Open Enrolment Programmes

Momentum Event: Clear Thinking and Focus: The key to success

Clear thinking is difficult, particularly when our environment is complex and challenging. This one-day event will highlight the importance of re-evaluating our focus and thinking processes to ensure they remain appropriate to changing situations and are in line with achieving organisational goals and objectives.

Learning outcomes:
By the end of the day you will be able to:

  • Use thinking strategies to gain clarity on outcomes and objectives
  • Ask the right questions to get the best answers
  • Consider all options when analysing situations
  • Influence the perspectives of all stakeholders involved in a given environment
  • Think quickly on your feet so as to thrive under pressure.


Part 1: Gain and retain clear focus

  • Separate your ‘passions’ from your ‘emotions’ to gain clear focus
  • Use the power of productive questioning to expand your thinking.

Part 2: Distinguish good logic from bad reasons

  • Use the tree diagram technique to produce clear, structured focused thinking
  • Learn different styles and structure of argument to produce powerful rational persuasion.

Part 3: Overcome blocks to implementation

  • Use your imagination to change negative thinking into positive action.

  • (This is a practical exercise where participants are encouraged to work on real workplace issues)

Part 4: Use cool logic in hot situations
You will learn to deal with the ten tricks of manipulation or ‘thinking errors’ that hinder good decision making at meetings and discussions:
(Using the acronym W.H.A.T – you learn)

  • W: What they are
  • H: How they happen
  • A: Actions you take
  • T: True success stories.

The day will end with a quiz to capture your knowledge for good practice.

For people who have previously attended the Ashridge Leadership Process, the day will build on the highly regarded ‘Good Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership’ session. The session is based upon Valerie Pierce’s new book Focus: The Art of Clear Thinking, to be published in May 2014 and each participant will receive a free copy of the book.

The Presenter - Valerie Pierce

Valerie Pierce

Valerie is part of the associate faculty of Ashridge since 1994. She has been named as one of Ireland's Top 50 Most Influential Women in Irish Business (Sunday Tribune). With her background in analytical philosophy, she developed the first 'Clear and Critical Thinking' business training module in 1990. CCT training focuses on developing competent thinking skills in all aspects of leadership, communication, problem solving and decision making.

Over the past 20 years, Valerie has delivered conference presentations, courses and workships to private and public sector organisations in Ireland, the UK, Europe, China and the USA. Her international client list includes Airbus, IBM, KPMG, Oracle, Pfizer, Pepsi Cola, The Victoria & Albert Museum and The British Law Society.

Valerie is Director of Clear & Critical Thinking Ltd and author of the book Quick Thinking on Your Feet published in Ireland (2003), Japan (2004), USA (2005), China (2006) and Singapore & Malaysia (2013). Valerie's new book Focus: The Art of Clear Thinking is due for publication in May 2014.

Call our Programme Advisors Jane and Lauren

Icon: Telephone

+44 (0)1442 841026


Essential Information

Date: Friday 10 October 2014
Time: 10.00 – 17.00
Venue: Ashridge Business School
Fee: £175 + VAT

To book your place, please email us: