Change Implementation Techniques for Forming Transitional Team, Creating Alignment, Maximizing Connectedness and Creativity

Technique 6.14 CoRT

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This has been referred to as "operacy", ie concept of usefulness, movement and outcomes involving action. Furthermore, it focuses on the value outcome, on deferment of judgment and on transferability of thinking skills across different fields.

It enables people to work things out for themselves

The revolution in computer technology has switched the focus from gathering information to discovering what to do with it - designing a way forward

One of the fundamental principles of CoRT is that thinking skills are not dependent on the prior acquisition of a knowledge base

In the education system,

"...emphasis is on reactive thinking: sorting out the information given, putting the pieces of the puzzle together in the right way......In real life situations, very little information is given. The thinker has to think proactively rather than reactively.......Thinking proactively is the equivalent of seeking movement by lateral thinking..."

Edward deBono as quoted by Pier Dudgeon, 2001


"...students benefit from exposure to different solutions, different methods of arriving at solutions, and different rubrics for evaluation of the solutions..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

Consider the old saying

"...give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for life until someone comes along with a better fishing technique or until war overtakes him and he becomes a refugee or until somebody builds a factory and pollutes all his fish. But, if you teach a man to think, then you feed him for life..."

Edward deBono as quoted by Piers Dudgeon, 2001

The techniques of CoRT include

- PMI (plus, minus and interesting points)

- CAF (consider all factors)

- AGO (aims, goals and objectives)

- C&S (consequences and sequel)

- FIP (first important priorities)

- APC (alternatives, possibilities and choices)

- OPV (other people's views)

(NB Rules, planning and decision fit in between these techniques)

Each technique is encouraging habitual usage, broadening perception and challenging dominant thinking pathways

The aim of the technique is to apply "native intelligence" more effectively. It does not seek to develop the learner's intelligence as such. Furthermore,

" is a practical, pragmatic method, designed to give every individual control. It does not turn out geniuses, nor was it designed to. It is concerned with raising self-esteem especially at the remedial level and slowing genius down as gifted children need to be slowed down..."

Piers Dudgeon, 2001

Furthermore, there is a need to redefine intelligence beyond IQ. For example, Howard Gardner has described intelligence in 9 categories, ie linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial (arts, architecture, etc), bodily-kinesthetic (dance, sport, etc), interpersonal (relationships with others), and intrapersonal (handing oneself, self-awareness, naturalist , understands the patterns and rhythm of nature) etc) (see Volume 2, ingredient 1 for more details)

CoRT Techniques

i) PMI (plus, minus and interesting points)

It is designed to ensure that decisions or commitments take place after both sides of the matter have been considered, and not before. The "I" of the "PMI" is to generate new ideas

This involves scanning alternative ideas for their plus, minus and interesting points. It is important to list all the pluses, then all the minuses, then all the interesting points in a sequence. Interesting points might include where an idea might lead to. It results in a broader scan of ideas, alternatives, possibilities, etc

Some of the advantages of PMI is that it goes beyond feelings and judgments, offers a complete perceptual expiration, it is not content-dependent and involves scanning

ii) CAF (consider all factors)

CAF is exploratory as it is always looking for something else which current thinking should take into account, ie deliberate effort to find factors that are not obvious.

It collects information on which other techniques can work. For example, CAF can be used to set up the rules while PMI is exploring an existing or proposed rule. In due course, a connection between needs and rules will emerge and exercise a positive effect on participants' behaviours

This operation is essentially related to action, decision, planning, judgment and coming to a conclusion


Usually at this stage, the rules are reviewed. This can provide an opportunity for practising the PMI & CAF, ie an existing or proposed rule is that opportunity for practising PMI. The factors involved in making a rule provide a practice in CAF.

iii) AGO (aims, goals and objectives)

This explores the purpose. What are we trying to do?

This provides a focus on the intentions behind actions and on the idea of purpose. In some situations, it is more appropriate to use aims rather than goals or objectives. The key here is to focus on purpose rather than reaction

iv) C&S (consequences and sequel)

It creates a road map of where an idea is leading

It crystalises the process of looking ahead to see the consequences of some action, plan, decision, rule, invention, etc.

Immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term consequences are systematically explored, eg rabbits in Australia (provided meat at first, but later become a pest!!!!!!!)

Consequences may change with time and some may be irreversible

There is an overlap with other techniques. Examples are

C&S exposed the consequences of ideas which are factors in the future.

it is linked with CAF and OPV as consequences can be part of the factors that are considered under CAF. On the other hand, separating them out can give more emphasis to them.

PMI can involve subjective judgment but the CAF is more neutral by simply listing the factors


The idea is to use planning as a thinking situation which brings together objectives (AGO), consequences (C&S), facts involved (CAF) and the treatment of ideas (PMI)

v) FIP (first important priorities)

Ideally use this technique immediately after the AGO, ie at the beginning of the thinking exercise

On the other hand, be careful as its function can cause a narrowing down of the thinking

It is a judgment situation which requires no absolute answers. It is person and/or situation-specific. It is a crystallisation of the process of picking out the most important ideas, factors, objectives, consequences, etc for the requirements of the specific situation

vi) APC (alternatives, possibilities and choices)

An old Jewish proverb

"...when faced with two alternatives, always choose the third..."

as quoted by Piers Dudgeon, 2001

It is an attempt to focus attention on exploring all the alternatives, choices or possibilities, beyond the obvious ones

Broadening perceptions by considering alternatives facilitates finding a solution to a problem, or an approach to a problem, or a design for the future, etc


This is an opportunity to bring together FIP and APC plus other techniques in a more general way. In making decisions you have to

- consider all factors (CAF)

- be clear about aims/objectives (AGO)

- assess priorities (FIP)

- look at consequences (C&S)

- discover alternative courses of action (APS)

- perhaps conduct a PMI on the decision once made

vii) OPV (other people's views)

It is a refined version of APC as it is only concerned with alternative views expressed by other people and interested parties

It is linked with "parallel thinking"

This considers the process of looking at other people's viewpoints so that the process can be used consciously and deliberately to escape from one's own point of view


These techniques can be all fitted into a sequence, ie TO/LO/PO/SO/GO

TO = where are we going to? With what do we want to end up? Aims, goals and objectives

LO = look! What do you know? What information do we have and need? What is the situation? Perceptions can enter here. Use CAF and refer back to AGO

PO = suppose - alternatives, concepts, ideas, possibilities, hypotheses, speculations. Create possible solutions and approaches. How do we do it? What is the solution? Use APC

SO = choice between alternatives; leads to choice, decision and conclusion. It is a stage of checks, reviews, choices, a narrowing down. It narrows down, checks out and it chooses from amongst the possibilities, etc. This is a stage of conclusion, decision and choice. This is the result stage. Use FIP, PMI, C&S and OPV. Modify input and clearly define the output

GO = action, where this thinking leads to. This is the action step. What are you going to do about it? What next? What follows on from your thinking? If SO fails to produce choice, decision or conclusion, action may involve more thinking, collecting more information, etc

An example of the effectiveness of CoRTs

"...when individual English essays were commissioned at a grammar school (girls aged 12 to 13) on the subject of whether there should be special weekend prisons for minor offenders, the CoRT group put forward 200 arguments while the control group came up with only 105. Arguments put forward against the proposal as a percentage of arguments put forward in support: CoRT, 59 percent, control group, 21 percent. That CoRT influenced outcomes can, at least in this instance, be in no doubt..."

Piers Dudgeon, 2001

(source: Piers Dudgeon, 2001; Steve Wilkes, 2003)


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