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Harmonising – It’s Not Easy!

In music, harmonising is an elite skill. There are many examples of bands and duos who have made a name, and fame, for themselves from their ability to sing in vocal harmony (I think of the Eagles and their song “Seven Bridges Road”).

The same can be said for club managers and the quest for synergy between critical and creative thinking. It’s not easy but developing a holistic approach to club management that encapsulates both approaches to thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making is powerful. It drives innovation and breakthroughs and results in competitive advantage.

There is a considerable difference between critical and creative thinking skills. And it is the combination of both that reaps the greatest rewards. Using them in conjunction will enrich and deepen club outcomes and the key relationships that exist in your club environment.

Combining Creative and Critical Thinking

Creative thinking can be described as the application of imagination in setting and achieving the club’s goals and objectives. However, since imagination is limitless, you need critical thinking to tone it down and moderate it!

One of the basic tenets of creative thinking is that “the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas”. We can assert that creative thinking skills stimulate the creative process and “thinking outside the box”, lateral thinking and looking at things from a different perspective generate the possibilities that lead to action and produce outcomes.

In your club, you can tell if creative thinking in the following ways: -

  • Problem-solving: finding solutions requires creativity and identification of pathways which have been overlooked.

  • Reframing: changing the interpretation of an event, situation, behaviour, person or object.

(A useful tool for this is Mind mapping, which promotes the creation of ideas written down in an associative, organic pattern, starting with a key concept in the centre of the page and radiating out in all directions. An order or pattern emerges, from the lines connecting related ideas.)

  • Insight: an idea that appears in the mind as if from nowhere.

Critical thinking is the mode of thinking, about any subject, content or problem, in which the thinker improves the quality of their thinking by analysing, assessing, and reconstructing it.

Creative thinking starts with a focus on the process and not the result. It utilises tools such as brainstorming and other creativity innovation tools (Six Thinking Hats, SCAMPER, Reframing) to come up with ideas without judging them.

On the other hand, critical thinking strategies such as comparing, contrasting, analysing, categorising and evaluating can help you discern from various possibilities or courses of action and guide you towards making the right decision.

It’s the combination that maximises results.

The next club manager's webinar, “Thinking Critically and Creatively”, defines these different skill sets and looks at the ways club managers can combine them to improve productivity, team harmony and overall results.

If you would like to register and attend, please visit


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