1. The Right People

2. The Right Environment

3. The Right Questions

To create the right outcomes…

You must change your thinking to change your outcomes.

This will change your world.

It is an inward journey of discovery to change the way you see and think about what you perceive as reality.

What you perceive you believe.”

Wayne Larkin

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” – John Lennon

Imagination creates reality.

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Albert Einstein said, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” 


“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Choosing the Right People for Outstanding Performance 

and Business Innovation

Most organisations are too fast to hire and too slow to fire. – Axiom

People are your X Factor for success. We usually hire people based on narrowly defined skill sets, specialised thinking for required departmentalised tasks we need to be done…

…rather than on how they think, their team play and their potential for growth. If they can be trained to get jobs at interviews you are asking the wrong questions. Resumes get you selected for an interview and attributes get you hired.

McKinsey & Company research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill.

3 Levels of Attributes for Hiring For Your Business 

  • Aptitude [Skills, Ability and Talent]
  • Nature [Motivation, Temperament and Curiosity]
  • 3i’s [Intelligence, Imagination, and Integrity]

Of all of these attributes, if a candidate does not have the INTEGRITY, you cannot hire them because they will use their intelligence and motivation against you.

Only Hire A Types for Outstanding Performance and Innovation

“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.”Malcolm Forbes, of Forbes.

Good A type players hire A+ players.  It is clear that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players for exactly the same reason.

“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs.  But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” David Ogilvy

Hire the right people, trust them, empower them, listen to them and keep them.  You will then have one the most important key elements in business to achieve outstanding performance in business to innovate.

“Problems created by the many are fixed by the few.”

Wayne Larkin

1,000 mediocre people are not better than one genius.

People are your business.

The Right Business Environment To Foster Innovation and to Achieve Outstanding Performance

You need to create the WOW Factor for Superior Performance.

You don’t bore people into innovative thinking and high-performance action.

If you have hired the right people, you must keep them. This is key to outstanding performance in business. You must create the right environment for them to work together in teams that thrive.

You need to create a safe, happy, exciting environment for fast communication, collaboration and co-creation of these 3Cs. This empowers people and unleashes their full potential and value.

Laughter: The number one rule in business, and in life, is to enjoy what you do. Running a business involves long hours and hard decisions; if you don’t have the passion that keeps you going, your business will more than likely fail.

If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you shouldn’t be doing it.

Create a simple, motivating, and memorable shared:

  • Purpose (WHY are we doing this?)
  • Vision (The future desired state.)
  • Value System (Must have the weight of enforceable discipline for individual and organisational Integrity. Values are totally undervalued.)

“Our beliefs and values determine the moral compass for our ethics and behaviours and therefore become the drivers of our decisions and actions.”

Wayne Larkin

We Operate Business Under Outdated Management Models

Bureaucratic Hierarchical Command and Control systems may have appeared to work in the industrial age around the 1760s around 261 years ago but now in the 21st Century, they no longer serve us in the digital knowledge age.

You will stay in your Cubicles until you think outside the box!

Using Self-Organising Cellular Teams in Business

Empower people by using a ‘Network of Teams’ that rapidly respond rather than the traditional command and control. A flat cellular network model is not a structure but a ‘Mindset’.

The flat cellular network model allows organisational teams to learn quickly, innovate and respond to a rapidly changing, more complex, demanding world with superior solutions and outcomes. 

The business world is changing at a phenomenal rate, and yet our organisational structures and cultures are not responding or adapting quickly enough.

“Great leaders create innovative productive environments.”

Wayne Larkin

“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.” – Albert Einstein

STAR TEAMS Cellular Model For Business Innovation and Outstanding Performance in Business

Strategy, Tactics, Agility & Results 

Together Everyone Achieves More Success  

STAR TEAMS cellular networks are shown to outperform the traditional management structure for innovation, problem-solving and response rates being 5 to 30 times more effective. 

A Defence example of utilising cellular networks saw an improvement of the team members becoming 1,000 times faster in timesaving to achieve the same desired outcome compared to past conventional methods.

“Qualities such as talent and drive are of course important, but what we value most in leaders is the ability to show a genuine interest and duty of care for their teams.” – Sir Richard Branson, Virgin

STAR Teams will always beat a Team of Stars. 

We learn the best, and faster, in teams.

The 6 Ds Framework

  1. Discover (Situational Awareness)
  2. Define (Problems and Causality)
  3. Design (Solution)
  4. Develop (Build It)
  5. Demonstrate (Test and Demonstrate It)
  6. Deliver (Implement, Test It and Training)

The Power of Teamwork – Funny Animation

“Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.” Michael Porter

We are currently taught to do as we are told and be smart enough to do our job but not smart enough to realise those in more powerful positions can control our mindset.

The one thing we learn from history is we do not learn from history…

Hence ignorance makes good obedient slaves of us.

In Google’s ‘Project Oxygen’, the statisticians gathered more than 10,000 observations about managers across more than 100 variables, from various performance reviews, feedback surveys and other reports. Then they spent time coding the comments in order to look for patterns.

“The starting point was that our best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier – they do everything better.”Laszlo Bock

People typically leave a company for one of three reasons, or a combination of them is:

  1. They don’t feel a connection to the mission of the organisation, or sense that their work matters.
  2. They don’t really like or respect their co-workers.
  3. They have a terrible boss (This was the biggest variable). 

Remember: Kind, encouraging words have POWER.

The Leading Cause of Death

The leading cause of death globally is Heart Attack and Cardiovascular Disease. These are non-infectious and non-transmissible among people. People are literally dying of a ‘broken heart’.

Most deaths are preventable by addressing behavioural risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, obesity, physical inactivity, stress, harmful use of alcohol and drugs, etc.

We mainly look at symptoms and not causality. 

Causality of most deaths = Most people are unhappy.

This unhappiness causes the symptoms, and finally, self-suicide. The cause is the environment and is in the mindset of the individual.

“70% of all Change Management efforts in all organisations Fail to achieve their desired results.”McKinsey & Company

“From years of study, I estimate today more than 70 per cent of needed change either fails to be launched, even though some people clearly see the need, fails to be completed even though some people exhaust themselves trying, or finishes over budget, late and with initial aspirations unmet.”John Kotter, Book: Leading Change

A report studying change management within the government sector found:

  • 31% of programs were very or moderately successful
  • 43% were somewhat successful
  • 26% were not successful

Asking the Right Questions for Outstanding Performance in Business

The real problem is that we are taught what to think and not how to think. 

“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions.”Claude Lévi-Strauss

Asking the right questions is more important than getting the right answers to the wrong questions. Unfortunately, this is the failing of most people and organisations; a do as you’re told mentality. Fit in and just say ‘yes’!

Value your people’s intelligence based on the insights of their questioning and not their answers.

The questioning of your candidates gives you a better understanding of their thinking, vision and wisdom.  It will also help you employ creative innovators who will naturally produce outstanding performance in business; it is in the nature a Polymath to solve problems and excel when they are original thinkers.

Employ Creative Polymaths Who Have Natural Curiosity.

Henry Ford’s Model T is a perfect example. The Model T was one of the most successful product launches of all time. Henry Ford created the modern car industry. Ford was a marketing genius.

Ford gave people what they wanted, needed, valued, expected and willing and able to pay for.

According to Steve Jobs: “If Ford had asked people via a focus group or sample surveys what they wanted, they would’ve said, ‘Faster horses.'”

The right answer to the wrong question.

You must ask the ‘right questions’ to get the right answers. 

Most people are programmed to memorise the right answers to standard questions; this makes them look smart. However, they are usually wrong in a rapidly changing world that needs new questions to solve complex problems.

90{f8b747bac76aa26ad97b3b0c3dc8e57548395bef2f5bd1bf07704d9e7dce35d2} of getting the right solution is the intent of your efforts and total focus on understanding the situation and then asking the right questions to define the problem correctly.

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.”Peter Drucker – Men, Ideas & Politics

The Right Questions Are More Important Than Answers.

The Truth Well Told.

Safety TIP: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh; otherwise, they’ll kill you.”Oscar Wilde

Specialists Vs Polymaths in Business Performance 

The Western World is siloed and departmentalised in a command and control ‘Need to Know’ system.

As a result, people are becoming more and more specialised, so they learn more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.


A polymath Greek: “having learned much“; Latin: “universal person” is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects.

Polymaths are known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems; they are able to see the situation from multiple lenses and perspectives.

Polymaths embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible.

The term “Renaissance Man” is an expression of the Polymath. It is often applied to the gifted people of the Renaissance Period who sought to develop their abilities in all areas of accomplishment (intellectual, artistic, social, physical, and spiritual).

Polymaths include the great scholars and thinkers of the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods.

Considering the conceptual ability of these intellectual greats, Polymaths can synthesise their knowledge, spanning broad and multiple disciplines, to arrive at holistic models transcending that of more siloed thinking.

The result is that Polymaths bring forth solutions that also synthesise multiple ideas, allowing them to perceive things through various lenses and perspectives and, ultimately, to transcend disciplines and achieve superior outcomes.

Ideally, you want most of your key team members to be Polymaths because they ‘think outside the box’ and can integrate all departments, improve their functionality, and maintain a cohesive and holistic model.

Polymaths can see the whole.

Polymaths have the following 3C’s: Curiosity, Creativity and Communication (Good Observers and Listeners)

We need more Polymaths in teams to solve the big problems and bridge the gaps across siloed thinking to take us to much higher levels of consciousness and imagination for the future. 

Imagination creates our reality.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. – Buddha

Where It All Went Wrong With Education

It All Starts to Go Wrong at School

“Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” Aristotle

Increased State Control

After Prussia’s humiliation by Napoleon

The system of education in Australia (and many other nations) is called the Prussian Model, born of Prussia’s military failings in the Napoleonic Wars.

With Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory over the Prussians at the 1806 battle of Jena, the German kingdom developed an “education” system designed to indoctrinate children, year-by-year (from age 6 to 16) into full compliance with the state and its military leaders. 

Indoctrination ensured that “no German soldier would ever disobey an order again.” and “Education should provide the means to destroy free will”.

Through forced schooling, everyone would learn that “work makes free”, and working for the State, even laying down one’s life to its commands, was the greatest freedom of all.

Prussia held a clear idea of what centralised schooling should deliver:

  1. Obedient soldiers to the army; 
  2. Obedient workers for mines, factories, and farms; 
  3. Well-subordinated civil servants, trained in their function; 
  4. Well-subordinated clerks for industry; 
  5. Citizens who thought alike on most issues; 
  6. National uniformity in thought, word and deed.

The Prussian model largely explains why Australia and most other countries’ schools are commonly staffed by compliant rule followers and petty tyrants who violate a child’s rights and destroy their creativity, innovation, and divergent and critical thinking.

The Prussian “Education System” is a brainwashing compliance method where children learn obedience, compliance and correct attitudes, along with principles of literacy and official state myths of history… and do as they are TOLD!

Human Beings and Creative Genius

Dr George Land and Dr Beth Jarman developed a creativity test used to select the most innovative engineers and scientists to work for NASA.

The assessment was successful, and he decided to try it on children. What he concluded was that non-creative behaviour is learned at school

We are born with a Creative Genius, and then the “Education System” destroys it.

Dr Land found that 98% of 5-year-old children scored Genius Level in Creativity. However, by the time they were adults, less than 2% had Creative Geniuses Levels.

  • Age 5 – 98%
  • Age 10 – 30%
  • Age 15 – 12%
  • Adults – 2%

Creative thinking and problem-solving are in the highest demand in the 21st Century. But unfortunately, we do not have enough innovative, creative geniuses to solve the problems facing us fast enough.

95% of people don’t like to change; they fear it.

People are invested in the status quo, doing what makes them feel comfortable and secure. Most people feel comfortable doing what they have always done. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” and “She’ll be right.” 

Change is a reality, and it is speeding up.

People need to enjoy Learning, Innovating and being Adaptive to create positive change.

Security of the Past

In one study, people who saw a painting described as having been painted in 1905 found it far more pleasing to look at than people who saw the same painting described as being created in 2005.

In another, they admired the appearance of a tree described as being 4,500 years old more than those who thought the same tree was just 500 years old.

In another study, participants were given a piece of European chocolate. It was described to them as having first been sold in its region either 73 years ago or 3 years ago.

Guess which group rated the chocolate as better-tasting? 

People act emotionally and justify logically.

Current systems and environments suppress divergent creative thinking and organic flow of ideas. 

People are taught what to think, not how to think.

We all need to change the way we think to have a different Mindset, making ourselves and the world a better place, so we are Compassionate, Forgiving, show Gratitude and radiate more Love which is our true spiritual nature.

“You cannot talk Butterfly language with Caterpillar people.” – Author Unknown


OBSERVATION (Situational Awareness – Neutral Emotions) and JUDGEMENT (Negative Emotions) are very different.

WORDS have high and low vibration qualities and have POWER.

The correct use of ‘Alphabet Letters’ in WORDS taught at school is called: SPELLING or to SPELL correctly.

Literally to SPELL also means spoken words that are thought to have magical power or the condition of being under the influence or control of words. To cause something bad to happen in the future – ‘a curse’.

You see the power of words in Education, Placebo effect, Healing, Hypnotherapy, Brainwashing, Propaganda, Politics, Advertising, History and Personal Relationships to mention a few.

Most of us cannot see a situation as it really is because we are too close to it. We lose our perspective when we are invested in a particular situation, project, approach, role, belief, culture and organisation.

People quickly lose their perspective, direction, then become emotional, self-centred and irrational – lost in their emotional thoughts.

People get invested in the way of doing things and never question their beliefs and actions. “We have always done it this way and it works”… ‘til it doesn’t, or compared to what?

We lose our ability to ask the right questions of the right people and to listen.  We lose sight of the big picture and, ultimately, the way out. We go in circles.

People being active doesn’t necessarily mean progress.

People easily get lost in the detail while working in the trenches.

Situational Awareness for Outstanding Performance in Business

Situational Awareness (SA) is simply “knowing what is going on so you can figure out what to do”.

Situational Awareness is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.

Situational Awareness is critical for successful decision-making across a broad range of situations. Absent or poor Situational Awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.

Situational Awareness can be broken into three elements: 

  1. Perception of the elements in the environment, 
  2. Understanding of the situation, and
  3. Projection of future status.

Situational Awareness, the ‘ACE FACTOR’ (like having the Ace in your hand in a card game), is a function of the human mind. It is the awareness and understanding of the operational environment and other situation-specific factors affecting current and future goals.

Situational Awareness enables rapid and appropriate decision making and effective actions.

Having complete and current accurate information is essential for those responsible for anticipating future developments, strategies, tactics, innovations, problem solving and superior decision making for successful outcomes.

Solutions and actions come from studying and understanding Situational Awareness deeply from many perspectives and possibilities. They also come from articulating a clear, accurate and current image of the situation for review.

A lack of Situational Awareness, or the loss of it, equates to being “Out of the LOOP”, often referred to as the OODA LOOP; “Observe-Orient-Decide and Act”.

Altitude Changes Attitude in Business Performance

The higher the altitude the further you can see into the distance and into the future.

You can achieve neutrality in your emotions through a higher perspective and lose attachment the further you get away from something.

It is important, regardless of how smart your organisation is, that you should always source various perspectives on a situation from outside the organisation.

Ideally, these insights should be provided by experienced business consulting Polymaths.

Specialists have very specific roles but usually not at high-level visionary decision making.

For example, if your Medical General Practitioner makes a mistake on his diagnosis and believes you have a heart problem from pains in the chest, he will send you to a Cardiologist Specialist.

This specialist will look for the problem in your heart but finds nothing wrong. However, your pain was originating from lung cancer requiring a Pulmonologist who specialises in diseases of the lungs, like cancer.

Like most things, one size does not fit all.

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. – Old Adage.

The law of the instrument, otherwise known as Maslow’s Hammer, is a cognitive bias that involves an over-reliance on a familiar tool or method.

A person with only a hammer is likely to try and fix everything using their hammer, without first even considering other options.

We prefer to make do with what we have rather than look for a better alternative.

Biases lock our thinking.

Biases are why most transformations fail and solutions to problems are not very effective.

The Einstellung Effect

Einstellung is the development of a mechanised state of mind.

The Einstellung Effect is the negative effect of our previous experiences when solving new problems.

Einstellung refers to our predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though better or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein

Learning modifies the cellular structure of the brain.

Neuroplasticity occurs when our brains change as something new is learned, experienced and memorised.

Plasticity is the capacity of the brain to change with learning, mainly at the level of the connections between neurons. New connections can form, and the internal structure of the existing synapses can change.

The majority of things we do every day is driven by the subconscious and habit on autopilot.


“The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein, it rejects it.”P.D. Medawar (Biologist)

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer (Philosopher) 

The Forces In Every Business and Organisation

There are two essential “forces” in every organisation

Firstly, there are the mechanical forces, business models, processes, strategies, regulations, policies and procedures.

Then, secondly, there are human forces; the people who make the mechanical forces happen.

When these two forces are out of sync, problems arise.

According to Forbes, 7 out of 8 digital transformations fail.

Despite our best intentions we tend to apply what we know best (we use a ‘hammer’) to situations that require new thinking (when we may need a new tool).

When most companies commence transformation initiatives, they begin with new policies, new procedures and new strategies. They begin with the mechanical side of the business.

We forget it is the people who make strategies stick.

We cannot change business models without first changing mental models. This is the much harder part of the transformation, and the most critical.

Think about trying to make structural changes to an old house.

Sometimes you might be better building a brand-new house. Sometimes you may need a new foundation. You cannot hack on a new piece and pretend it will all work out fine, although, this kind of behaviour happens all the time.

To change what people do, we must first change how people think.

To change how people think we often need to teach people to unlearn before they relearn.

If people are unwilling to unlearn and relearn, we need new people.

The World is changing so fast it is outpacing our level of thinking and ways of doing things.

We need new mindsets and more enlightened Polymaths to think outside the box….

…to see new ways of doing things at the accelerated pace of change we are facing, now, and into the future.

To contact Wayne Larkin email him at wayne@visualdesigngroup.com.