Simple tools, extraordinary results. Everything we’re learning about how we function best as humans in the digital age is pointing towards one of our oldest technologies: the pen and the page. Exploratory writing – writing for ourselves, not for others, writing when we don’t know exactly what it is we want to say – is one of the most powerful and lightweight thinking tools we have at our disposal. It’s also been, until now, one of the most overlooked. But the world’s most influential leaders are increasingly using the techniques in this book to support the key skills of the 21st century – self-mastery, creativity, focus, solution-finding, collaboration – and so can you. Alison Jones has been helping business leaders identify and articulate what matters over a 30-year career in publishing and as a coach. The founder of Practical Inspiration Publishing and host of The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast and community, she is passionate about the power of writing to change ourselves and the world.
Introduction Part 1 - Why exploratory writing? The science Is this about better writing? Let’s get started Part 2 – The toolkit Exploratory narrative freewriting mindfulness chimp management empathy Metaphor surfacing metaphors finding new metaphors forced metaphors analogy Inquiry learning through inquiry inquiring of future you appreciative inquiry humble inquiry Visual thinking writing into drawings storyboarding graphic organizers developing your own visuals Part 3 – Using the tools Wellbeing and mindfulness sense-making mental resilience happiness self-coaching Clarity and focus decluttering focus and deep work reflective practice Creativity and problem-solving creative thinking problem-solving prototyping Leadership and collaboration visioning uncovering bias conflict resolution culture change Conclusion: over to you Appendices: glossary of tools, list of prompts, bibliography