Speed Thinking


Book         Speed ThinkingAuthor       Ken HudsonPublisher   Allen & Unwin, 2010

Rating       5-star

Our brains can often decide well in seconds or minutes, depending on the time frame we set as appropriate for the goal we want to achieve.

Antonio Damasio

 Speed thinking is a generative thinking system that enables any individual or team to deliberately and consciously accelerate the pace at which they normally think and act.

Ken Hudson, the author of Speed Thinking, states that speed thinking aims to generate something of value quickly. This could be:

  • A big, new range of ideas or solutions
  • Quicker decisions
  • More innovative products that can be introduced faster
  • A shorter more productive meeting
  • A better work/life balance.

It developed from his observations that there was little difference in outputs when he set a time limit of 3 hours rather than 4, and still no difference if this time was reduced to 2 hours.  If anything he said that participants became more focused, energised and creative.  Hudson’s research demonstrates that the smallest time to achieve big results is 2 Minutes! 

Speed will help you bypass your Censor – Julia Cameron

Speed Thinking is more congruent with our natural thinking processes.  It utilises right brain thinking rather than the more linear and slower, step by step left brain processes.  It is designed to complement more traditional, measured, critical thinking.  This enables us the luxury of thinking fast or slow depending on the need and time available.

Comparison of Traditional Thinking with Speed Thinking

Traditional Thinking Speed Thinking
  • Being correct
  • Winning an argument
  • Based on critical analysis
  • Exclusive
  • Serious, rational, objective
  •  Just starting
  • Creating movement
  • Operates at edge of the unconscious
  • Accessible
  • Energising

The two main techniques are:

  • Two minutes, nine possibilities framework.
  • Four step Speed Thinking Cycle – start, evaluate, build, and action.

Here is an example of the speed thinking experience.  Without hesitating, in the next two minutes (time it) answer the question, “What are nine things you feel passionate about?

Our right brain kicks in to high gear when we are

doing things in the present moment – Jill Bolte Taylor


There is no right or wrong, there is just a range of ideas that work for you.  The aim is to unlock your initial raw responses and extend that to nine, gathering information from your right brain.

The book provides step by step guidelines to utilise Speed Thinking in any situation.  It is easy to read, accessible and full of interesting tit-bits.

Both critical and creative thinking, while necessary, are not sufficient any more.  

We need to be able to think and act faster. 

This will enable us to better thrive in an accelerating and time-poor world.

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