Studio Thinking

We have been seduced and defrauded.

Seduced by the certainty drug — the illusion that certainty is actually possible and that therein lies the path to success. That if you build it, ‘they’ will come. Defrauded by the very limited ROI it can bring and by all the possibilities it denies us. Certainty lives in Business As Usual. And Business as Usual is Stagnation in Disguise.
The antidote?

Ingenuity. Heresy. Artistry.

Make it work. Make it true. Make it elegant.

The cornerstones of Studio Thinking.

Thinking like the artist you are. And where did this come from? Experience. When I took a hiatus from the corporate world to dive into art and develop an art practice, I was astonished at how significantly the techniques and mindset I learned boosted my thinking capabilities. How much more fluid and intuitive I was. How much more quickly I saw the patterns and got to the heart of messy, highly complex issues, and how much more agile and adaptive I had become in dealing with them. It is the cornerstone of what I now do.

So Studio Thinking is the art of thinking like yourself — whoever you are and however smart you may be — but at a much higher level. It’s about rewiring your brain so that you can use more of it, and revolutionising how you see the world so that you can do more in it. So that you can be more effective by being more yourself. It is as much a philosophy as it is a methodology. There are no cookie-cutter formulas, only sound universal principles and design patterns. And just to be clear, it is not about creativity or creative thinking. It's about art.

What's the difference? Creativity — in common business parlance — is about lateral thinking and ideas generation. It’s valuable. It’s fun. And it’s not art.
Art is about three things:
      Using that insight to make something tangible, and
      Using that artefact or experience to engage people.
Engagement is everything. The art is in the engagement. Without engagement, the Mona Lisa is just pigment on board, Harry Potter just words on a page, the iPod just a fancy USB. The same is true of all great brands, all great organisations and all great leaders.

And while myth portrays the artist as an airy-fairy dilettante waiting feverishly for the muse to strike, reality is the opposite. Amateurs rely on the muse. Successful artists honour the muse, but trust the process. Because the process is what allows them to consistently create high quality innovative work. Work that is valuable as well as original. Work that changes the world.

And if you want to do that, if you want to be a successful artist in any arena, you must first and foremost be pragmatic. You must have discipline as well as skill, and be comfortable with ambiguity and chaos. You must be ingenious and resourceful, determined and unreasonable — because ‘reasonable’ is the siren call of Business As Usual. And you must be all these things in the face of inevitable resistance and often hostile abuse. Because if you really want to change the status quo, you will be seen as a heretic. This is the way it works. This is how mankind has always progressed. How we’ve adapted and how we’ve innovated.

And if you do this well, if you do this elegantly, it will seem like magic.

And that’s artistry.
The Studio Thinking Workshop facilitated by Mo was (is) truly a meditation with an open eyes! The energy throughout the workshop was contagious and the drawing exercise enables to SHIFT the focus from the 'output' to the 'process' itself. I/other team members were genuinely surprised in terms of what drawings were produced due to this SHIFT. Mo have the ‘Zen’ knowledge that assist in rewiring the inherent behaviour which in business context influences the business culture, the decision making process and ultimately the output.
– Avinash Jalani, Senior Manager – Risk & Compliance AMP

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