Progress Path Framework (PPF) ® – a strategic tool for creative problem solving and opportunity development

Progress Path Framework (PPF) ® – a strategic tool for creative problem solving

A Workbook

Benjamin S C Ugoji

1 Introduction

2 PPF Explained

3 How to implement the PPF in real life

4 Benefits of the PPF

5 Conclusions

1 Introduction

Progress path framework is an idea born out of my book: >>Progress Path: Discover innovative ideas on how to make progress in life and work.

The PPF explores how the idea in the book, to solve problems in real life. A problem is usually a gap (or difference) between where we are and where we want to be. A problem required a solution and the solution is like closing this gap between the problem and solution space. It means creating a link or connection between these two worlds. The organ that helps us to achieve this is the human brain in which resides our thinking faculties. The idea in this PPF mimics the behaviour of the human brain in responding to the environment. See the PPF (Figure 1) below.

2 PPF Explained

2.1 Making progress – basis for growth and change

In their book to Built to last: Successful habit of visionary companies; James C Collin and Jerry I. Porras has this to say on the drive for progress:

“The drive for progress arises from a deep human urge – to explore, to create, to discover, to achieve, to change, to improve.”1

The PPF objective of the PPF is to enable you to achieve this drive.

In his book, “Thinking for a change”; John C Maxwell had this to say about progress:

“Poor thinking produces no progress

Average thinking produces no progress

Good thinking produces some progress

Great thinking produces great progress.”

He reasoned that achieving your potential comes from making progress and progress is often one good idea way.2

2. 2 Description of the PPF

The diagram below thematically shows the various steps involved in the PPF: in this section I am going to describe each of the steps involves in this process of problem solving.

Part 1

Gather information, focus, assess and prioritise: Attention

Part 2

Associate and respond: Awareness

Part 3

Process information through intelligent positioning: Adopt and Adapt

Part 4

Make movement towards the desired outcome by taking positive action: Act and Achieve

Part 5

Positive feedback, repeat and improve the process: Adjust

Figure 1 Progress Path Framework (PPF) ® – a strategic tool for creative problem solving

3. How to implement the PPF in real life

The idea for the formulation of the PPF on the principle the human brain makes connection with the senses as to execute actions that is required in a given situation. Therefore it is important that we first of all, explore how the function of the human brain and how it exchanges information through the senses and neurons and responds to the stimulus in question. The brain controls most of the body’s activities. It is the only organ that is able to produce ‘intelligent action’ – action based on past experience (stored information), present events and future plans. 3

The brain is made up of millions of neurons (neurone cells) arranges in sensory, association and motor areas.

The sensory areas receive information (nerve impulses) from all body parts and the association areas analyse the impulses. and makes decisions. The motor areas send impulses (orders) to the muscles and glands. The fibres of 43 pairs of neurones, 12 pairs of cranial nerves serving the head and 31 pairs of spinal nerves carry these impulses.

The above description is to give you the thought process behind the PPF.

The PPF can apply in real life to creatively and innovatively solve problems. For, example in the following areas:

Spiritual

Financial

Education and

Recreational

3.1 Part 1

Gather information, focus, assess and prioritise: Attention

In this area you need to pay attention to the situation that you are trying to assess. You have to apply the skill of both big picture and focused thinking. Describe the situation in question as clear as possible. Bring your senses to impact on your descriptions to make them clear and vivid. You can use metaphors or similes to ‘word paint’ the situation in the bid to show how you think or feel. Is it a challenge or problem? Write down how you perceive it.

You have to remember that attention is the gateway to many things, including learning. We learn from new experiences, only, when we attend to them. Learning means modification, growth and pruning of our neuron connections called – synapse – and neural networks through experience.4 Learning is about brain cells forming new connections because of stimulation they receive from the outside world. These changes happen in response to the things we give our attention.

3.2 Part 2

Associate and respond: Awareness

What is the outcome of the attention exercise? Is there a new understanding or knowledge from the information that you have received through your senses? If so what is it? It does not matter how small or insignificant this idea is, since it could become building block to further revelations.

Write down or draw this experience; the way it appears to you.

3.3 Part 3

Process information through intelligent positioning: Adopt and Adapt

This is the beginning of the change process. Change is not easy but you have to weigh the benefits of change in comparison to remaining in your original frame of mind. You and you alone will give yourself the permission to change. It is a decision you make.

Adopt

Are you ready to change the situation? What stance will you adopt? Why do you want to do it and how are you going to do it? The question for why is very important because you are giving yourself the motivation to do it. Are you aware of the benefits of taking this path? Will any one help you to critically appraise your options?

The questioning in this level will critically challenge you believe systems. What is your believe about this situation and what has to change?

Adapt

In adapting you are intelligently positioning yourself to move forward with the decisions. What type of behaviour do you need to make this possible? If you lack experience in this area, is there anything to read to find information, or can I ask anyone?

3.4 Part 4

Make movement towards the desired outcome by taking positive action: Act and Achieve

Create a plan of action to successfully progress to your determined goal. Plan, Monitor and evaluate your actions. Set short, medium and long-term goals. Apply the GAF4 (see the textbook) or SMARTE5 tools for goal setting and achievement to achieve your goals.

Remember your being successful depends on progressive realization of pre determined goal stabilized by balance and purified by belief.6

3.5 Part 5

Positive feedback, repeat and improve the process: Adjust

This stage allows you to sit back and see how you have fared. It requires you to develop the skill of reflective thinking. Achieving what you have set out to accomplish is not the end to your personal growth and development. Now you have changes by acquiring new skills and knowledge as well as sharpening your talent. What other changes or challenges do you need to face? Are there new opportunities developing, new competencies to pursue and further commitments to make?

Go through the PPF afresh and see what you have achieved. May be you need to take up a new challenge quite different from where you started, example, write a book or eBook, write an article and get published or start a business. In fact do something entirely new!

4 Benefits of the PPF

The PPF can help you to make progress and succeed in life and work by enabling you to intelligently apply your thinking to successfully move towards a desired goal. It creates opportunities to target, develop and implement an idea to reality. It is relevant in any facet of our life where we need to develop, grow, achieve, contribute and therefore make a difference.

It is brain friendly; It follows the natural path through which the brain perceives, processes and responds to information from its environment and when applied can lead enable us progress and achieve a successful outcome. Moreover, it enhances the ability to develop your thinking by using your whole brain, hence improving your finesse to think and do.

5 Conclusions

The PPF has been describes and the principle in which it is based explained. The process for its application, established based on the proposed framework. The benefits of the PPF to our ability to think and do were highlighted. However, the real benefit will come from acting on the knowledge.

Copyright © 2010 Benjamin S C Ugoji

Progress Path Framework (PPF) ® � a strategic tool for creative problem solving and opportunity development

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