such as failing to deliver the project on time and within budget? A bad company reputation? Losing important contracts to competition?

And James' career? How is it looking now?

By the way, in our blockbuster training program for teams the whole crew is at risk of not surviving the space trip and accomplishing an unprecedented mission. Why? Because James finally overlooked a critical warning from Jasmine having ingnored another poorly written email. And that's the 5-th order consequence.

The question is...

Can James turn it around? Or is it too late? Will the astronauts be safe?

And This Is Just The Beginning...

If you liked this training on second-order thinking you will be pleased to know we are just scratching the surface here. Because we have so much more for you and your team.

And it's all wrapped in our innovative learning platform with interactive, engaging, micro learning modules that people love going through without being distracted from their main work responsibilities.

Imagine your team improving their skills and performance by watching and interacting with the blockbuster movie? By falling in love with the main characters? By delivering better results through entertainment...

Here is how the story unfolds...

Team "Treasure" is assigned a simple interstellar mission. Their goal is to deliver a cargo to a galaxy far, far away...

On the 27-th of January 2047 mission specialist Jessica Smith accidentally discovers that 37 towns were completely wiped out in "preparation" for their departure. 278,000 people went missing. The three major rivers in the US, China, and India dried up overnight. With absolutely zero coverage in the media. No single mention in social networks either.

They have to go through a lot of challenges along the way both on Earth and in space. The only way of them to save the planet is to unite, transform to incredible performers, and to work as a well-oiled team...

They make mistakes and they fail. But they keep going. They become more resilient. They develop a growth mindset. They learn to communicate better and to make better decisions faster. They become incredible achievers.

Can they accomplish the mission?

What IS the mission?

Sounds Interesting?

If you are interested in finding out more about this training platform or you can't wait to join already, enter your name and email address below and we will be in touch.