Zoom Thinking: The Basics

Like our muscles, our minds tend to contract and tighten — especially when we’re overwhelmed with information.

Zoom Thinking is about getting the mind moving again. There are three core components:

These are basic thinking skills you can apply in any thinking situation.  Examples of the Zoom Skills include:

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Finding Neutral

Being relaxed and non-reactive in the presence of a data mass

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Noticing

 Becoming aware of “the feeling of the thought”

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Condensation

Summarizing ideas with the least words possible

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Situational Awareness

Recognizing and observing contexts

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Creative Ignorance

Refusing to know what you know

These are techniques that stimulate mental movement. You can use them alone or in any combination, as need arises. A few examples:

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Zooming

The tactic that separates the forest from the trees. You look at the data mass close up, and from 30,000 feet, and all points in between.
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End-Gaming

This tactic applies a familiar rule: “Begin with the end in mind.” You work backwards from a notional outcome.
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The Empathic Jump

You identify others who might be relevant to your project, and see things from their point of view.
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There and Back

Imagine the most extreme possible version of your concept, then return to reality with that wild idea in mind.
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Negative Space

Sometimes the hardest thing to see is what isn’t there. With this tactic, you look for what’s missing.

The Zoom Tactics provide a set of tools to draw on, but they also become habits of mind to enrich your day-to-day thinking.

Reverse Mind Mapping


Reverse Mind-Mapping is the opposite of mind-mapping, which begins with one idea and branches out to generate lots of detail.

RM begins with a mass of detail and progressively moves toward a central idea.

Reverse Mind-Mapping is explained in greater detail on a separate page of this website.

Learn More About Reverse Mind Mapping

Zoom Thinking was developed by Jon Ward. Contact Jon here.