January 26, 1999
There are really only two TOC Thinking Processes: Sufficient Cause and Necessary Condition. As of this writing, there are five applications of these two thinking processes.
The Sufficient Cause Application Tools:
- Current Reality Tree
- Future Reality Tree
- Transition Tree
The Necessary Condition Application Tools:
- Evaporating Cloud
- Prerequisite Tree
The Five Thinking Process application tools provide for a systematic approach to answering the three questions for system improvement. The Current Reality Tree answers the “What to Change” question. The Future Reality Tree answers “To What to Change.” The Evaporating Cloud is used as a paradigm shifting transition tool between the Current and Future Reality Trees. The Transition Tree answers “How to Cause the Change,” with the Prerequisite Tree serving as the bridge between the Future Reality and Transition Trees.
As with many inventions, uses for the thinking processes have evolved into much more than their original intent. These additional uses include
- Decision making
- Resolving conflicts
- Developing and implementing policies
- Leading and following
The Thinking Processes provide a systematic approach to increasing our capacity to learn faster and deeper than ever before. The Thinking Processes will prove to be fundamental learning tools in the age of agility.